Edmonds businessman admits running illegal money exchange


An Edmonds businessman and Ukrainian citizen has pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money exchange that acted as a go-between for the illegal movement of at least $150 million between 2007 and 2012, our online news partner The Seattle Times reports.

Pavel Rombakh appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, where he pleaded guilty to a single count of conducting an unlicensed money transmittal business, a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Rombakh, who was allowed to remain free on bond, will appear Aug. 18 for sentencing before U.S. District Judge James Robart.

According to a plea agreement, Rombakh, a Ukrainian citizen who moved to the U.S. in 1992, would collect a small percentage of every transfer he facilitated. Court documents said money would be wired from one country into his bank account, and he would immediately send it on after taking his fee. Federal prosecutors allege Rombakh set up a shell company, Nedwood Finance LLC, to facilitate the illegal money transfers.

You can read the entire Seattle Times story here.

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