33 Charged with Stealing Chocolate, Other Crimes
United States officials have accused 33 people of criminal activity, including stealing 4,500 kilograms of chocolate and a "murder for hire" plot.
Murder for hire is when someone offers to pay an individual to kill another person.
Federal law enforcement officials in New York City announced the charges last week.
All those charged have ties to a Russian-organized crime group that operated throughout the United States, said Joon Kim. He is the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
William Sweeney Jr. is with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. He said that the 33 people charged in the case tried "to make as much money as possible, all allegedly organized and run by a man who promised to protect them."
"But that protection didn't include escaping justice," Sweeney added.
Kim said the 33 defendants are accused of what he called a "dizzying" number of crimes. He said the Russian criminal group is known as Shulaya Enterprises.
The charges include stealing a shipment of 4,500 kilograms of chocolate. That is equal to over 80,000 candy bars.
Another reported crime involved a female member of Shulaya Enterprises. She would "seduce" men, suggesting a love interest, and then use a gas to put them to sleep -- before stealing their money.
The "murder for hire" effort, the government said, involved an offer to kill someone in exchange for money.
Other crimes were transportation and sale of untaxed cigarettes, plans to pay bribes to law enforcement officials and efforts to cheat casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The casino fraud case involved the use of electronics and computers to predict when and which electronic slot machines would pay off prize money, the government said.
Shulaya Enterprises members used code words to communicate to each other -- to make it more difficult for the government to listen to their discussions, the government said.
The defendants were mostly born in the former Soviet Union and had strong ties to Ukraine, Georgia and Russia, the government said.
Acting U.S. Attorney Kim said the crimes were carried out throughout the United States.
In the American justice system, a judge or jury of people decide if a defendant charged with a crime is guilty or not guilty. If the person is found guilty, a judge will decide what the punishment will be, including time in prison and financial fines.
I'm Phil Dierking.
1.murder for hire 雇凶杀人
The jury that convicted her on four counts, including murder for hire.
2.be found guilty 被判有罪
They were found guilty of murder
3.slot machines 老虎机
This entertainment device is somewhat similar to slot machines in casinos.
4.prize money 奖金
An anonymous benefactor stepped in to provide the prize money.
1.The casino fraud case involved the use of electronics and computers to predict when and which electronic slot machines would pay off prize money, the government said.
pay off 付清钱款；报复
It would take him the rest of his life to pay off that loan.
Sandra was determined to become a doctor and her persistence paid off.
2.The defendants were mostly born in the former Soviet Union and had strong ties to Ukraine, Georgia and Russia, the government said.
had strong ties to 与...有颇深的渊源
Athens had strong ties to the Arab world.
I have very strong ties to the students at various schools, whether it’s in the U.S. or now in Asia.
金俊（Joon Kim）表示，所有被指控者都与一个俄罗斯组织的在美犯罪团伙有关 。金俊是纽约南区的美国代理律师 。
小威廉·斯威尼（William Sweeney）在美国联邦调查局任职 。他表示，涉案的33人“想法设法地筹集资金，据称，这些人都是由一位承诺保护他们的人所组织和管理的 。”
金俊指出，这33名被告的犯罪事实“令人眼花缭乱” 。他说，这个俄罗斯犯罪组织名为Shulaya Enterprise 。
指控罪名包括盗窃了一批约4500公斤的巧克力 。相当于80000多颗糖果 。
据称，Shulaya组织的一名女性成员还面临着另一项指控 。她“色诱”男性，假意向对方示爱，然后利用一种气体迷晕对方，盗取财物 。
根据美国司法体制，法官或陪审团有权决定被告有罪或是无罪 。如果被判有罪，法官将决定处罚力度，包括监禁时间和罚款金额 。