Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento man sentenced 41 months for credit card scheme

A Sacramento man who allowed his bank account to be used for a fraudulent credit card scheme has been sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Leonid “Leo” Yakovlev, 43, was sentenced Monday in Sacramento by Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb for structuring financial transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Court documents indicate that between April and August 2008, Yakovlev permitted the use of his bank account for a fraudulent credit card scheme in which thousands of American Express customers were charged fees ranging from $11 to $100, purportedly for “business services” provided by an entity called “24Hour”. During that period,Yakovlev controlled a bank account in the name of 24 Hour Corp.

As a result of the fraudulent scheme, nearly $1 million was deposited in Yakovlev’s bank account. He withdrew a total of approximately $230,000 from the account by making multiple cash withdrawals in smaller amounts in an effort to ensure the bank would not file mandatory currency transaction reports for the withdrawals, authorities said.

“The defendant structured his transactions to hike the true source of his money,” Jose M. Martinez, special agent in charge with IRS-Criminal Investigation, said in a written statement. “Currency report information filed by banks and financial institutions provides a paper trail, or road map, for investigations involving financial crimes.”

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.