United States District Court, S.D. New York
November 7, 2016, Diana Mendesh ("Defendant" or
"Mendesh") pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit
bank fraud and false use of passport. Based on the
conclusions set forth below, Mendesh will be sentenced to 27
months' imprisonment followed by two (2) years'
supervised release, subject to the scheduled sentencing
hearing on June 13, 2017.
is named in a two-count information filed in the Southern
District of New York on April 5, 2013. Count One charges that
in or about August 2011 to March 2012, in the Southern
District of New York and elsewhere, Mendesh and others
(5) any pertinent policy statement [issued by the Sentencing
(6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among
defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of
similar conduct; and
(7) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the
18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). A sentencing judge is permitted to
find all the facts appropriate for determining a sentence,
whether that sentence is a so-called Guidelines sentence or
not. See Crosby, 397 F.3d at 114-15.
Court adopts the facts set forth in the Presentence
Investigation Report ("PSR") with respect to
Defendant's personal and family history.
Court adopts the facts set forth in the PSR with respect to
the offense conduct. These facts are summarized, in brief
uncovered a criminal scheme to defraud banks and businesses
in which computer hackers used a malicious computer program
to obtain access to victims' bank accounts and
fraudulently transfer funds out of the victims' accounts
into bank accounts opened by "money mules" or
"mules" for the scheme. The money mules sometimes
opened bank accounts in their own names, but often used fake
passports. Once the wire transfers were received in the mule
accounts, the mules withdrew the fraudulently-acquired funds
and distributed them to other members of the conspiracy,
keeping a portion for themselves.
was a money mule who participated in this scheme. She is a
Ukrainian national who was issued a J-l visa to travel to the
United States, and entered the United States on May 25, 2011.
August 23, 2011, at a TD Bank located in Ocean City,
Maryland, Mendesh opened an account using a copy of her J-l
visa. On September 12, 2011, $19, 853 was wire transferred
into her account from a victim's account at another bank.
The victim did not authorize the transfer. On September 12
and 13 of 2011, a total of $1, 263 was withdrawn from
Mendesh's account through ATM withdrawals in Maryland.
Mendesh's account was subsequently frozen.
September 28, 2011, a jewelry store was contacted by a male
seeking to purchase ten diamonds and identifying the pickup
person as "Dianna Mendesh." The male sent a copy of
a fraudulently altered Lithuanian passport, and later that
day, Mendesh arrived at the store to pick up the diamonds.
The store did not provide the diamonds because the funds had
not yet been transferred. On October 24, 2011, $139, 986.03
was transferred from the bank account of another victim to
the store. The victim did not authorize this transfer.
October 20, 2011, a wire transfer for $175, 756.91 was made
from the bank account of another victim to a second jewelry
store located in Manhattan. The victim did not authorize the
transfer. The store had been contacted by an unidentified
male seeking to purchase watches. The wire transfer was made
for the purchase of those watches, and the watches were
picked up by Mendesh, who used a fraudulently altered
October 26, 2011, at a Citibank branch in Manhattan, Mendesh,
purporting to be "Dianna Mendesh, " opened a bank
account using a Lithuanian passport with a false date of
birth. On January 17, 2012, $10, 350 was wire transferred
into this account from another victim's account. The
victim did not authorize the transfer. A total ...