Semion Yudkovich Mogilevich ( uk|Семе́н Ю́дкович Могиле́вич|Semén Júdkovych Mohylévych ; born June 30, 1946) is a Russian organized crime
boss. he quickly built a highly structured criminal organization, in the mode of a traditional American mafia
family. Indeed, many of the organization’s 250 members are his relatives.
he described by agencies in the European Union and United States as the "boss of bosses
" of most Russian Mafia
syndicates in the world, he is believed to direct a vast criminal empire and is described by the FBI as "the most dangerous mobster in the world."
he has been accused by the FBI of "weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale."
Mogilevich's nicknames include "Don Semyon" and "The Brainy Don" (because of his business acumen). According to US diplomatic cables, he controls RosUkrEnergo
, a company actively involved in Russia–Ukraine gas disputes
, and a partner of Raiffeisen Bank
Mogilevich currently lives freely in Moscow
, and has three children. He is most closely associated with the Solntsevskaya Bratva
crime group. He has close alliances with political figures including Yury Luzhkov
, the former Mayor of Moscow, Dmytro Firtash
, and Leonid Derkach
, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine
[Rachkevych, Mark (December 3, 2010)] Oleksandr Turchynov
"U.S. Official: Austrian Bank's Ties to RosUkrEnergo Suspicious"
''Kyiv Post''. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
, who was designated as acting President of Ukraine in February 2014, appeared in court in 2010 for allegedly destroying files pertaining to Mogilevich. Russian FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko
, shortly before his assassination, claimed that Mogilevich had a "good relationship" with Vladimir Putin
since the 1990s.
[Listen: Alexander Litvinenko's apparent warning before his death](_blank)
By Lyndsey Telford, Edward Malnick and Claire Newell 12:00PM GMT 23 January 2015.
, former FBI Director
from 1987 to 1993 during the Presidencies of Ronald Reagan
and George H. W. Bush (41)
, was Mogilevich's attorney in the United States until Sessions' death on June 12, 2020.
Mogilevich was born in 1946 to a Jewish
family in Kyiv
His first significant fortune derived from scamming fellow Russian Jews eager to emigrate to countries including the United States and Israel; Mogilevich made deals to buy their assets, sell them for fair market value, and forward the proceeds. Instead he simply sold the assets and pocketed the proceeds. He served two terms in prison, of 3 and 4 years, for currency-dealing offenses.
Beginning in the early 1980s, according to the FBI, Mogilevich was the key money-laundering contact for the Solntsevskaya Bratva
In early 1991, Mogilevich moved to Hungary and married his Hungarian girlfriend Katalin Papp. He had three children with her, and obtained a Hungarian passport. Living in a fortified villa outside Budapest
, he continued to invest in a wide array of Enterprises, including buying a local armament factory, "Army Co-Op," which produced anti-aircraft guns.
In 1994, the Mogilevich group obtained control over Inkombank
, one of the largest private banks in Russia, in a secret deal with bank chairman Vladimir Vinogradov
, getting direct access to the world financial system. The bank collapsed in 1998 under suspicions of money laundering
In May 1995, a meeting in Prague
between Mogilevich and Sergei Mikhailov
, head of the Solntsevskaya Bratva, was raided by Czech
police. The occasion was a birthday party for one of the deputy Solntsevo mafiosi. Two hundred partygoers (including dozens of prostitute
s) in the restaurant "U Holubů", owned by Mogilevich, were detained and 30 expelled from the country. Police had been tipped off that the Solntsevo group intended to execute Mogilevich at the party over a disputed payment of $5 million. But Mogilevich never showed up and it is believed that a senior figure in the Czech police, working with the Russian mafia
, had warned him. Soon after, the Czech Interior Ministry imposed a ten-year entry ban on him, while the Hungarian government declared him ''persona non grata
'' and the British barred his entry into the UK, declaring him "one of the most dangerous men in the world."
