Leonid Teyf case: Federal documents highlight alleged money laundering of north Raleigh resident

April 8, 2019

Newly obtained federal court documents are shedding new light on an international money laundering and murder for hire case involving Russian nationals living in Raleigh.

The previously sealed application for a search warrant, as well as a Homeland Security debriefing paper, offer more insight into the case, including a confidential source’s role in the investigation.

Leonid and Tatyana Teyf were arrested in December after federal agents raided their $4.5 million home in north Raleigh.

According to the Homeland Security report, one of the government’s key sources worked security for Leonid Teyf in Russia.

That informant told agents he hand delivered three large shipments of cash to a Russian defense minister in a kickback scheme involving the Russian military and one of Teyf’s companies.

That same source says Teyf also ordered him to offer a $400,000 bribe to Russian investigators once they started looking into the scheme to defraud the government.

Investigators say Teyf profited off the $150 million kickback scheme and used multiple offshore bank accounts and foreign shell companies to launder the money to his U.S.-based bank accounts.

The confident source described Teyf as “cunning” and said he routinely would use a cell phone one day before getting a new one.

The source also says Teyf was “computer illiterate” and ordered the source to handle his emails, many of which included large monetary transactions involving foreign banks. Since December 2010, the Teyfs opened at least 70 financial accounts at four different banks, and wire transfers show money coming into the couple’s bank accounts from countries known to launder money, including Belize, the British Virgin Islands, Panama and the Seychelles. Investigators said the Teyfs bought hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of luxury cars and more than $2.5 million worth of art.

Teyf, his wife Tatyana, and four others are charged in the case involving murder for hire, bribery, money laundering and violation of immigration laws.

Leonid Teyf remains in jail without bond. Tatyana Teyf was released from jail without bond last month.

Trial dates have not been set for any of the defendants while federal courts deal with several defense motions, including requests for the Teyfs to turn over more information about foreign banks accounts.

The defense argues turning over that information could violate the Teyfs rights, because those records could be used by prosecutors.