Semion Mogilevich

A 5’6″ and a portly chain smoker, Mogilevich is known as “boss of bosses” in one of the biggest mafia states in the world. Born in June 30 1946 in Kiev, Ukraine, Mogilevich once acted as the key money laundering contact for the Solntsevskaya Bratva, a super-gang based in Moscow. He has since held over 100 front companies and bank accounts in 27 different countries, all to keep the cash flowing. Authorities say Mogilevich, who has an economics degree from Ukraine, is known for his ruthless nature but also for his business acumen, which led to his nickname “the Brainy Don.”

1973 convicted for violation of currency regulations

1975 convicted for buying up gold from the emigrants

1977 convicted for fraud

Mid 1980s founder of Arbat-International firm which operated sea shipping vessels leased from state-run Black sea steams line, founder of Vnukovo co-operative society which run a chain of paid public toilets at Moscow’s railway terminals.

Mogilevich earned his first million as a jewellery agent who was buying up works of art and jewellery from Jews, emigrating from Kiev in the 80s. He promised to pay money for the objects in Israel, but in most cases money went into his pockets.

1990 He emigrated to Israel, then to Hungary

In 1991, Mogilevich started meddling in the energy sector with Arbat International. For the next five years, the company served as his primary import-export petroleum company

According to the CIA, at the beginning of the 90s he sold several surface-to-air missiles and 12 armoured personnel carrier to Iran for $20m.

Between 1993 and 1998, however, Mogilevich caught the FBI’s attention when he allegedly participated in a $150 million scheme to defraud thousands of investors in a Canadian company, YBM Magnex, based just outside Philadelphia, which supposedly made magnets. With his economics degree and clever lies, Mogilevich forged documents for the Securities and Exchange Commission that raised the company’s stock price nearly 2,000%. Though shares in the company sold for up to $20 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, an investigation revealed that YBM did not actually make magnets, and that the company “was created for the sole purpose of committing securities fraud.

1994 He represented Russia and former USSR republics at the meeting of world’s criminal dons in Italy.

In 1994–96, under the infamous “loans-for-shares” program, Russia privatized 150 state-owned companies for just $12 billion, most of which was loaned to a handful of well-connected buyers by the state … initially just 25 or so budding oligarchs with the insider connections to buy these properties and the muscle to hold them.

A 1996 classified FBI report (since made public) noted that the Mogilevich organization was involved in everything from major league market manipulation to prostitution, Afghan heroin, and trafficking in nuclear weapons materials. This is why Semion Mogilevich sits high on the FBI’s list of “Ten Most Wanted” criminals. But, of course, Mogilevich has a good lobbyist (i.e. a former director of the FBI, the outfit that publishes that “Most Wanted” list), and few, if any, members of the Mogilevich organization are presently in jail. Many of them are residents of the United States, and we will see that many of them, including Sater, remain active in the U.S. markets.

In 1998, the FBI released a report naming Mogilevich as the leader of an organization with about 250 members. Only in operation only four years, the group’s main activities included arms dealing, trading nuclear material, prostitution, drug trafficking, oil deals, and money laundering.

In August 1999 the FBR gave details of $10b Russian mafia money laundering scheme, led by Mogilevich. The money were funneled through the Bank of New York, through the company called Benex Worldwide Ltd, founded by Mogilevich. According to Russian Customs, the Bank of New York was involved in the laundering of the proceeds from the imported goods. The Federal Customs Service (FCS) filed an appeal against the bank. The trial began on January 14, 2008 at a Moscow’s Arbitration Court. The Bank of New York officials demanded the trial, iniciated by the FCS, to be stopped, because they claimed American lawyers of the Russian Customs had no right to appeal in a Russian Court.  In the late 1990s, Mogilevich’s bank, the well-named Inkombank, pulled off a $10 billion money-laundering plot via the Bank of New York, according to the Moscow Telegraph, something he led up to with one of his more audacious grabs a few years earlier. The scam involved the selling of untaxed heating oil in place of the much more highly taxed auto fuel. Before it was uncovered, it ended up costing the Czech Republic, just one of the Central European countries conned, 100 billion Czech korunas, about $5 billion. Not only that, but on its way to being shut down there was mayhem galore, including the near hit of the reporter following the story.

