Criminal Information https://www.justice.gov/file/1115596/downloadAs set forth in part in the Information:1. From in or around 2007 through in or around January 2017,MICHAEL COHEN, the defendant, was an attorney and employee of a Manhattan-based real estate company (the "Company"). COHEN held the title of "Executive Vice President" and "Special Counsel" to the owner of the Company ("Individual 1").False Statements to the U.S. Congress2. On or about January 13, 2017, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ("SSCI") announced that it would conduct an investigation into Russian election interference and possible links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns. On or about January 25, 2017, the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence ("HPSCI") announced that it also was conducting an investigation into Russian election interference and possible links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.3. On or about August 28, 2017, COHEN caused a two-page letter to be sent on his behalf to SSCI and HPSCI. The letter addressed his efforts at the Company to pursue a branded property in Moscow, Russia (the "Moscow Project"). COHEN stated the purpose of the letter was "to provide the Committee with additional information regarding the proposal," referring to the Moscow Project.4. In the letter to SSCI and HP SCI, COHEN knowingly and deliberately made the following false representations:a. The Moscow Project ended in January 2016 and was not discussed extensively with others in the Company. . . .b. COHEN never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project and "never considered" asking Individual 1 to travel for the project. . . .c. COHEN did not recall any Russian government response or contact about the Moscow Project. . . .5. On or about September 19, 2017, COHEN was scheduled to appear before SSCI accompanied by counsel . In prepared remarks released to the public, COHEN stated, "I assume we will discuss the rejected proposal to build a [Company-branded] property in Moscow that was terminated in January of 2016; which occurred before the Iowa caucus and months before the very first primary. This was solely a real estate deal and nothing more. I was doing my job. I would ask that the two-page statement about the Moscow proposal that I sent to the Committee in August be incorporated into and attached to this transcript."6. On or about October 25, 2017, COHEN gave testimony to SSCI, which included testimony about the Moscow Project consistent with his prepared remarks and his two- page statement .7. In truth and in fact, and as COHEN well knew, COHEN's representations about the Moscow Project he made to SSCI and HPSCI were false and misleading. COHEN made the false statements to (1) minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1 and (2) give the false impression that the Moscow Project ended before "the Iowa caucus and . the very first primary," in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations. COHEN attempted to conceal or minimize through his false statements the following facts :a. The Moscow Project was discussed multiple times within the Company and did not end in January 2016. . . .b. COHEN agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow Project and took steps in contemplation of Individual l's possible travel to Russia. . . .c. COHEN did recall that in or around January 2016, COHEN received a response from the office of Russian Official 1, the Press Secretary for the President of Russia, and spoke to a member of that office about the Moscow Project. . . .
[F]rom 2000 until 2013, Fujinaga fraudulently solicited over $1 billion in investments in MRI from over 10,000 Japanese residents, who wired their funds from Japan to bank accounts in Las Vegas under Fujinaga's control. Fujinaga approved and disseminated marketing materials that promised investors that their funds would only be used for purchasing medical claims and that an escrow agent would ensure that MRI used investor funds for only that purpose. In truth, Fujinaga spent less than two percent of investor funds to purchase medical claims. Instead, Fujinaga used the vast majority of new investors' funds to pay off old investors. He used the balance of investors' funds for impermissible business and lavish personal expenses, such as a private jet; a mansion on a Las Vegas golf course; real estate in Beverly Hills, California wine country, and Hawaii; and luxury cars from Bentley, McLaren, and Bugatti. When the Japanese government revoked MRI's license to market securities in April 2013, MRI owed its investors more than $1.5 billion.
[S]avandi and Mansouri, acting from inside Iran, authored malware, known as "SamSam Ransomware," capable of forcibly encrypting data on the computers of victims. According to the indictment, beginning in December 2015, Savandi and Mansouri would then allegedly access the computers of victim entities without authorization through security vulnerabilities, and install and execute the SamSam Ransomware on the computers, resulting in the encryption of data on the victims' computers. These more than 200 victims included hospitals, municipalities, and public institutions, according to the indictment, including the City of Atlanta, Georgia; the City of Newark, New Jersey; the Port of San Diego, California; the Colorado Department of Transportation; the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and six health care-related entities: Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California; Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita, Kansas; Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, more commonly known as LabCorp, headquartered in Burlington, North Carolina; MedStar Health, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland; Nebraska Orthopedic Hospital now known as OrthoNebraska Hospital, in Omaha, Nebraska and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.According to the indictment, Savandi and Mansouri would then extort victim entities by demanding a ransom paid in the virtual currency Bitcoin in exchange for decryption keys for the encrypted data, collecting ransom payments from victim entities that paid the ransom, and exchanging the Bitcoin proceeds into Iranian rial using Iran-based Bitcoin exchangers. The indictment alleges that, as a result of their conduct, Savandi and Mansouri have collected over $6 million USD in ransom payments to date, and caused over $30 million USD in losses to victims.
Kwasnik was previously associated with a law firm, Kwasnik, Rodio, Kanowitz and Buckley P.C. -- and its successor firm, Kwasnik, Kanowitz and Associates P.C. -- with offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. His father, and co-defendant, William M. Kwasnik, of Marlton, New Jersey, owned and operated an insurance company, Abby Grant, with offices in Cherry Hill and Lakewood, New Jersey.In April 2011, Michael Kwasnik induced a client to establish an irrevocable family trust to settle his mother's estate, with promises that any money deposited in the trust would not be invested, but rather held for the client's benefit. With the client's consent, Michael Kwasnik established the trust and named himself as the trustee. Based on Michael Kwasnik's promises, the client gave Michael Kwasnik $125,774, which the client received after his mother's death, to deposit in the trust account. Michael Kwasnik deposited the money into the trust account and the next day, transferred $125,000 to Abby Grant's bank account, and then to the Kwasnik, Rodio, Kanowitz and Buckley P.C. bank account, without the client's knowledge or permission. Michael Kwasnik admitted that he did so to conceal and disguise the source of the money and that it was the proceeds of a mail fraud or wire fraud scheme.
[F]rom October 2007 through March 2012, Ellison and Tull engaged in a scheme to steal passengers' money for future travel from an escrow account by artificially inflating the amount of money that the defendants claimed they were entitled to receive, and by sending this falsified amount in a letter to the escrow bank telling the escrow bank to release the money. The evidence further established that to cover up their fraud, the defendants falsified profit and loss statements to make the company look like it was making money rather than losing money, and sent these falsified documents to credit card companies and banks to trick them into continuing to do business with the company.Testimony at trial established that two financial institutions incurred losses of nearly $30 million for having to refund thousands of passengers their money that should have been held for them in escrow, but was actually stolen by the defendants as part of their fraud.