U.S. Freezes Accounts at Wachovia, Israel Discount Bank and Others Tied to Arms Dealer

By Colby Adams

A New York grand jury Wednesday indicted alleged Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for using shell companies and New York banks to buy planes in violation of U.S. sanctions. Bout and his U.S. partner Richard Chichackli, who supervised Bout's finances, face charges of money laundering and wire fraud for transferring at least $1.7 million through several New York banks and a Salt Lake City bank between June and December 2007 as part of a scheme to buy two Boeing jets from an unnamed Florida aviation company. Using front companies, Bout and Chichackli, a certified public accountant and former fraud examiner,...