DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Douglas County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday seven people were arrested in connection with a mass money laundering scheme.
During a press conference, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock called this incident "one of the largest in recorded money laundering operations in the history of the state of Colorado."
Multiple Colorado law enforcement agencies partnered with the targeted retail companies in 2019 to build a case on the reported mass thefts.
The major retailers included:
- Home Depot
- King Soopers
- Vitamin Cottage
- Whole Foods
Spurlock said the crimes affected stores between Pueblo and Cheyenne, and Frisco and Burlington. The retailers gave investigators the ID numbers of the stolen items, which helped identify where the items were stolen and where they were being shipped.
According to Spurlock, the stolen items had high-end value and included vitamins, cosmetics, birth control, and tools. The items were sold online.
During the investigation, authorities found more than $100,000 in gold, roughly 80 lbs. in silver, $108,000 in cash, numerous cell phones, and nine stolen generators.
Spurlock said they recovered $1.7 million worth of products, however, the estimated total loss of stolen items is $5.2 million.
Spurlock said all suspects came from outside the US, mainly from eastern European countries. However, they were in the country legally.
Spurlock says these seven suspects would bring people from overseas who helped with the money laundering. At this time, they say others are involved, however, the seven people indicted are believed to be the key players and leaders.
Our Denver affiliate 9News says the seven suspects face 78 charges, ranging from money laundering to illegal mailing of contraband through the U.S. Postal Service.
Those suspects have been identified as:
- Dziyana Altshuler
- Ilona Nastas
- Grigore Tataru
- Evgeny Shadrin
- Ivan Biazliudau
- Dzianis Artyushkevich
- Dmitry Altshuler
Watch the full press conference below: