Welcome to the new Russian Organized Crime site. We follow all the recent news on subjects involved in Russian Organized Crime in the United States.

The US's organized criminal threat no longer comes from the La Cosa Nostra. Transnational groups, primarily Russian Organized Crime, have risen to the top. These groups have the ability to import and export crime to every corner of the world with ease. As governments realize that these Transnational groups pose a larger threat to their safety than terrorism, the focus, along with the spending will be redirected. Hopefully the nations of the world will realize this before they become completely entrenched.

11 June 2011

Azerbaijani "mafia boss" "Dadash Novkhaninskiy" arrested in Moscow

Baku-APA. The employees of Moscow law-enforcement bodies arrested Azerbaijani “mafia boss” Dadash Ibrahimov, 38, who is known with nickname “Dadash Novkhaninskiy” in the criminal world.

APA reports that 2.84 g heroin was seized from him. According to the report, Ibrahimov got his first and only imprisonment in 2002. The court sentenced Ibrahimov 1.5 year imprisonment.

During the operation held in March 2009, “Dadash Novkhaninskiy” was arrested in “congregation” in “Podsolnukh” restaurant at Cosmonauts street. Together with him the militia officers arrested “Masalli Mamed”, “Goja” and “Yusif from Baku” in “congregation”. But the detainees were released then.

According to Russian press, if his guilt is proved, “Dadash Novkhaninskiy” will be sentenced to 3-10 years imprisonment.


07 June 2011

Armenian mob "godfather" Armen Kazarian gets sweetheart deal for massive Medicare fraud scheme

An Armenian mob “godfather” who was facing a life sentence for a massive Medicare fraud scheme has cut a 3-year sweetheart deal with prosecutors.
The “vor” – an Armenian word similar to the word “don” used for Italian mob lords – admitted Monday to making threats and other crimes in exchange for the light sentence. The final details of the plea were put off for a week.

“I was involved in a criminal conspiracy,” Armen Kazarian, 47, said through a translator.

He and dozens of other Armenian gangsters were charged last October with setting up at least 118 “phantom” clinics that, with stolen I.D.s, ripped off more than $35 million in federal funds.

Federal District Judge Paul Gardephe cautioned Kazarian that he could not appeal if he was “sentenced to 37 months or less.”

Kazarian agreed.

After 20 minutes of protracted translations, however, Gardephe stopped the plea as incomplete.

“I’m not hearing the element of a (racketeering) conspiracy,” he told prosecutors.

“We’re having a devil of a time translating from English to Armenian to English again,” famed Californian defense lawyer Mark Geragos told the judge.

Gardephe granted Kazarian and prosecutors another week to work on the language.

When prosecutors crached the ring, they said the Armenian mob “puts the traditional Mafia to shame.”

So far, only two others – Rafik Terdjanian and Karen Aharonian – have pleaded guilty.

Charges in the takedown were also filed in California, Georgia, New Mexico and Ohio, against more than 70 other mobsters.

In all, they falsely billed the government for $160 million.


05 June 2011

Russian Mafia to flood Olympics with Drugs and Prostitutes

OLYMPICS chiefs face a new hurdle in the run-up to the 2012 Games as the Russian Mafia is set to swoop on London.

Gangsters from one of the world’s most feared mobs have set up business around the site in Stratford, East London.

Ruthless Russians, who have links to several vice dens in London, plan to cash in when hundreds of thousands of tourists hit the capital.

Hookers will whore themselves to punters, cocaine will flood the streets and extortion rackets will hit small businesses, police fear.

Gamblers could also be targeted in illegal betting rings. Sources at Scotland Yard’s organised crime unit say Russian families are working in bars close to the Olympic site.

The Daily Star Sunday has been told the names of the bars suspected of laundering millions in illegal cash but cannot reveal them for legal reasons.

One Yard insider said: “Several of these people are active members of the Russian Mafia. “They are suspected major players in drug trafficking, prostitution and protection.

“The Russians are highly skilled in averting the attentions of the police so it is very difficult to detect their criminal activities. They are also adept at integrating into communities and putting on a legitimate front for their business.

“But we are certainly keeping an eye on them.” The source said Russian mobs would most likely use low-level dealers from Eastern Europe to lure foreigners into buying drugs on the back streets of London’s vice blackspots like Soho.

He also revealed that young women would be paid pennies as sex slaves working in seedy strip joints, brothels and casinos.

