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"Judge orders investigation of DOJ wrongdoing. Heavy fallout from the Konanykhine case"

The Washington Weekly

September 1, 1997

A Virginia federal judge last week ordered the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate allegations of DOJ wrongdoing that surfaced during a hearing in his courtroom in July.

During the hearing of a deportation appeal by Alexandre Konanykhine in the court of Judge T.S. Ellis, III, former KGB agent Yuri Shvets testified that the Immigration and Naturalization Service under the U.S. Justice Department was collaborating with the Russian KGB to fabricate a case that would deliver Alexandre Konanykhine to the Russian Mafia to be liquidated.

Why? Because Konanykhine, as a former banker, had knowledge of a scheme carried out by the KGB for the Soviet Communist Party to stash hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign countries just before the collapse of Communist dictatorship.

Konanykhine had started blowing the whistle on the scheme, even sending a letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The Russian Mafia sent its "enforcer," KGB operative Lt. Colonel Volevodz to the United States, where Konanykhine was living to get Konanykhine back to Russia. Colonel Volevodz found willing assistants in the Clinton administration and obtained an order to get Konanykhine deported, but only after covering up the expert testimony of former KGB agent Yuri Shvets, firing an unwilling INS employee by the name of Antoinette Rizzi who tried to blow the whistle, and lying to Judge Ellis.

Asked by the Washington Weekly to comment on the U.S. Justice Department actions in his case, Konanykhine says: "It's stupid to assist KGB whose institutional purpose is to inflict maximum harm on the USA. It is stupid to take for the face value presentations of KGB, which is notorious for disinformation of the governments and public. It is stupid to unite with the Mafia--which the DOJ knew was behind the persecution--to advance law enforcement."

During hours of cross-examination of Shvets and Rizzi last July, however, the sordid details of the entire botched operation were laid out.

Shvets testified that he was told by INS district counsel Eloise Rosas that "the INS got instructions from the top to cooperate on this case." The investigation ordered by Judge Ellis last week should answer the question "how high?"

As if suspicious that the Justice Department might not do a good job of investigating itself, Judge Ellis warned that if not satisfied he would use "the resources of this court."

Published in the Sep. 1, 1997 issue of The Washington Weekly

Copyright 1997 The Washington Weekly (http://www.federal.com)

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More News...

Media About Alex

Washington Post:
Konanykhin, one of the first Russian millionaires after the fall of the commies, left in 1992 and was granted asylum here in 1999. He's built a very successful Web advertising business in New York City. He had been chosen "New York Businessman of the Year." "As such, you will be honored and presented with your award," NRCC chairman Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.) said, at a "special ceremony" April 1. " President Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger are our special invited guests.
CNN:
Alex Konanykhin controlled Russia's largest commercial bank in the 1990s
Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Konanykhin was a whiz-kid physics student who became a pioneering Russian capitalist in early 1990s, building a banking and investment empire valued at an estimated $300 million all by his mid-20s. He was a member of President Boris Yeltsin's inner circle.
The Baltimore Sun:
Business whiz kid.
WJLA TV / ABC:
Russian Bill Gates.
The Times:
By the time he was 25 he was one of the most important figures in post-Communist Russia. But in 1992, while on a business trip to Hungary, Alex Konanykhine was kidnapped.
The New York Times:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation notified Konanykhin that Russian organized crime figures had paid to have him killed.
CBS "60 Minutes":
Alex Konanykhin didn't only have KGB after him… He had the FBI, the Justice Department, even the CIA all on his case, as a favor to the Russians, part of a deal to allow the FBI to keep a bureau in Moscow.
Los Angeles Daily Journal:
Representing himself through much of the process, Konanykhin managed to convince an immigration judge of an alleged INS and KGB conspiracy and cover-up. Following the court's admonishment, the INS agreed to drop all charges and also pay $100,000..The judge also ordered an investigation of the Justice Department. In separate actions, Konanykhine subsequently won multimillion dollar libel judgments against two Russian newspapers. A $100 million lawsuit against the Justice Department is pending, alleging perjury, fraud, torture and witness tampering by U.S government officers on behalf of the Russian Mafia.
Profit Magazine:
Imagine you are a teenage physics genius who quickly amasses a $300 million empire of real estate and banking ventures, has dozens of cars, six hundred employees, several mansions and two hundred bodyguards—but you are nonetheless kidnapped by those you trusted, threatened with torture and death, and have your entire empire stolen from you one dark night in Budapest. You escape with your life by racing through Eastern-block countries and flying to New York on stashed-away passports—only to have the KGB and Russian Mafia hell-bent on your hide and the U.S. government jailing you and conspiring to serve you up into their clutches. All this before your 29th birthday. Sound like a Tom Clancy thriller? No. . . just a slice in the life of Alexander Konanykhine.