In autumn 2001 it emerged that Mogilevich had met Bin Laden’s representatives in a view of selling terrorists enriched uranium stolen somewhere in the former USSR.

Then, in 2002, an Israeli lawyer named Zeev Gordon, who represented Mogilevich for more than 20 years, created Eural Trans Gas (ETG), the main intermediary between Turkmenistan and Ukraine. Some reports show that Gordon registered the company in Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash’s name. After that, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom and Ukraine’s Centragas Holding AG teamed up to establish Swiss-registered RosUkrEnergo (RUE) to replace ETG. Firtash and Gazprom reportedly roughly split the ownership of RUE. According to Russian customs documents detailing the trades, Gazprom sold more than 20 billion cubic meters of gas well below market prices to Firtash over the past four years — about four times more than the Russian government has publicly acknowledged. The price Firtash paid was so low, Reuters calculates, that companies he controlled made more than $3 billion on the arrangement.

In Ukraine 2006,  Poroshenko was suspected of participating in a plot to arrest Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s associate Aleksandr Turchynov, who preceded Poroshenko as acting president. According to documents posted online by Wikileaks, Tymoshenko, former head of the natural gas trading company Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine, may have cooperated with organized crime boss Semion Mogilevich, believed. Mogilevich was a participant of the agreements signed between National Joint-Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine, Gazprom and RUE in January 2006.

In 2007, Mogelivich told BBC that his business was selling wheat and grain.to be a primary Russian Mafia figure.

In autumn 2007- winter 2008 Mogilevich used to hold private talks with Vladimir Nekrasov, owner of Arbat-Prestige perfume and cosmetics distribution chain. The chain was set up in 1989 as a result of restructuring Mogilevich’s cooperative enterprise called Arbat. At the beginning Arbat-Prestige distributed perfume, smuggled by Mogilevich and Miroshnik from the warehouses of the Western Group of Forces. In fact Arbat-Prestige was part of major perfume and cosmetics smuggling scheme. Arbat-Prestige, nominally, was owned by Nekrasov, but in fact Seva Kievsky and his people run it. 40% stake in Arbat-Prestige was owned by Rinvei firm, established by Olga Zhunzhurova (Fisherman’s wife) and Galina Telesh (former wife of Mogilevich).

Manafort was working on the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) in late 2008. He was also on the payroll of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. Manafort is widely credited with rehabilitating Yanukovych’s image in Ukraine and helping to engineer his victory in the country’s 2010 presidential election. At the same time, Manafort was arranging financial ventures with Firtash’s backing, emails show. Manafort met with Firtash in Kiev in December 2008 to discuss the arrangement. One of his partners reported his success: Firtash’s holding company, Group DF, would invest $100 million in a global real estate fund, pay an initial fee of $1.5 million to CMZ to manage the fund, and set up offices for the firm in Kiev. On August 25, 2008, he emailed two other individuals who would be involved in some of these ventures. One of them, Brad Zackson, was a former manager of the Trump Organization under Fred Trump, Donald’s father. However, documents revealed during court proceedings offer a glimpse of Manafort’s financial ties to Firtash, who is currently wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation over bribery allegations. The documents show how Manafort set up investment vehicles at Firtash’s behest in order to funnel his considerable fortune into real estate ventures in the United States and elsewhere.That same year, Firtash acknowledged to the U.S. ambassador in Ukraine that he got his start in business with the permission of a notorious Russian crime lord, according to a classified State Department cable. Other cables say Firtash made part of his fortune through sweetheart natural gas deals between Russia and the Ukraine. Around the same time, companies controlled by another Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, paid $7.35 million toward management fees for Manafort and his partners in connection with an investment fund, according to a court filing in the Cayman Islands. Deripaska once was denied entry to the United States because of alleged mafia ties, current and former officials told NBC News. Deripaska is considered by U.S. officials to be among Putin’s inner circle. According to the cable, Firtash told the U.S. ambassador at a meeting in 2008 that he had been forced to deal with suspected criminals because at that time it was impossible to do business in Ukraine cleanly. He said he had needed and received permission from a man named Semion Mogilevich to establish various businesses.

