Sunday, October 3, 2010

Eurasian syndicates target car dealers, credit cards in Las Vegas

FBI agents knew from the moment they began investigating Dimitar Dimitrov that he was not a typical criminal. In secretly recorded conversations, they overheard the Bulgarian-born Dimitrov threaten to cut off the ears of a former associate and use them as cigarette holders. He also suggested tying a witness to a tree, pouring gasoline over him and then standing nearby with cigarettes and a lighter.

Agents believe Dimitrov, a 58-year-old felon, is one of the leaders of a Bulgarian crime ring that defrauded local car dealers out of $1.6 million through an elaborate credit scheme and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars more from ATMs with the help of stolen PINs. This is the new organized crime in Las Vegas, where running numbers and hustling high-interest loans on the street take a back seat to the art of the high-tech scam.

The new organized crime is close-knit and mobile with international connections, especially to mobsters in Eastern Europe and countries that made up the former Soviet Union. Like the traditional Mafia that once ruled the streets of Las Vegas, these groups are capable of violence. But they would rather spend their time reaping the rewards of swiping stolen credit cards on the Strip or using their knowledge of technology to stay ahead of authorities on the computer-assisted crime circuit.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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