And some would even pose as “birthday girls” inviting ogling fellas to splash their cash on drinks – only to hit them with whopping credit card bills in extortion scams.

He added: “Drugs and prostitution bring in most of the money.

“Obviously there’s going to be a hell of a lot of people flooding into London from all over the world so it’s prime time for sophisticated criminal gangs – and the Russians are certainly that.

“They pose a different kind of threat than terrorist fanatics and suicide bombers but they will still target innocent people.

“There’ll be a lot of tourists and even Brits visiting clubs and lap- dancing bars – and, while they may not know it, it’s likely in some places they’ll be funding Mafia activity with every shot of vodka they buy.”

The mob menace comes as Olympics bosses worldwide warn of a 2012 Mafia betting scandal.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said: “We should not be naive. Sooner or later this might occur in the Olympic Games.”

At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, suspected Russian Mafia kingpin Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov was nicked for allegedly bribing ice skating judges but later cleared.

He is now one of the world’s most wanted men.

source: DailyStar

01 June 2011

Russian mob eclipses Italian Mafia in South Florida, FBI says

One defense lawyer quipped that they’re about to become “G-Girls,” as in guilty.
When the feds busted a syndicate of Russian-speaking nightclub owners and their so-called Bar Girls, it seemed like just another titillating tale from South Beach.
But the April bust showed that the FBI is taking the Eastern European mob a lot more seriously these days than the Italian Mafia. La Cosa Nostra is no longer the bureau’s Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to organized crime in South Florida.
“Eurasian organized crime is our No. 1 priority,” said FBI supervisory special agent Rick Brodsky of the Miami office.