In 1997 and 1998, the presence of Mogilevich, Mikhailov and others associated with the Russian Mafia
behind a public company trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange
(TSX), YBM Magnex International Inc., was exposed by Canadian journalists. On May 13, 1998, dozens of agents for the FBI and several other U.S. government agencies raided YBM's headquarters in Newtown, Pennsylvania
. Shares in the public company, which had been valued at $1 billion on the TSX, became worthless overnight.
Toxic waste scheme with American Mafia
In 1998, FBI informant told the bureau that one of Mogilevich’s chief lieutenants in Los Angeles
met two Russians from New York City
with Genovese crime family
ties to broker a scheme to dump American toxic waste in Russia. Mogilevich’s man from L.A. said the Red Mafia would dispose of the toxic waste in the Chernobyl region, “probably through payoffs to the decontamination authorities there,” says a classified FBI report.
Money laundering and tax evasion
Until 1998, Inkombank and Bank Menatep
participated in a US$10 billion money laundering
scheme through the Bank of New York
. Mogilevich was also suspected of participation in large-scale tax fraud, where untaxed heating oil was sold as highly taxed car fuel – one of the greatest scandals that broke around 1990–1991.
Estimates are that up to one-third of fuels sold went through this scheme, resulting in massive tax losses for various countries of Central Europe
(Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland). In the Czech Republic the scandal is estimated to have cost the taxpayers around 100 billion CZK (≈US$5 billion) and involved, besides others, murders and the attempted assassination of a journalist writing about the problem.
In 2003, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation
put Mogilevich on the "Wanted List" for participation in the scheme to defraud investors in Canadian company YBM Magnex International Inc. Frustrated by their previous unsuccessful efforts to charge him for arms trafficking
, they had now settled on the large-scale fraud charges as their best hope of running him to ground. He was considered to be the most powerful Russian mobster alive.
[Glenny (2008), ''Op. cit.'', pg 77.]
In a 2006 interview, former Clinton administration anti-organized-crime czar Jon Winer said: "I can tell you that Semion Mogilevich is as serious an organized criminal as I have ever encountered and I am confident that he is responsible for contract killing
Mogilevich was arrested in Moscow on January 24, 2008, for suspected tax evasion
. His bail was placed, and he was released on July 24, 2009. On his release, the Russian interior ministry stated that he was released because the charges against him "are not of a particularly grave nature".
has been closely linked to Mogilevich.
FBI Ten Most Wanted list
On October 22, 2009, he was named by the FBI as the 494th fugitive to be placed
on the Ten Most Wanted list
. In December 2015, he was removed from the list. The FBI indicated he no longer met list criteria, for reasons relating to living in a country with which the United States does not maintain an extradition treaty
According to FBI reports, Mogilevich had alliances with the Camorra
, in particular with Salvatore DeFalco, a lower-echelon member of the Giuliano clan
. Mogilevich and DeFalco would have held meetings in Prague in 1993.
In spite of the warrants issued against him, he still lives freely in Moscow, according to the FBI. As to Mogilevich himself, government law enforcement agencies from throughout the world had by then been trying to prosecute him for over 10 years. But he had, in the words of one journalist, "a knack for never being in the wrong place at the wrong time".
[Glenny (2008), ''Op. cit.'', pg 76.]
Both Mogilevich and his associate Mikhailov ceased to travel to the West in the late 1990s.
*List of fugitives from justice who are no longer sought
External linksMogilevich's FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive AlertMogilevich's profile on ''America's Most wanted''
*ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/panorama/transcripts/transcript_06_12_99.txt "The Billion Dollar Don"
(Transcript of BBC Panorama documentary on activities in gas, YBM Magnex etc., incl. interview w. Mogilevich)Papers from Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Helsinki, 2003
(PDF, describes the YBM Magnex scheme)Semyon Mogilevich, the 'East European mafia boss', captured in Moscow
Category:FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
Category:Fugitives wanted on fraud charges
Category:Fugitives wanted on organised crime charges
Category:Businesspeople from Kyiv
Category:Russian crime bosses
Category:Ukrainian money launderers
Category:University of Lviv alumni