As we come to the 2018 Winter Olympics, an alleged Russian organized crime boss retains a long-standing life record as the sole being ever indicted for sterilizing a golden medal.
Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov remains a deserter as the “Vor” or offense boss behind Skategate, the define of pairs anatomy skating and perhaps also the pairs ice dancing at the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was accused by none other than James Comey, who was then the Manhattan U.S. attorney.
” He arranged for a classic quid pro quo.’ You line up support for the Russian pair and we’ll line up support for the French duo, and everybody will go away with the gold, and perhaps there’ll be a little bit of golden for me ,'” Comey said when announcing the charges.
As if that were not enough, Tokhtakhounov went on also to be indicted in 2013 for guiding a criminal make-up to participate in money laundering and arms trafficking, as well as a multimillion-dollar gamble operation based in Trump Tower, three floors instantly below the penthouse of the man who is now our president.
Tokhtakhounov–also known as “Alik” and “Tiwanchik” — is now doubly accused in the United States, but safely ensconced in his native Russia. He likely abides very disappointed in having still failed to achieve what the feds say was his ultimate objectives in Skategate: securing a restored visa that would allow him to resume living in France.
According to press accounts, Tokhtakhounov moved from Russia to France in the late 1980 s. He apparently became a kind of expat Vor, referred to in tribunal articles as being the go-to Russian mafia boss in Paris, engaged in,” among other things, dose delivery, illegal firearms sales, and trafficking in embezzled vehicles .” He settled into a beautiful accommodation in the 16 th arrondissement, supposedly bought on his behalf by a Russian-Israeli-French emigre appointed Arcadi Gaydamak, who figured in a gossip of his own known as Angolagate, which eventually embroiled embroiled Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of the French president.
In court certificates, Gaydamak is said to have to have facilitated the sale of $790 million in artilleries during the Angola civil war, from 1993 to 1998. Tokhtakhounov’s other cronies are said to include Michael Cherney, who figured in the cruel” aluminum conflicts” in the 1990 s for button of the Russian metals business.
When Tokhtakhounov’s visa expired, French sovereignties declined to renew. He moved to Italy, where law enforcement authorities wiretapped his phone as part of Operation Spider Web, an investigating laundering of$ 9 billion in ill-gotten gains siphoned out of Russia.
In early 2002, Italian permissions taught the FBI that they had caught various phone conversations that offered some penetration into an outrage over the gold medallion for pairs figure skating at that year’s Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The Canadian pair, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, had performed a number that left the crowd calling for excellent scores.
” Six! Six !” Six !”
The performance of the Russian pair, Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, was generally considered inferior, but the judges had voted 5-4 to give them the gold.
The instant controversy elicited the French evaluate, Marie-Reine Le Gougne, to break and confess that she had voted for the Russians at the insistent urge of the president of the French Skating Federation( FSF ).
The French judge subsequently forswore, but her initial admittance gained significant credence when the FBI carried the Italian wiretap recordings.
” Our Sikharulidze descended, the Canadians were 10 occasions better, and in spite of that, the French with their vote gave us first place ,” Tokhtakhounov was entered telling a Russian skating representative shortly after the pairs skating completion.
” With one vote we prevailed ,” the Russian skating official said.
The records been demonstrated that Tokhtakhounov had gone the phone number of the Russian official by announcing a crony shortly before the Olympics. Tokhtakhounov told the crony that “hes been” contacted by the mother of Marina Anissina, a Russian-born ice dancer who was contesting with the French.
” Seeing the Olympics ?” the crony expects in the transcript.
” Yes, yes ,” Tokhtakhounov says.
” We will help her ,” the crony says.
” That’s a presented ,” Tokhtakhounov says,
The crony equipped Tokhtakhounov with the list and assured him that the Russian official would be helpful.
“[ The official] is close to us, he is a good guy ,” the friend says.” He will do it … Because there is a lot for him there .”
In the following gossip shortly after the pairs person skating and shortly before the frost dancing, the Russian official sounds more than delighted to be able to do Tokhtakhounov’s bidding.
” Everything is moving the lane you need it ,” he tells Tokhtakhounov.” Even if she stumbles … but it is better if she does not stumble .”
The official says of the upcoming sparkler dancing,” The French is simply prevail by the score of five to four .”
Tokhtakhounov told the Russian skating bureaucrat that he would call Anissina’s family and let them know. The official told Tokhtakhounov that he would call Anissina and keep telling her,” I am doing this for Alik[ Tokhtakhounov ], although I demand you to help him with something .”
Tokhtakhounov advised the Russian official that Anissina had already approached the chairperson of the FSF about helping the mob boss revitalized his French visa.
” She would do anything, but could not ,” Tokhtakhounov says in the record.” That chairperson, he is a homo, promised, but did nothing .”
” I told you, the problem is with him ,” the Russian skating official says.
“[ Anissina] strong-armed him, she is one of ours ,” Tokhtakhounov says.
” She is one of ours, and she will be an Olympic champion ,” the Russian official says.
” Thank you ,” Tokhtakhounov says.” She will be grateful to you for the rest of her life .”
The Russian official notes that the sparkler dancer will be accomplishing in five days.
” I am telling you that not everything is good with the approximate for her ,” the Russian official says.
” But you will help, right ?” Tokhtakhounov says.
” Of track, we will help because you told us to do it, and because the French helped us now ,” the Russian official says.
The Russian official tells Tokhtakhounov again how helpful the French were.
