Skip to content

Jail for Elite Gallery Owner Helly Nahmad for Operating an Illegal Gambling Ring

April 16, 2013
Federal agents removed computers from the Helly Nahmad Gallery located inside the Carlyle Hotel on Tuesday.

Federal agents removed computers from the Helly Nahmad Gallery located inside the Carlyle Hotel on Tuesday.

UPDATE 3: APRIL 30, 2014 – Art dealer Helly Namad has been sentenced to a year and a day in jail for operating an illegal gambling ring, according to The Art Newspaper. The article also says: “Judge Jesse Furman, who presided over the sentencing, also ordered Nahmad to three years probation, 300 hours of community service, a $30,000 fine and drug testing following his release.” 

Perhaps most damning:

After reading 65 letters send on the defence’s behalf, written largely by art world insiders, [the judge] noted that “not a single letter attested to good works Mr Nahmad has done for those less fortunate that him. That, to me, is incredibly revealing”. He added that accepting the proposal would have allowed “his family’s wealth to bail him out,” which “would not encourage respect for the law”.

UPDATE 2: Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, has announced that Helly Nahmad he entered a plea of guilty. According to their press release:

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Helly Nahmad headed an illegal sports gambling business with ties to a Russian-American organized crime ring. Nahmad bet that he would never get caught and he lost. His guilty plea today has dealt a substantial blow to this international enterprise.”

In addition:

NAHMAD, 35, of New York, New York, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and three years of supervised release. As part of his plea agreement, NAHMAD agreed to forfeit $6,427,000.00 and all right, title and interest of the defendant in the painting Carnaval à Nice, 1937 by Raoul Dufy to the United States. NAHMAD is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Furman on March 19, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

Save the date.

UPDATE 1: Bloomberg’s Katya Kazakina reports the Helly Nahmad Gallery has reopened following Nahmad’s April 16 indictment and subsequent arrest for his part in an illegal gambling and money laundering operation:

Hilel Nahmad, 34, known as Helly, was charged April 16 by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara with racketeering, money- laundering conspiracy and other charges. Nahmad was among 34 people charged with operating two overlapping gambling rings.

“We do not believe that Mr. Nahmad knowingly violated the law and we anticipate that he will be fully exonerated,” Benjamin Brafman, Nahmad’s co-counsel, said in an e-mailed statement. “This case will not in any way impact the continued lawful operation of the Nahmad Gallery.”

ORIGINAL REPORT: The New York Times and Forbes reported this shocker – the Helly Nahmad Gallery on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side was raided this morning as part of an investigation into illegal gambling and money laundering … and then there’s the Russian mob dimension. According to Forbes:

As part of a massive case against illegal gambling rings operating by Russian organized crime, FBI agents made arrests at numerous locations in New York and elsewhere in the U.S. this morning.   And the famed Helly Nahmad Gallery on Madison Avenue, a longtime tenant of the luxury Carlyle Hotel, was among them.

The Nahmad family is one of the richest and most powerful art-dealing dynasties in the world.   Forbes estimated the family’s fortune at $1.75 billion as of last month (down from $3 billion in 2011).

Billionaire Helly Nahmad (photo: Getty Images)

Billionaire Helly Nahmad (photo: Getty Images)

According to the New York Times:

During the raid, which began early Tuesday morning, agents executed a search warrant at the Helly Nahmad gallery, which is inside the Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue and is owned by one of the men charged in the case, the people said. The owner of the gallery was one of those arrested, the people said.

The Nahmad family members, Lebanese art dealers with galleries in New York and London, are well-known and powerful players in the art world. In recent years, they have been among some of the most prolific buyers at high-end auctions around the globe, buying and selling millions of dollars of art.

Most of the defendants in the case were arrested in New York, but among those charged were people who live in Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and elsewhere. The charges include gambling and money laundering.

Two men arrested on Tuesday as part of the investigation were Anatoly Shteyngrob and, back, a smiling Anatoly Golubchik.

Two men arrested on Tuesday as part of the investigation were Anatoly Shteyngrob and, back, a smiling Anatoly Golubchik.

The case features a wide cast of characters, including a man described as a Russian gangster accused of trying to rig Winter Olympic skating competitions in Salt Lake City and a woman who once organized high-stakes poker games for some of Hollywood’s most famous faces. In all, 34 people were charged on Tuesday with playing a part in what federal prosecutors described as two separate but interconnected criminal groups — one operating overseas and the other in the United States. Together, they are accused of laundering more than $100 million in gambling money.

