U.S. Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced today that a Latvian woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for her role in a money laundering conspiracy. She was recently extradited from Norway to face federal charges and forfeiture allegations in South Dakota.
Lubova Burkute, 40, was charged on June 17, 2021. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Veronica L. Duffy on March 21, 2022 and pleaded not guilty to the indictment.
The maximum penalty if convicted is up to 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years probation and $100 to the Federal Fund for Victims of Crime. Restitution and confiscation can also be ordered.
According to the indictment, circa 2015 and continuing through 2021, Burkute conspired and conspired with others to knowingly conduct and attempt to conduct financial transactions affecting interstate and foreign commerce. Specifically, Burkute and his co-conspirators engaged in the deposit, transfer, remittance, and withdrawal of U.S. currency, foreign currency, and funds from financial institutions, which involved the proceeds of specified illegal activities – the electronic fraud. Burkute and his co-conspirators knew that the transactions were designed in whole or in part to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership or control of the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme. While conducting and attempting to conduct such financial transactions, it is alleged that Burkute knew that the property involved in the financial transactions represented the proceeds of some form of illegal activity. Burkute resided and operated from Norway, among other places she is a citizen of Latvia.
The accusation is just an accusation and Burkute is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The survey is being conducted by the following organizations:
– Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation;
– Federal Bureau of Investigation;
– ØKOKRIM, the Norwegian National Authority for Prosecuting and Investigating Economic and Environmental Crimes, Oslo, Norway;
– Oslo, Norway, Police Department;
– Office of International Affairs of the Ministry of Justice; and
– South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy R. Jehangiri and Ann M. Hoffman are prosecuting the case.
Burkute was taken into the custody of the US Marshals Service pending further proceedings and a trial. A trial date of May 31, 2022 has been set.