Host: And on the Cutting Edge today, KMGI.com. The company is an interactive advertising agency. KMGI is hoping to revolutionize the Webmercial using high impact animation and graphics - backed by audio effects - that run smoothly and load almost instantly. We make it all sound so easy. This is the guy behind it though. The company's CEO is Alex Konanykhine. And he joins me now to talk about his company. Alex welcome.
By Jessica S. Buel. Staff writer for The Arlington Journal
During a trial that included the testimony of a former American spy, an Arlington County Circuit Court jury has awarded a Russian entrepreneur and former Arlington County resident $33.5 million in damages, finding that two well-known Russian newspapers published defamatory articles about him.
Amid the gloom, doom and disaster which seems to dominate headlines about Russia and the Russians it's heartening to spotlight a young Russian who's instigating a universally beneficial revolution. Sadly this particular revolutionary has had to make his latest pitch for fame under the protection of political asylum in the United States.
BY THE time he was 25 he was one of the most important figures in post-Communist Russia . He had made a fortune after setting up one of Russia 's first commercial banks and lived with his wife in a 50-acre residence that was once the home of Mikhail Gorbachev.
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 Sun: Alex Konanykhin fled Russia in 1992 and won asylum in the US after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The entrepreneur had set up 100 different companies in Russia and had an estimated net worth of $300million by the time he was 25. He is regarded as one of the first Russian millionaires after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One of the newly open country's leading lights, he even met with US President George HW Bush in 1991 on a joint visit with Russian leader Boris Yeltsin. However, he was then kidnapped in 1992 while visiting Budapest and all of his business assets were seized in Russia. … Being hunted by the Russian state, Konanykhin won asylum in the US in 1997 and set up a new life - but the shadow of the Kremlin continued to loom over him.He went on to rebuild a business empire and set up multimillion dollar firms such as TransparentBusiness in the US.
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.
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.