In 2008, however, Russian police arrested Mogelivich, using one of his many pseudonyms, Sergei Schneider, in connection with tax evasion for a cosmetics company, Arbat Prestige. Mogilevich ran that company with his partner, Vladimir Nekrosov. Three years later, the charges were dropped

In 2010, however, then prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, said she had “documented proof that some powerful criminal structures are behind the RosUkrEnergo (RUE) company,” according to WikiLeaks. Even before, the press had widely speculated about Mogilevich’s ties to RUE.

In the 2014 tape, made exactly one year before the former KGB officer, Alexander Litvinenko, was allegedly poisoned in 2014 with a radioactive isotope, the dissident apparently claims the Russian president had links with a mobster who was most wanted by the FBI. Mr Litvinenko says Putin had a “good relationship” with Ukrainian crime boss Semion Mogilevich, whom he accused of selling weapons to al-Qaeda. Separately, documents seen by the Telegraph reveal the transcript of an apparent conversation between two high-ranking Ukrainian officials in which they discuss the fact that Mogilevich had bought a house in Moscow and had received a passport “under another name”.Mogilevich may even have a working relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a published conversation between Leonid Derkach, the former chief of the Ukrainian security service, and former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma. “He’s [Mogilevich] on good terms with Putin,” Derkach reportedly said. “He and Putin have been in contact since Putin was still in Leningrad.”

The 2016 lawsuit, brought by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accused U.S. political consultant Paul Manafort of complicity in a complex scheme of retaliation against Tymoshenko and her political allies for impeding the business interests of Ukrainian gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash. Manafort, a veteran GOP consultant and former adviser to recently-ousted Ukrainian president and Firtash ally Viktor Yanukovych, is now leading the Trump presidential campaign’s efforts to secure delegates at the Republican National Convention in July.

 

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David Bogatin, considered a key figure in Semion Mogilevich’s Russian organized crime family, has “a long string of convictions for big-ticket Mogilevich-type offenses like financial fraud and tax dodging,” Henry explains. Allegedly, Bogatin once owned five separate condos in Trump Tower — that Donald Trump had personally sold to him.

Much has been written about Bayrock, the property development firm that was building Trump SoHo, his towering building in New York and other projects.A key principal in Bayrock was Felix Sater, a Russian convicted of helping to lead a massive mafia-linked Wall Street stock fraud scheme. (Mr Sater also attacked a man at a New York bar by stabbing him in the face with the broken stem of a Martini glass). Two lawyers, Frederic Oberlander and Richard Lerner, who have spent much of their careers tracking Bayrock’s dealings, allege in court documents that Bayrock “for most of its existence was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated”. In a petition to the US Supreme Court, they write that Mr Sater’s father, Michael Sheferofsky, worked for Semion Mogilevich,

 

Sergey Mikhailov was directly involved in the establishment of following companies set up by Semen Mogilevich:

•        Mixim,

•        SV Holding,

•        Arbat International, joint venture,

•        Emire Bond in Israel,

•        Arigon,

•        Magnex in Hungary,

•        MAB International in Belgium,

•        YBM Magnex,

•        Benex

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One Response to Semion Mogilevich

  1. Tommie Collins says:

    Thanks! Very informative! Read this article first: http://www.businessinsider.com/semion-mogilevich-relationship-with-putin-2015-1
    Then read your LOHA piece….

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