Las Vegas Sun

November 27, 2014

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4 accused of trying to extort former business partners

Four men were charged last week with attempting to extort money from two former business partners following a dispute over the ownership of a beauty products business that operated in kiosks at Las Vegas-area casinos and shopping malls, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said today.

Moshe Barmuha, 37, of Studio City, Calif., Yakov Cohen, 24, of Las Vegas, and Ruslan Magomedgadzhiev, 30, and Murad Magomedgadzhiev, 26, both of Tarzana, Calif., were charged in an indictment that was unsealed Friday.

They were charged with attempted interference with commerce by threats and violence, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence, and interstate and foreign travel in aid of racketeering enterprises. They are in federal custody in Las Vegas and are scheduled for trial beginning June 21.

If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison.

According to court records, from September to April 5, the defendants allegedly conspired and attempted to extort money from two men, identified in the indictment as "M.O." and "M.K.," through force, violence and fear. In July 2007, M.O. and M.K. operated several kiosks in Las Vegas-area casinos and shopping malls at which they sold electronic products such as hands-free microphones. In early 2008, M.O. and M.K. began expanding their business to include retail women’s cosmetics and skin care products, and entered into a partnership with Cohen, a competitor who also operated kiosks in Las Vegas-area casinos and malls.

During the next year, the men got into a business dispute. M.O. and M.K. alleged that they terminated their business relationship with Cohen because he was stealing from them. Following this dispute, the defendants allegedly began threatening M.O. and M.K. and attempted to extort money from them. Barmuha is accused of traveling from California to Nevada on about Sept. 12 2009 to threaten M.O. and M.K. and to aid others who had threatened them. In Also in September, Barmuha allegedly participated in a three-way telephone conversation with Cohen and M.O. to threaten M.O.

On about Oct. 19, Cohen allegedly traveled from Nevada to California to meet Barmuha and to threaten M.K. On Jan. 8, Ruslan and Murad Magomedgadzhiev also allegedly traveled from California to Nevada and physically assaulted M.K. while he was walking to his vehicle, which was parked near his residence in Las Vegas.

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Metro Police, FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Los Angeles Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Frayn.

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