Semion Mogilevich

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Semion Mogilevich (2001)

Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich[1] (Ukrainian: Семен Ю́дкович Могиле́вич, [sɛmˈjɔn ˈjudkɔwɪt͡ʃ mɔɦɪˈlɛwɪt͡ʃ]; born Juin 30, 1946 in Kiev, Ukraine) is an organized creeme boss, believed bi European an Unitit States federal law enforcement agencies tae be the "boss o bosses" o maist Roushie Mafia seendicates in the warld.[2]

Mogilevich's nicknames include "Don Semyon", an "The Brainy Don" (acause o his business acumen[3] ). He is believed tae control a vast criminal empire an haes been cawed "the maist dangerous mobster in the warld".[4][5]

Biography[eedit | eedit soorce]

Mogilevich wis born intae a middle-class Jewish family.[6] At the age o 22 he earned a degree in economics frae Lviv University.

In the early 1970s he became pairt o the Lyuberetskaya creeme group in Moscow an wis involved in petty theft an fraud. He served twa terms (3 an 4 years) for currency-dealin affenses.[7]

Durin the 1980s, tens o thoosans o Ukrainian an Roushie Jews wur emigratin tae Israel on short notice an athoot the ability tae quickly transfer their possessions. Mogilevich woud affer tae sell property – their furniture, airt an diamonds – on behauf o the prospective émigrés, promisin tae forward the money on tae Israel. The money wis, instead, uised tae invest in black market an creeminal activities.[8] In 1990, awready a millionaire, Mogilevich moved tae Israel, thegither wi several top lieutenants. Here he investit in a wide range o legal businesses, whilst continuin tae operate a warldwide netwirk o prostitution, weapon, an drug smugglin through a complex web o affshore companies.[9]

In 1991 Mogilevich married his Hungarian girlfriend Katalin Papp an moved tae Hungary an haed three children wi her, obtainin a Hungarian passport; at this point, Mogilevich held Roushie, Ukrainian, Israeli an Hungarian citizenship. Livin in a fortified villa ootside Budapest, he continued tae invest in a wide array o enterprises, includin buyin a local armament factory, "Army Co-Op", which produced anti-aircraft guns.[10]

In 1994, Mogilevich group obtained control ower Inkombank, ane o the lairgest private banks in Roushie,[11] in a secret deal wi bank chairman Vladimir Vinogradov, gettin direct access tae the warld financial seestem. The bank collapsed in 1998 unner suspicions o money launderin.[12] Through Inkombank, in 1996 he obtained a significant share in Sukhoi, a lairge military aircraft manufacturer.

In Mey 1995, a meetin in Prague atween Mogilevich an Sergei Mikhailov, heid ofthe Solntsevo group, wis raidit bi Czech polis. The occasion wis a birthday party for ane o the deputy Solntsevo mafiosi. Twa hunder pairtygoers (includin dozens o prostitutes) in the restaurant "U Holubů" (awned bi Mogilevich) wur detained an thirtie expelled frae the kintra.[13] Police haed been tipped aff that the Solntsevo group intendit tae execute Mogilevich at the pairty[14] ower a disputit payment o $5 million. But Mogilevich niver showed an it is believed that a senior figure in the Czech polis, wirkin wi the Roushie mafia, haed warned him.[15] Suin, housomeivver, the Czech Interior Meenistry imposed a 10-year entry ban on Mogilevich, while the Hungarian government declared him persona non grata an the Breetish barred his entry intae the UK, declarin him "ane o the maist dangerous men in the warld".[16]

Baith Mogilevich an his associate Mikhailov ceased tae travel tae the wast in the late 1990s, although Mogilevich retains an Israeli passport.[17] Till recently, they lived an operatit in the Moscow aurie. In 1997 an 1998, the presence o Mogilevich, Mikhailov an ithers associatit wi the Roushie Mafia ahint a public company tradin on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), YBM Magnex International Inc., wis exposed bi Canadian journalists. On Mey 13, 1998, dozens o agents for the FBI an several ither U.S. government agencies raidit YBM's heidquarters in Newtown, Pennsylvanie. Shares in the public company, which haed been valued at $1 billion on the TSX, became wirthless owernicht.[18] As tae Mogilevich himself, federal law enforcement agencies frae throughoot the warld haed bi nou been tryin tae prosecute him for ower 10 years. But he haed, in the wirds o ane journalist, "a knack for niver being in the wrong place at the wrong time."[19]

