An affair, a murder plot and a bribe. FBI revelations in North Raleigh lead to an arrest.
A man whose North Raleigh home was raided by the FBI this month is accused of money laundering, plotting a murder-for-hire and defrauding the Russian government out of tens of millions of dollars.
Leonid Teyf, 57, faces a slew of federal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh. Investigators say he conspired to launder money with his wife, Tatyana Teyf, 41, and Alexsy Timofeev, a Russian citizen who lives in Illinois.
Three other people face federal charges in connection with the case, which gained attention Dec. 5 when the FBI raided the Teyf couple’s home, valued at nearly $5 million, on New Market Way.
Last week, John Patrick Cotter was charged with attempted bribery after giving a Department of Homeland Security agent $10,000 in exchange for a promise that a man suspected of having an affair with Tatyana Teyf would be deported to Russia, according to court records.
Leonid Teyf believed that his wife had an affair with the man, who is the son of the the family’s former housekeeper, court documents show.
Leonid and Tatyana Teyf have also been charged along with Timofeev’s wife, Olesya Yuryneva Timofeeva, 41, with “conspiring, and aiding and abetting one another” to encourage people to enter the United State illegally, according to a news release.
A fifth person, Alexi Polyakov, 40, who lives in Raleigh, has been charged with attempting to obtain naturalization through false statements.
Prosecutors say that between 2010 and 2012, Leonid Teyf was the deputy director of Voentorg, a company that had contracted with Russia’s Ministry of Defense to provide the Russian military with goods and services.
Federal agents say Leonid Teyf devised a kickback scheme involving subcontractors working with the Russian government.
The illegal kickbacks were paid in cash and totaled more than $150 million over a two-year period, investigators say.
Some of the money was paid to others involved in the scheme and a portion of the cash was placed in accounts under Leonid Teyf’s control in Russia and in the United States.
Investigators also found that Leonid and Tatyana Teyf opened at least 70 financial accounts at four banking institutions in their own names, as well as in the names of businesses under their control.
Leonid Teyf and others also received at least 294 wires that totaled nearly $40 million in four accounts in Leonid Teyf’s name and the names of co-conspirators at Bank of America, according to the indictment.
According to court records from Cotter’s arrest, Teyf told a “confidential” source starting in February that he wanted to pay someone to get his former housekeeper’s son to admit to an alleged affair with Tatyana Teyf and then kill him, according to the FBI. The plan eventually evolved into one that involved getting the son sent back to Russia, where he would likely be killed.
In March, the FBI found the son, identified only by initials in court documents, in Cleveland, Ohio. Agents “offered protection and sought his cooperation,” but the man declined, records show.
Cotter, described by the FBI as “a long-time friend and business partner with Teyf,” met twice with a Department of Homeland Security agent in Atlanta last spring, according to records. Cotter reportedly told the agent that the housekeeper’s son was involved in a “fraudulent marriage.”
Cotter and Teyf also met with a Department of Homeland Security agent at a North Raleigh restaurant in May, according to court records. Cotter, acting as an interpreter for Teyf, suggested that Teyf “could provide a boat, vehicle or cash as an incentive” to investigate the housekeeper’s son.
Cotter and Teyf agreed to give the agent $25,000, with a down payment of $10,000, according to the FBI.
The agent met with Cotter and Teyf a few other times, records show — at a tavern and a brewery in Cary and a Sheetz store in Morrisville. The FBI recorded those meetings, court papers said.
Records were filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, which includes Wake County.
The documents don’t reveal Cotter’s age or where he lives.