SACRAMENTO – On June 14, 2019, Atir Dadon, 34, of Sherman Oaks, was sentenced to 22 months in prison for conspiring to launder the cash proceeds of an illegal gambling business run by Orel Gohar, 28, of San Francisco, and Yaniv Gohar, 35 of Berkeley. The illegal gambling business consisted of video slot machines placed and maintained in businesses in Northern California.
“This investigation by California Department of Justice Bureau of Gambling Control special agents and FBI agents put a stop to an illegal gambling business in Northern California,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “This type of illegal activity in businesses such as smoke shops and convenience stores can attract a criminal element and other illegal activity that degrade neighborhoods.”
According to court documents, between October 2016 and November 2017, Dadon conspired to launder money with Orel Gohar and Bar Shani, 27, of San Francisco. They agreed that Shani and Dadon would take the cash from the gambling business and use it to pay the workers in their cosmetics business. In exchange, Shani and Dadon would arrange for Orel Gohar to receive checks from the cosmetics business. Dadon indicated in the memo lines on the checks that Orel Gohar had provided consulting and training services when in fact, he had not. They used code words in their conversations about the transactions, referring to the money as bottles of alcohol or other non-cash items. Shani and Dadon laundered more than $150,000 from the Gohars’ gambling business. Shani pleaded guilty on April 26.
According to court documents, between January 2015 and December 2017, Adam Atari, 35, of Sherman Oaks conspired to launder money with Orel Gohar and Yaniv Gohar. They agreed that the Gohars would use cash from the gambling business to pay Atari’s employees in his home improvement and construction businesses. In exchange, Atari would send checks and electronic transfers from his businesses to Yaniv Gohar. Atari laundered approximately $490,000 from the Gohars’ gambling business. To cover up his money laundering, Atari lied to the FBI and directed his employees to lie to the FBI about the nature of his transactions with the Gohars. Atari pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money on June 14, 2019.
Yaniv Gohar and Orel Gohar fled the United States upon their release in December 2017 and remain at large. Anyone with information about their whereabouts should call the FBI at (916) 746-7000.
Charges are pending against co-defendants Raz Razla, 48, of Sherman Oaks, and Eran Buhbut, 33, of Oakland.
Atari is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30, 2019. He faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved, whichever is greater.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control.