Alex Simchuk is a suspect at large in a South Beach nightclub ring roundup.
Alex Simchuk is a suspect
at large in a South Beach
nightclub ring roundup
In April, six reputed members of an Eastern European network — along with a Sunny Isles investor and 10 Bar Girls imported mostly from Latvia and Estonia — were charged with conspiring to seduce and fleece unsuspecting South Beach tourists by running up their credit card bills for booze at private clubs on Washington Avenue. The prosecution’s case has moved so quickly that two of the “B-Girls’’ girls plan to plead guilty on Thursday in Miami federal court.
Sunny Isles Beach, where some of the reputed mobsters live, has so many immigrants from the former Soviet Union that it has earned the nickname “Little Moscow.’’ The high-rise coastal cities of Hollywood and Hallandale Beach also are home to many Russian-speaking nationals.
The alleged B-Girl scam was hardly the first time the Eastern European mob struck South Florida. In February, 13 South Florida members and associates of an alleged Armenian crime organization were charged with extortion and other offenses as part of a series of indictments against more than 100 suspects from Miami to Los Angeles.
The main extortion charge accused ringleader Aram Khranyan, 41, of Sunny Isles Beach, and others of threatening “physical violence” against a man if he did not pay a $12,000 debt to a member of Khranyan’s organization.
Despite the nationwide publicity, it didn’t quite measure up to the B-Girl scam for sheer amusement.
Consider this tale:
Brett Daniels, a professional magician, had just finished his February show at the Gulfstream Casino when he and a few colleagues headed down to South Beach.
At Mango’s, a lively tourist spot on Ocean Drive, he met an attractive woman clad in a short leopard-skin dress and her sidekick, who wasn’t as pretty. After showing them a few magic tricks, one of the girls told Daniels it was her birthday and proposed taking him to a private club a few blocks away to drink Russian vodka.
Four or five shots later -- he can’t remember exactly -- Daniels found himself fighting over an incomprehensible $1,368 credit card tab with the owner of the Tangia club on Washington Avenue. “Pay your bill or you’re going to jail,” the bouncer told him.
What Daniels didn’t know at the time was that he had been scammed by the Eastern European mob, according to the FBI.
At the helm of the alleged South Beach club racket: Alec Simchuk, 44, of Hallandale, who is now a fugitive. Simchuck and others in his network -- including Albert Takhalov, 29, of Aventura -- brought in longtime Sunny Isles real estate broker Isaac Feldman as an investor in Stars Lounge on Washington Avenue.
Feldman, who lost his bid for a city commission seat last year, plans to fight the charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His attorney, Myles Malman, said his client was a “minority investor” in the Stars Lounge, which was controlled by Simchuk and Takhalov.
“He was hardly ever there and he didn’t supervise or control the women,” said Malman, a former federal prosecutor. “He did not operate or run this club. The notion that the Russian mob is involved in this club is far fetched and the ultimate stretch.”
Malman then added: “My client lost everything.”
That may be so, but for a while, Simchuk’s organization ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bogus bills for booze, wine and champagne on the credit cards of bedazzled male tourists, prosecutors charge. All together, the B-Girls, who received 20 percent commissions for bringing in customers, ripped off about 90 patrons, mostly tourists or businessmen with telltale signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or shoes, authorities say.
One victim from Philadelphia, who was approached by two B-Girls at the swank Delano Hotel, complained he was taken for $43,000 at Caviar Beach on Washington Avenue. His American Express bill included dozens of charges for booze. Another victim was charged $5,000 for a bottle of champagne.
Authorities say the case is a sign of the mob from the former Soviet Union reaching deeper into South Florida to commit “any type of fraud you can think of,” said Brodsky, in charge of the Miami FBI’s organized crime squad. Their stocks in trade: credit card fraud, cybercrime, human trafficking, prostitution, drugs, extortion and arms smuggling.
Brodsky said the Eastern European mob is very different from La Cosa Nostra, known for its “made men,” “wise guys,” and “good fellas.”
He held up Simchuk, the alleged leader in the B-Girl case, as a classic example. Simchuk, 44, is accused of smuggling sexy B-Girls from his Baltic State clubs back home to work in private, leased venues along Washington Avenue. Brodsky said Simchuk works for a “thief in law” in his homeland who acts like a “general,” controls underworld enterprises, and resolves disputes, including using threats and violence.
A thief-in-law, known as a “Vor" in Russian, arose in Stalin’s forced labor camps of political prisoners and criminals. The term now refers to a high-ranking member of a criminal syndicate from Russia or the former Soviet Union.
“The challenge [to law enforcement] is the hierarchy is overseas and has greater access to political protection,” Brodsky said.
According to court records, Simchuk and five other Eastern European men operated the alleged racket for a year at Caviar Bar, 643 Washington Ave.; Stars Lounge, 643 Washington Ave.; Nowhere Bar, 653 Washington Ave.; Steel Toast, 758 Washington Ave.; Tangia Club, 841 Washington Ave.; and Club Moreno, 1341 Washington Ave.
Today, Caviar, Stars and Tangia are not open for business. Steele Toast plans to reopen as an actual nightclub, Havana Nights, this weekend. Club Moreno is a scooter shop.
As for Nowhere Bar, it is still operating. General manager Vladislav Salaridze said his business never conducted illegal activity. “No, no, no, we are a legitimate business. We do bar mitzvahs, weddings, parties for celebrities and comedy shows," he said. “But we always were getting mixed up with Caviar [Bar] because we both have Russian owners."
According to court records, Simchuk and the others leased the private clubs, obtained credit-card merchant accounts, flew in B-Girls from Eastern Europe or the Baltic States with 90-day visas, rented apartments for them, and sent them out to hotels like the Delano, Clevelander and others along Ocean Drive to seduce male visitors into coming to their private clubs.
An FBI agent who led the investigation said they went “hunting” in pairs, worked between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., lured “wealthy males” back to the clubs and ordered multiple bottles of booze without telling the victims the price.
“The clubs are not open to the public, and operate solely as a front for fraud,” FBI agent Alexander V. Tiguy wrote in an April affidavit.
The goal was to jack up the bills, and squeeze the customers to sign off on their credit card slips -- no easy task.
“Some victims are so intoxicated by the drinks forced upon them by the B-Girls that they cannot stand and are not competent enough to sign credit card receipts,” Tiguy wrote in the affidavit. “Those victims are propped up by the B-Girls long enough to obtain signatures.”
In most instances, the bartender or manager explained to the victims that they agreed to purchase the alcohol, that the bar had surveillance video of them, and demanded that they pay or the police would be called to arrest them.
On several occasions, the bouncer or Miami Beach police officers would inform the victim about the state’s Innkeeper Law, which requires patrons disputing a charge to challenge the bill with their credit card company -- or risk getting arrested.
At several of the clubs, an undercover Miami Beach police officer was working as the bouncer to obtain evidence for the investigation.
Daniels, the magician, said he felt like he had no choice but to pay his bill after he called police and club Tangia’s bouncer told him he would be going to jail. The bouncer was an undercover cop, but he did not know that at the time.
“They had my driver’s license and credit card,” recalled Daniels, 50, who turned to the FBI. “I couldn’t do anything.”