Mall kiosk business owner pleads guilty to money laundering, immigration charges

Omer Gur

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Raleigh, North Carolina man pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges in connection to his leading a visa fraud conspiracy, which involved more than 140 foreign workers from Israel.

Court documents say Omer Gur admitted to operating several business entities, known collectively as RASKO, from 2012 through 2014.

During that time, prosecutors say he and other co-conspirators illegally induced and recruited foreign nationals to enter the U.S. from Israel on B-2 visitor visas for work purposes. Gur and the co-conspirators would then put them to work at a kiosk businesses in malls in the Hampton Roads area, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The kiosks sold Dead Sea Salt products.

Gur and the others paid for the employees travel to the U.S., housed workers in leased apartments, took them to work locations and paid them in cash, wire transfers and gift cards in order to avoid having to report workers and their earnings to employment and taxing authorities.

From 2012 through 2014, RASKO earned over $14 million through its kiosk based sales.

To date, nine of the ten charged defendants in the case have been arrested. Eight were in the United States and one was recently extradited from Romania. Gur is the fourth defendant to enter a plea of guilty.

Gur faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and will be sentenced on October 27.

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