Till 1998, Inkombank an Bank Menatep participatit in a US$ 10 billion money launderin scheme through the Bank of New York.[20][21][22][23]

Mogilevich wis an aa suspectit o participation in lairge scale fraud, whaur untaxed heatin oil wis sauld as heichlie taxed caur fuel. Estimates are that up tae ane third o sauld fuels went through this scheme, resultin in massive tax losses for kintras o Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakie an Poland).[24] In 2003, the Unitit States Federal Bureau o Investigation put Mogilevich on the "Wantit Leet" for participation in the scheme tae defraud investors in Canadian company YBM Magnex International Inc. Frustratit bi their previous unsuccessful efforts tae chairge him for airms traffickin an prostitution, they haed nou settled on the lairge-scale fraud chairges as their best hope o runnin him tae the grund. He wis, housomeivver, considered tae be the maist pouerful Roushie mobster alive.[17] In a 2006 interview, former Clinton administration anti-organized-crime czar Jon Winer said, "I can tell you that Semion Mogilevich is as serious an organized criminal as I have ever encountered and I am confident that he is responsible for contract killings."[17]

Mogilevich wis arrestit in Moscow on Januar 24, 2008, for suspectit tax evasion.[25] [26] He wis released on Julie 24, 2009. On his release, the Roushie interior meenistry statit that the chairges against him "are no o a particularly grave nature."[27][28] On October 22, 2009 he wis named bi the FBI as the 494t fugitive tae be placed on the Ten Most Wanted list.[29]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Also transliterated RIANOVOSTI
  2. Glenny, Misha (2008), McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, pp 72–73.
  3. "His financial savvy has earned him the nickname "Brainy Don." AMW Semion Mogilevich FBI: Moscow Crime Boss A Global ThreatAmerica's Most Wanted
  4. Petrostate: Putin, power, and the new Russia, Marshall I. Goldman (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  5. The Most Dangerous Mobster in the World According to the FBI and Israeli Intelligence, Village Voice, By Robert I. Friedman Tuesday, May 26 1998
  6. Block, Alan A.; Weaver, Constance A. (2004) All Is Clouded by Desire: Global Banking, Money Laundering, and International Organized Crime. Greenwood Publishing Group: Westport. ISBN 0275983307 pp 154.
  7. Friedman, Robert I. (1998), “The Most Dangerous Mobster in the World”; The Village Voice, Tuesday, May 26th 1998.
  8. Friedman (1998), Op. cit.
  9. "Article about Mogilevich, also covers early years". Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  10. "Article about activities in Hungary". Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  11. "New York court document, 2000". Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  12. "Moscow Telegraph on investigation of Inkombank management". Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  13. "Journal of the Czech ministry of interior, article about Russian mafias" (in Czech). Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  14. "Biography of Mogilevich, newspaper [[Lidové Noviny]]" (in Czech). Retrieved October 7, 2006.  Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
  15. Glenny (2008), Op. cit., pp 71–72.
  16. Glenny (2008), Op. cit., pp 75.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Glenny (2008), Op. cit., pg 77.
  18. "BBC Panorama's "The Billion Dollar Don"". BBC News. Retrieved September 15, 2007. 
  19. Glenny (2008), Op. cit., pg 76.
  20. "Overview of the money laundering schemes". Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  21. The Wall Street Journal, September 5, 1999: "A Scheme for Ducking Taxes May Be a Key In Russia Money Probe"
  22. "Testimony of [[Tom Renyi|Thomas Renyi]], CEO of the bank, 1999". Archived from the original on September 29, 2006. Retrieved October 7, 2006.  Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
  23. "Senior manager of BoNY indicted, 2001". Retrieved October 7, 2006. 
  24. "Overview of fuels scandal, newspaper [[Lidové Noviny]]" (in Czech). Retrieved October 7, 2006.  Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
  25. "Russia detains crime boss wanted by FBI"
  26. "Semyon Mogilevich, the 'East European mafia boss', captured in Moscow"
  27. "Suspects in Arbat Prestige case released with travel ban"
  28. Russia frees crime boss wanted by U.S., Reuters (July 27, 2009)
  29. FBI press release announcing Mogilevich's addition to the list