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"Russian ex-banker released from custody in U.S."


July 8, 1997

WASHINGTON, August 7 (Itar-Tass) - U.S. law authorities released from custody a former president of the Russian Exchange Bank, Alexander Kononykhin, who is wanted in Russia on charges of stealing depositors' money.

Kononykhin was charged in the U.S. with violation of the immigration law.

He has been released to remain under home arrest, but his charges have been in fact withdrawn.

Although remaining watched, Kononykhin is reviewing his new vistas in the U.S.

He said in an interview with Itar-Tass that his plans are return to a "normal life", continuing education and probably filing a damages suit to redeem his moral injury and privations of custody.

Kononykhin left Russia in 1992. The ex-banker claimed he was forced to flee persecution by "mafia structure connected with the KGB".

The version of Russian authorities is that he simply absconded with stolen money which different estimates put at eight to 300 million dollars.

Kononykhin made his way to the U.S., where he was detained last summer.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) opened a deportation case against Kononykhin, on evidence from Russian law enforcers, and won it.

However, Kononykhin appealed and filed a counter-suit accusing his persecutors of evidence rigging and other law breaches.

Court has ruled his release from custody in scrutiny of this suit. The INS's stance suggests that Kononykhin faces no comeback behind the bars. INS spokesman Brian Jordan told Itar-Tass that the INS would not challenge Kononykhin's appeal and would not resume its charges because new circumstances opened in the case.

Copyright 1997 Itar-Tass

Immigration Law
Russian Immigrant
Russian Banker

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.
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.
World Economic Forum:
How transparency can help the global economy to grow. By Alex Konanykhin. Countries around the world spend an estimated $9.4 trillion a year on procurement – 15% of global GDP. Indeed, UN figures estimate that public procurement can account for 15-30% of GDP for many countries. However, according to the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 10-25% of the value of public contracts is lost to corruption.
The Baltimore Sun:
Business whiz kid.
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.