Orlando Steel Company Owner Convicted for Illicit $150 Million Payment to Russian Oligarch : Report

Orlando Steel Company Owner Convicted in $150 Million Illicit Payment Case to Russian Oligarch - Get the Latest Updates on this High-Profile Legal Battle.

The proprietor of an Orlando Steel Company has admitted to being guilty of buying steelmaking materials valued at $150 million from a Russian oligarch who is under sanctions, jeopardising national security.

In a recent development, John Can Unsalan entered a guilty plea on Tuesday, October 3, acknowledging his involvement in a conspiracy related to money laundering. Unsalan openly confessed that his firm, Metalhouse, was responsible for acquiring metal products worth more than $150 million from enterprises owned by Sergey Kurchenko, a Russian oligarch who had previously faced sanctions imposed by the United States government.

Orlando Steel Company
Orlando Steel Company

In 2015, Kurchenko faced sanctions from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control due to his involvement in the improper appropriation of Ukraine’s state assets.

In a development within the realm of sanctions, it was reported that two companies belonging to Kurchenko, namely Kompaniya Gaz-Alyans, OOO located in Russia, and ZAO Vneshotorgservis situated in the Russian-occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia, came under sanctions in 2018. These punitive measures were imposed due to their alleged involvement in acting on behalf of and offering material support to the self-declared entities known as the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic,” which operate in the separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. This information has been disclosed in an indictment.

Orlando Steel Company Owner Convicted for Illicit $150 Million Payment
Orlando Steel Company Owner Convicted for Illicit $150 Million Payment

Based on official court documents, from July 2018 to October 2021, Unsalan and his Orlando Steel company, situated at 4705 S Apopka Vineland Road, sent more than $150 million to Kurchenko and his enterprises in exchange for metal goods utilized in the steel production process.

In April, Unsalan was formally charged by a grand jury with one charge of conspiring to breach and avoid U.S. sanctions, along with 10 charges of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and another 10 charges related to international money laundering, among various other allegations.

As a component of his admission of guilt, Unsalan consented to surrender $160,416,948.56 in earnings he acquired through the conspiracy. In exchange, the government agreed to drop the remaining charges listed in the indictment.

Unsalan currently confronts the possibility of receiving a maximum prison term of 20 years, with no specific date set for the sentencing.

As per official court documents, Sergey Karpushkin, an accomplice in the case, has also admitted guilt and consented to surrender more than $4.7 million obtained from criminal activities.

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