Owner of Virginia mall kiosk business sentenced for immigration, money laundering crimes

Posted at 2:43 PM, Feb 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-26 14:43:10-05
Eyal Katz

Eyal Katz

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Eyal Katz was sentenced February 23 to seven years in prison for his role in an immigration fraud and money laundering scheme. Katz, 38, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, a $20,000 fine and ordered to forfeit certain property.

According to the Department of Justice, Katz, a citizen of Israel, was working from an office in Tel Aviv, Israel.

A statement of facts says Katz would identify, recruit and send foreign nationals from Israel to the United States on B-2 visitor visas. Once those foreign nationals were in the United States, they would be sent to work for on of several business entities, known generally as RASKO, a mall-based kiosk business in Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey thorough which they sold Dead Sea Salt products.

Katz and his co-conspirators provided housing and transportation to the foreign nationals, according to the statement of facts.

From 2011 through the present, the conspirators, led by Omer Gur in the United States and Katz in Israel, recruited over 140 foreign nationals from Israel to work at the kiosks, which was a violation of the workers’ B-2 visitor visa status.

From 2012 through 2014, RASKO received over $14 million through its kiosk based sales.  Several million dollars from these sales were then routed to Israel-based accounts, including accounts controlled by Katz, and spent on lodging, travel, kiosk rentals and other expenses of the scheme, according to documents.

To date, nine of the 10 charged defendants in the case have been arrested.  Katz is the ninth defendant to plead guilty.