Ex-world champion boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze sentenced to 10 years in US for participating in OCG
Georgian citizen Khurtsidze was not able to confirm his world title after missing the fight with Billy Joe Saunders, since he was already under arrest.
Friday, September 7, the Federal Court of Manhattan sentenced the famous Georgian boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze to 10 years’ imprisonment. This is reported by The CrimeRussia’s source in the courtroom.
Former world champion boxer who held the interim WBO middleweight title and IBO World Champion 2011 had been previously found guilty of participating in the syndicate of thief in law Razhden Shulaya (Razhden Pitersky, Roma, Brat), in which he served as a man of muscle, the FBI and US Attorney's Office believe.
Avtandil Khurtsidze was arrested in June 2017 along with Razhden Shulaya and twenty-five more defendants in the case of the syndicate. Apart from him, another infamous Georgian athlete – MMA fighter Levan Makashvili – ended up arrested; however, he was then released on bail.
In March of 2018, Khurtsidze was denied a release on bail. The Court found that the famous boxer, whose US visa had expired by the time, could leave the United States if released.
It was previously reported that there was a video in the criminal case materials showing Avtandil Khurtsidze (Chakucha) beating an FBI informant. The CrimeRussia previously wrote in detail about the circumstances of this episode.
Prior to his arrest, the Georgian boxer held the interim WBO middleweight title. In London in July 2017, he was to fight with British boxer Billy Joe Saunders to become World Champion. The bout was canceled in connection with Khurtsidze’s arrest. After that, WBO deprived the athlete of his title.
The investigation believes that the crime group, which was engaged in giving bribes, gambling, and hired killings, had been established by thief in law Razhden Shulaya in the US.
According to the investigation, the group organized underground poker clubs in Brighton Beach, New York, where immigrants from the USSR mainly lived, and debtors were forcibly involved in the group’s activities.
In addition, the OCG members tried to hack casino systems in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to reprogram slot machines. Moreover, the investigation accuses the defendants in the case in an attempt to open a nightclub and sell drugs in it, as well as in the abduction of trade cargo, in particular, a 5-ton consignment of confectionery.
During the trial, the majority of the defendants made a plea deal with the investigation. Khurtsidze and Razhden Shulaya did not plead guilty. Khurtsidze's verdict is to be delivered at the end of September.