7 indicted in connection with one of Colorados largest money-laundering schemes

Douglas County officials arrested seven people and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in gold and silver in connection with what they said was one of the largest money-laundering schemes in Colorado history — a multimillion-dollar steal-and-resell operation that included thefts from giant retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.

The seven individuals are suspected of spearheading the scheme that involved $5 million in stolen goods, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said at an afternoon news conference.

Local and federal officials recovered $100,000 in gold, $108,000 in cash, 80 pounds of silver and $1.7 million worth of products, Spurlock said.

The individuals — Dziyana Altshuler, Ilona Nastas, Grigore Tataru, Evgeny Shadrin, Ivan Biazliudau Dzianis Artyushkevich, Dmitry Altshuler — allegedly stole everything from vitamins and cosmetics to birth control and home improvement tools, then resold the items online, the sheriff said.

Some of the businesses impacted include Home Depot, Lowe’s, Whole Foods, Target, Safeway and King Soopers locations around the metro area.

The seven individuals have been charged with various counts of money laundering, theft and illegal mailing of contraband.

The investigation began two years ago, the result of a task force put together by the chiefs of police in Lone Tree and Castle Rock, in coordination with the U.S. Secret Service.

The task force later heard from retail organizations, Spurlock said, who were reporting an uptick in stolen goods being peddled online.

“Large sums of cash were identified moving between multiple accounts,” the sheriff said. “A lot of it leaving was leaving the state and a lot of it was leaving the United States.”

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