Here’s a portion of the complete indictment:

COUNT THREE

(Racketeering Conspiracy: Nahrnad-Trincher Organization)

The Grand Jury further charges:

The Enterprise

25. At all times relevant to this Indictment, ILLYA

TRINCHER, HILLEL NAHMAD, a/k/a “Helly,” NOAH SIEGEL, a/k/a “The

Oracle,” JOHN HANSON, JONATHAN HIRSCH, ARTHUR AZEN, and DONALD

MCCALMONT, the defendants, and others known and unknown, were

members and associates of the “Nahmad-Trincher Organization.”

The Nahmad-Trincher Organization was a criminal organization

whose members and associates engaged in crimes, including

conducting an illegal gambling business, money laundering, and

extortion.

26. The Nahmad-Trincher Organization, including its

leadership, membership, and associates, constituted an

“enterprise,” as that term is defined in Title 18, United States

Code, Section 1961(4) — that is, a group of individuals

associated in fact. This enterprise was engaged in, and its

activities affected, interstate and foreign commerce. The

Nahmad-Trincher Organization was an organized crime group with

leadership based in New York City and Los Angeles, and that

operated throughout the United States, including in the Southern

District of New York, and internationally. The Nahmad-Trincher

Organization constituted an ongoing organization whose members

functioned as a continuing unit for a common purpose of

achieving the objectives of the enterprise.

27. The criminal conduct of the Nahmad-Trincher

Organization was directed principally, though not exclusively,

by its leaders: ILLYA TRINCHER, son of VADIM TRINCHER, a/k/a

“Dima,” HILLEL NAHMAD, a/k/a “Helly,” and NOAH SIEGEL, a/k/a

“The Oracle,” the defendants, who were based in New York City.

ILLYA TRINCHER, NAHMAD, and SIEGEL worked together to lead

multiple related criminal ventures including an illegal gambling

business, money laundering, and other crimes. TRINCHER, NAHMAD,

and SIEGEL were assisted by numerous criminal partners and

associates throughout the United States, Europe, and elsewhere.

28. The Nahmad-Trincher Organization was a highstakes

illegal gambling business run out of New York City and

Los Angeles that catered primarily to multi-millionaire and

billionaire clients. The Nahmad-Trincher Organization used

online gambling websites, operating illegally in the United

States, to operate an illegal gambling business that generated

tens of millions of dollars in bets each year.

29. The Nahmad-Trincher Organization laundered the

proceeds of the gambling operation through a host of American

bank accounts and Titan P & H LLC (“Titan”), a plumbing company

in the Bronx that the Nahmad-Trincher Organization acquired a

fifty percent interest in as repayment of a gambling debt.

30. The Nahmad-Trincher Organization was financed by

a number of different individuals and entities, including the

Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York City, an art gallery operated

by HILLEL NAHMAD, a/k/a “Helly,” the defendant, in the Carlyle

Hotel in New York City; NAHMAD’s father, a billionaire art

dealer located in Europe; and JH Capital Inc., an investment

firm run by JOHN HANSON, the defendant.

The Defendants

31. ILLYA TRINCHER, the defendant, was a participant

in the enterprise, the Nahmad-Trincher Organization, and was a

leader of the enterprise. In that capacity, TRINCHER

participated in and profited from various crimes, which he

committed along with other members and associates of the NahmadTrincher

Organization. Among other things, TRINCHER oversaw a

high-stakes illegal gambling business.

32. HILLEL NAHMAD, a/k/a “Helly,” the defendant, was

a participant in the enterprise, the Nahmad-Trincher

Organization, and was a leader of the enterprise. In that

capacity, NAHMAD participated in and profited from various

crimes, which he committed along with other members and

associates of the Nahmad-Trincher Organization. Among other

things, NAMHAD worked with TRINCHER to launder tens of millions

of dollars on behalf of the illegal gambling business.

33. NOAH SIEGEL, a/k/a “The Oracle,” the defendant,

was a participant in the enterprise, the Nahmad-Trincher

Organization, and was a leader of the enterprise. In that

capacity, SIEGEL participated in and profited from various

crimes, which he committed along with other members and

associates of the Nahmad-Trincher Organization. Among other

things, SIEGEL worked with TRINCHER to oversee a high-stakes

illegal gambling business.

34. JOHN HANSON, ARTHUR AZEN, JOHN HIRSCH, and DON

MCCALMONT, the defendants, were also participants in the

enterprise, the Nahmad-Trincher Organization. In this capacity,

these defendants participated in and profited from various

crimes, including operating an illegal gambling business and

money laundering, which they committed along with other members

and associates of the Nahmad-Trincher Organization.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: