Three Ukrainians staged a “Hollywood heist” in the United States

Three New Yorkers with dual U.S. and Ukrainian citizenship have been charged with stealing $30 million from foreign banks. It is reported by the Daily Beast, citing the prosecutor’s office.

The indictment states that Val Cooper (Valery Kononenko), 56, Alex Levin, 52, and Harry Smith (Igor Berkovich), 49, stole more than $30 million, jewelry, and gold from March 2015 to October 2019 with their accomplices. Some of the affected banks were in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Northern Macedonia, and France.

“The crimes we’re talking about look like something out of a Hollywood movie script,” the prosecution noted. The suspects opened safety deposit boxes using copies of keys that their accomplices had made. To get into bank premises, they rented safe deposit boxes and photographed the locks of other people’s safes with the help of boroscopes, a device that allows you to examine closed cavities.

Prosecutors believe Cooper is the leader of the criminal group – it is assumed that he laundered the stolen money through his bank accounts in the United States. Levin is considered the buyer of photographic equipment, and Smith – the breaker of safes. In the homes of the suspects were found copies of keys without numbers, cash, jewelry, a horoscope, and a lock from a bank safe.

It is specified that Cooper and Levin have a criminal past. The first was convicted of theft in the Soviet Union in 1986, the second in 1999, received two years in prison for securities fraud.