A settlement agreement between the district director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and Alexandre Konanykhine made the long-jailed Russian banker a free man on Aug. 26, and the Justice Department has indicated that the INS lawyers who sought to keep him behind bars will themselves be investigated.
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.
When Alexandre Konanykhine tried to escape the Russian Mafia, he thought himself safe in the United States. What he didn't count on was that the Russian Mafia has contacts in the U.S. Justice Department who are more than willing to bend the law...
WASHINGTON, DC, USA - August 22, 1997 (FPS) -- The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) on Thursday agreed to pay $100,000 compensation in Alexandre P. Konanykhine Habeas Corpus case. Other compensations will be discussed starting next week. Konanykhine points out: "The KGB manipulation is getting expensive to the U.S. taxpayers." In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, he had filed a Petition in March 1997 for issuance of Writ of Habeas Corpus of appropriate relief of unlawful detention and prosecution, due to: unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, malicious abuse of legal process by Respondent, abuse of discretion by Respondent, willful misrepresentation of material facts by Respondent and his agents (perjury and fraud), and an array of due process and Constitutional violations.
In 73 Interpreter Releases 1214 (Sept. 16, 1996), we reported on an unusual and complicated case, Konanykhine v. Carroll, Civil Action No. 96-1085-A (E.D. Va. Aug. 16, 1996). The petitioner, Alexandre P. Konanykhine, was a successful entrepreneur in Russia, but flee when he allegedly began to receive threats from corrupt elements both within and outside his business.
A deportation order against a Russian millionaire accused of embezzling money from a Moscow bank has been dropped. Alexandre P. Konanykhine (Koh-nen-EE-kin), who was held at the Regional Jail in Frederick County for most of the 13-month period he was imprisoned by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said his appeal of the deportation order was scheduled to be heard lase week.
It was bad enough for the Immigration and Naturalization Service that it lost its yearlong battle last week to keep a Russian banker behind bars while he fights deportation. By week's end, the INS itself, as well as a high-ranking agency lawyer, had fallen under scrutiny over its handling of the case. It was facing a barrage of ethics allegations from the onetime INS prosecutor on the case and from a former KGB agent who consulted on the matter—charges that seem to have captured the attention of a U.S. district judge in Virginia.
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.