Middleweight boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze is expected to be released from prison next week. Khurtsidze was imprisoned in 2017 for partaking in casino fraud and racketeering charges.
Khurtsidze won the 2011 IBO and 2017 WBO titles before being arrested by federal agents at JFK. The boxer was charged for acting as Shulaya Enterprise, a Russian Mafia gang based in Brooklyn, enforcer.
Other 32 reputed Russian mobsters were also arrested in raids across the country. Among them included Razhden Shulaya, the boss of the gang.
According to prosecutors, Shulaya and Khurtsidze schemed to defraud casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
According to court filings, Shulaya Enterprise obtained electronic devices and software capable of predicting how certain slot machine models work. The secret information was obtained by kidnapping and threatening a software engineer based in Las Vegas in 2014.
Shulaya and Khurtsidze then trained other members of the group on how to execute casino scams using smartphones and software developed by Enterprise.
Furthermore, the syndicate also operated illegal gambling bribery, credit card fraud, cigarette trafficking, and extortion.
Khurtsidze was sentenced based on video evidence which showed him attacking people on Shulaya’s behalf. However, the ten years sentence he received was harsher and more than twice the federal sentencing guidelines.
His lawyers argued that since he was only a member of Shulaya Enterprise, he was not to receive a sentence above the set guideline except for Shulaya.
The Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Khurtsidze’s sentence on 2nd April. The panel of judges noted that the trial judge’s ruling, should not have been influenced by the defendant’s country of origin.