U.S. to return $1.2M to Romania following tax fraud case in Yelm

The U.S. Department of Justice is paying $1.2 million back to the Romanian government, years after extraditing a couple for an international tax fraud scheme based out of Yelm, Washington.

According to the DOJ, the U.S. extradited Radu and Diana Nemes to Romania back in 2014 to face charges of tax evasion and organized crime. The two were accused of dodging Romanian taxes on imported diesel fuel by claiming it was a lower grade of industrial fuel, then laundering untaxed income through several bank accounts and shell companies they operated.

In all, the DOJ says they defrauded the Romanian government of $58.677 million dollars.

At some point, the couple owned a large property in Yelm with "an elaborate bunker system," according to court documents.

The two were arrested in 2012 and agreed to be extradited back to Romania to face trial two years later. Since then, their assets have been forfeited, including their properties in Yelm.

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The U.S. sold those properties and returned the proceeds—$1.2 million—back to Romania to help recoup a fraction of their losses.