U.S. Marshal Don O’Keefe announces the arrest of Samir Azizi by the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
Azizi, 24, a German national, landed at SFO March 31 en route from Dubai, where he was intercepted by Deputy U.S. Marshals and members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. According to a criminal complaint filed in San Jose by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Azizi is wanted in Germany for several financial crimes – 89 counts related to tax evasion – committed between 2008 and 2012, in which Azizi allegedly formed a “gang” for the purpose of setting up 11 companies that primarily dealt in cellular communication and other technologies. The companies allegedly participated in criminal activity including filing false tax forms for the purposes of receiving fraudulent tax returns. The alleged criminal activity resulted in a loss to German tax authorities of more than 61 million euros.
Azizi holds a passport from Afghanistan and is also a legal resident of Germany and the United States. The criminal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California and the ensuing arrest warrant were issued for the purpose of seeking Azizi’s extradition to Germany.
Azizi appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd in San Jose on April 1, at which time he was ordered held without bail and remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Extradition proceedings are currently pending, and a status hearing is scheduled before Judge Lloyd on May 23.
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