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CASE NAME:United States v. Aleksandr Maksimenko
ALL PLAINTIFFS:United States
ALL DEFENDANTS:Aleksandr Maksimenko, Michael Aronov, Valentina Maksimenko, Anna Gonikman-Starchenko, Niki Papoutsaki, Veniamin Gonikman, Duay Jado
CITATION:
DOCKET NUMBER:05-80187
SOURCE:DOJ/US Attorney Website or Press Release, Lexis Search, PACER (docket search)
TYPE OF CASE:Criminal
RELATED CASE CITATION:
TYPE OF TRIAL:Judge
TRIAL JUDGE(S):Hon. Victoria A. Roberts
YEAR OF ARREST:2005
YEAR OF VERDICT:2005
TYPE OF COURT:Federal Court
STATE:Michigan
FEDERAL DISTRICT:Eastern District Court
STATE COUNTY:
AGE OF VICTIM(S):Adult
NUMBER OF VICTIMS:2 +
GENDER OF VICTIM(S):Female
VICTIM'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Ukraine
METHOD OF ENTRY INTO THE U.S.:J-1 visa
WAS VICTIM CHARGED WITH A CRIME:No
NUMBER OF DEFENDANT(S):7
GENDER OF DEFENDANT(S):Female and Male
TYPE OF INDUSTRY:Labor
CASE CATEGORIZATION:Strip Club
FIRST CHARGE:Involuntary Servitude
FIRST CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 241
FIRST CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Plea
FIRST CHARGE SENTENCE:
SECOND CHARGE:Alien Smuggling Conspiracy
SECOND CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:8 U.S.C. § 1324
SECOND CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Plea
SECOND CHARGE SENTENCE:
THIRD CHARGE:Money Laundering
THIRD CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1956
THIRD CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Plea
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CORE TERMS:18 U.S.C. § 241; 8 U.S.C. § 1324
SENTENCING OPINION CITATION:
LENGTH OF GREATEST SENTENCE:168 months
RESTITUTION REQUIRED:$1,570,450
FINE IMPOSED:
FORFEITURE IMPOSED:Approximately $530,000 in cash; Approximately $30,000 in property seized.
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APPEAL:
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APPEAL STILL PENDING?:
SUMMARY:

Defendants Maksimenko, Aronov, and Gonikman were the ringleaders in a conspiracy to force Eastern European women to work as exotic dancers in Detroit area strip clubs.  Veniamin Gonikman and hisson, Aleksandr Maksimenko, are naturalized United States citizens.Defendant Aronov is a Lithuanian citizen who formerly resided in the Chicagoarea.

Under the guise of a legitimate business – Beauty Search Inc. – Maksimenko, Aronov and at least 8 other people smuggled victims into the United States. Once in the country, defendants controlled the victims by threats of physical violence, confiscating their passports and other forms of identification, confining victims to their apartments when they were not working, and threatening to turn them over to immigration authorities. The defendants also convinced the victims that they owed large debts for their entrance into the United States. Defendant Maksimenko was further found to have sexually abused two of the women.

The defendants pleaded guilty to involuntary servitude, as well as money laundering and illegal immigration conspiracies.

Defendant Maksimenko was sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment and ordered to pay over $1.5 million in restitution to the women for wages that had been unlawfully withheld by the defendants; more than $560,000 of this restitution was claimed from money and assets seized from Maksimenko's home and safe deposit boxes.

Defendant Gonikman was a fugitive living abroad until late January 2011. His trial is pending.

Approval Status:Approved
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