9/7/2018 10:46:49 PM

Georgian fighter Khurtsidze jailed for 10 years

Georgian fighter Khurtsidze jailed for 10 years

New York, United States: Former interim middleweight world champion Avtandil Khurtsidze was jailed for 10 years on Friday by a federal court in New York following charges of racketeering an fraud conspiracy, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors described the 38-year-old Georgian boxer as a "heavyweight enforcer" for the Shulaya Enterprise, a wide-ranging criminal syndicate which emerged in the former Soviet Union.

"Thanks to our dedicated law enforcement partners around the globe, Khurtsidze's reign of extortion and violence has been halted," US attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement.

Indictments filed in federal court in Manhattan said Khurtsidze worked for a crime boss identified as Razhden Shulaya.

Shulaya's syndicate was involved in a wide range of criminal activities, a statement said, including violence, extortion, the operation of illegal gambling businesses, fraud on various casinos, identity theft, credit card frauds, trafficking stolen goods and money laundering.

A statement from the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York said Khurtsidze was twice captured on video carrying out assaults.

He was also accused of involvement in a sophisticated scheme to cheat casino slot machines using a complicated algorithm which had been designed to predict the behaviour of the machines.

Prosecutors said Shulaya had acquired the technology to defraud the slot machines after kidnapping a software engineer in Las Vegas.

Khurtsidze had been set for a big-money fight with Britain's Billy Joe Saunders last year before plans for the bout were put on ice following the Georgian fighter's criminal case in New York.

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