A man who has dual Russian and American citizenship is wanted by the FBI after he didn’t show up at a prison to begin serving his sentence for attacking a man he believed was Jewish.
Izmir Ali Koch, 34, was sentenced in July for beating the man outside the Mirage Mediterranean Restaurant in Symmes Township. But U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott allowed Koch, who was convicted of a federal hate crime charge, to self-surrender a month later at a federal prison in West Virginia.
On the designated date, Aug. 16, Koch didn’t show up to begin serving his 2½-year sentence.
The FBI says Koch has ties to Rostov, Russia and frequently travels to Istanbul, Turkey. He was living in Huber Heights at the time of the 2017 attack. The Uzbekistan native has also lived in Dayton as well as Krasnodar, Russia, according to the FBI.
Probation officials, according to court documents, had told Dlott they believed Koch “appears to be an appropriate candidate for voluntary surrender.”
Prosecutors argued against it, saying he had the financial means to flee. Koch reported making $5,000 a month, but prosecutors said there were inconsistencies in the financial information he provided.
Prosecutors said Koch had a regular gambling habit that involved “significant gambling losses and winnings.” He also has been caught, they said, personally transporting large amounts of cash overseas.
In 2016, for example, Koch was stopped at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with $108,000 in cash. Koch said he was transporting money back and forth to Russia to buy vehicles, according to court documents.
The attack outside the restaurant happened Feb. 4, 2017. Koch had stepped outside with a group of friends and was yelling that he hated Jews, “wanted slaughter them,” and then asked, “Who is a Jew?” to a crowd of people.
The man who was attacked said he was Jewish – even though he is not – and Koch ran up to him, punched him in the back of the head, sending him to the pavement, according to court documents.
The man “saw a heel coming at (his) face as he lay on the pavement, while his fiancée screamed,” the documents say. Koch and others continued the attack until someone else pulled him off the man. Another person picked up the man and told him to run “before they kill you,” the documents say.
The man suffered injuries including broken facial bones. Two years after the attack, the man fears retaliation from Koch “and his associates,” court document say. He has moved to a new home out of concern for his safety.
Court documents say Koch lied to the FBI about what happened, including during a meeting he requested less than a month before trial.
Even after his conviction, prosecutors say in the documents, “Koch denies yelling anti-Semitic remarks, denies attacking the victim, denies lying to the FBI and even denies that the victim and witnesses in this case experienced fear.”
Anyone with information about Koch’s whereabouts is urged to call the FBI at 513-421-4310.