Middleweight boxer Avtandil Khurtsidze’s title shot was postponed Thursday, a day after he was among 33 people indicted by federal prosecutors on racketeering, fraud and other offenses related to a Russian-based crime syndicate.
Khurtsidze was charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the indictments unsealed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Both charges carry up 20 years in prison and either a $250,000 fine or twice the value of income taken in from the criminal acts alleged.
According to the indictment, Khurtsidze was one of two defendants who received three cases of purportedly stolen cigarette and paid $17,800 for those cigarettes.
Khurtsidze called the indictment “a very serious misunderstanding” and told fans “not to panic” in Facebook posts written written his native language, Georgian, on Thursday.
Source: A.J. Perez| USA Today