Andover Couple Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
As part of an investigation into an international reshipment scheme, an Andover couple have pleaded guilty to charges of Tax Evasion and Wilful Failure to File Tax Returns.
In early October 2015, the Andover Police received reports from Andover residents of identity theft and stolen credit card information being used to make fraudulent purchases from online retailers. The investigation revealed that goods obtained through a number of fraudulent purchases were being shipped to an Andover residence, which was the principal office of an international reshipment enterprise known as UNEOL, operated by Anastasia Bulavchenko. This reshipment enterprise would receive packages on behalf of persons located in other countries, who lacked a U.S. based address necessary for certain online purchases. The persons located in other countries would provide the Andover residence as the shipping address for their online purchases. UNEOL would receive the packages, and then reship the packages to the person overseas. Those persons would pay a fee for the UNEOL services, which included receiving telephone calls and other aspects of the transactions that required a U.S.-based presence. The majority of the online retailers do not directly ship to other countries and would not have engaged in the transactions had the true international nature of the purchaser been revealed or international destination of the shipment been known. The reshipment service provided by UNEOL LLC facilitated the commission of identity theft and credit card fraud by individuals located overseas, who required a U.S.-based address to complete the online transactions.
The investigation conducted by Andover Police, the FBI, and Massachusetts State Police revealed an extensive warehouse for UNEOL located within the Andover residence. Over 700 packages destined for reshipment overseas were seized during the execution of a search warrant in January 2016. The investigation also revealed that the couple residing at the Andover residence, Anastasia Bulavchenko, 45, and Sergey Bulavchenko, 48, had not filed or paid Massachusetts state income taxes for the tax years of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, despite operating UNEOL during this period, and reporting an adjusted gross income of over $90,000 in the tax years of 2012, and 2013.
On December 12, 2015, an Essex County Grand Jury returned indictments charging: Anastasia Bulavchenko with Tax Evasion, Wilful Failure to File Tax Returns, Receiving Stolen Property Valued Over $250, and Money Laundering; Sergey Bulavchenko with Tax Evasion and Wilful Failure to File Tax Returns; and UNEOL LLC with Money Laundering, Receiving Stolen Property Valued Over $250.
Anastasia Bulavchenko, and Sergey Bulavchenko, have both since pleaded guilty to Tax Evasion and Wilful Failure to File Tax Return in Salem Superior Court. Judge James Lang accepted the pleas of guilty for Anastasia Bulavchenko on January 10, 2017, and Sergey Bulavchenko today, February 10, 2017. In consideration for their guilty pleas, the Commonwealth agreed to dismiss charges of Money Laundering and Receiving Stolen Property against Anastasia Bulavchenko and agreed that both defendants would be placed on probation for a period of two years. As part of their conditions of probation, both defendants agreed to not operate the UNEOL LLC reshipment business, or operate any similar reshipment business. The UNEOL enterprise is no longer in operation and has since been dissolved as part of the plea agreement. The Bulavchenkos are expected to reside in Russia for the duration of their probation.
The cases were prosecuted by Essex County ADA Philip Mallard. The investigation was led by Detective Kevin Aufiero of the Andover Police, Special Agent Laurence Travaglia of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Lowell Resident Agency, Trooper Steven Buccheri of the Massachusetts State Police assigned the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, and Troopers assigned to the Computer Crimes Unit of the Massachusetts State Police. Investigative support was provided by the United States Postal Inspector’s Office.
Anastasia Bulavchenko and Sergey Bulavchenko were represented by Attorney Alexander Shapoval.