Alexandre Konanykhine, 32, looks nothing like a man who has been kidnapped by the KGB, robbed of his possessions, and informed by FBI special agents that there are two contracts on his life. He looks nothing like a man who has lost everything - maybe because he thinks he's just a couple of deals away from getting it all back in spades. "Russia is very class-oriented society," he says in a thick Russian accent. "You are either boss or slave. I was boss."
Branded a criminal by Russian military prosecutors and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, former Russian banker Alexandre Konanykhine won political asylum last week from the same judge who had ordered him deported more than two years ago.
In a ruling that spotlights the corruption of the Russian legal system, a U.S. immigration judge has granted political asylum to a Russian banker accused by Moscow prosecutors of stealing millions from a bank he helped found.
Probe of Government Lawyers' Ties with Russian Mafia A-Newswire, BALTIMORE, February 23. "In a ruling that spotlights the corruption of the Russian legal system, a U.S. immigration judge has granted political asylum to a Russian banker accused by Moscow prosecutors of stealing millions from a bank he helped found" Baltimore Sun reported on February 23, 1999.
ARLINGTON, Va. In this penthouse courtroom above a gourmet deli and a Metro stop, the name on the case is that of Alexandre Konanykhine, a post-Soviet business whiz kid U.S. immigration authorities want to deport.
A $100 million lawsuit filed in federal court today charges the Department of Justice with collusion with the Russian Mafia. The lawsuit alleges perjury, fraud, torture, and witness tampering by named officers of the U.S. government on behalf of the Russian Mafia.
On August 26th, 30-year-old Russian expatriate Alexandre Konanykhine was permitted by federal District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III to remove the electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle, thereby becoming a free man after more than a year of imprisonment.
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.