“[ The Canadians] accomplished cleanly and beautifully ,” the Russian official says.” Their orchestrates are 6.0 and they went 5.8 and 5.9.”
The Russian official contributes,” With one vote we won. That one vote was French, because the French “ve got nothing” except for the frost dancing .”
He follows sparkler dancing pair was the only chance the French had for gold. He have also pointed out that in acquiring the Russian-born Anissina a advocate they were also facilitating one of their own.
” She is a Russian daughter, and we will feel good about it ,” government officials says.
” Of route ,” Tokhtakhounov says.
Tokhtakhounov was then preserved dialing Anissina’s mother.
A woman identified as the mother says, “[ The Russian official] announced me from America, he told me we are to be able to acquire[ Anissina] an Olympic champion … Yesterday, the French, the French facilitated the pair representation skating, opened the last poll.[ The Russian official] said,’ For this we will clear[ Anissina ], even if she comes, we will make sure she is number 1 .'”
Tokhtakhounov tells the mother, “[ The Russian official] said he will assist, he has two or three judges … So, compile[ Anissina] joyful, tell her we will help her, and do it all.
By then, the clamor over the pairs illustration skating amber award was such that the Russian official may not have seemed cozy enough for a straight set. The Russian adjudicator did not be voting in favour of the French, but research results was just what the Russian official predicted Tokhtakhounov.
” The French team won the sparkler dancing ending by a five to four election, as[ the Russian official] stated ,” the FBI criminal complaint notes.
A week afterward, Tokhtakhounov was entered voicing directly on the phone with Anissina. She told him that she had not announced him earlier from America because the president of the French Skating Federation had forbidden her.
” The FBI were interviewing[ the chairperson of the FSF] because information came in that[ Tokhtakhounov] was involved with research results ,” a woman identified as Anissina says.
” That is nonsense ,” Tokhtakhounov says.” He is feared. There is nothing .”
“[ The FSF president] came, was just telling me, and they really did check him, the FBI ,” Anissina says.
” It was him the latter are checking ,” Tokhtakhounov says.” What does that have to do with me? He knows my appoint very well. He tried to help me, and later made up nonsense to scare you, so you would not connect me to him even more. He was keeping himself .”
Anissina tells Tokhtakhounov that the Russian skating official had come up to her” yell at me,’ Call Alik, you are such a bitch , not announcing .'”
” No , no , no, the same reasons[ the Russian official] said this to you … a week before your action … I contacted your father …[ the Russian official] said,’ Alik, this all OK there even if ,” Tokhtakhounov says in a jumble.
He then catches himself,” I really don’t want to say now .”
The FBI complaint notes that Tokhtakhounov reveals on several occasions in this conversation that he is concerned Anissina’s phone is tapped.
The complaint intimates Tokhtakhounov” is reluctant to discuss the full scope of the scheme with the female sparkler dander during this telephone call .”
In the transcript of the scold, Tokhtakhounov does excerpt the Russian skating official telling him,” Everything is good, even if everything is about to change poorly, it will still be good .”
At one point, perhaps out of respect or worry about a wiretap, Anissina tells Tokhtakhounov that she believes she would have won without his help. Tokhtakhounov excerpts the Russian skating agent as having “ve said” the race,” Everything will be OK,[ Anissina] should not be concerned, give her play-act, even if she comes, all is OK .”
Near the end of the announce, Tokhtakhounov tried details of what the French skating official had said.
” He said there are inquiries, he said he was asked about this association with you, he said,’ I know him, there was something involving hockey ,”‘ Anissina reports.
” He is lying ,” Tokhtakhounov says.” We have nothing in common .”
The criminal complaint notes further that the FBI had indeed acquired inquiries. The chairman of the FSF told the operators “hes been” contacted by Tokhtakhounov approximately two years before.
“[ Tokhtakhounov] contacted the FSF president and went on to state that the wanted to organize a professional hockey squad in Paris, France, which would be operated by the FSF ,” the complaint reports.” Tokhtakhounov explained that he would sacrifice large amounts of money to patronize athletic squads. After various conversations with the president of the FSF, Tokhtakhounov started that in connection with sponsoring the hockey unit, he necessity a regard. Precisely, Tokhtakhounov stated that his French visa was expiring and that Tokhtakhounov requirement the chairperson of the FSF to assist him in obtaining an extension. The president of the FSF told Tokhtakhounov he would find what could be done .”
The FSF president inquired with the appropriate French government official.
” After several months, this official told the president of the FSF that Tokhtakhounov’s money is bad and that the FSF should not get involved with Tokhtakhounov ,” the number of complaints reports.” The chairman of the FSF informed the FBI that he told Tokhtakhounov that the FSF was not interested in Tokhtakhounov’s proposal and that he had not seen or spoken to Tokhtakhounov again .”
The Olympic Committee sought to rectify the situation by gifting gold medals to the Canadian chassis skating pair as well as the Russian pair. Comey’s remedy was to indict Tokhtakhounov. Italian police apprehended the accused Olympic fixer and lodged him in the Santa Maria Maggiore prison in Venice.
After a hearing in which the wiretap enters were dallied, a gues prescribed Tokhtakhounov’s extradition.
But he pled, and a higher court found in his kindnes. He was freed in 2003 after a year in the Venice prison and returned to Russia. He there acquired a small Moscow newspaper and acquired it energetically pro-Putin. He is also said to have started rolling from afar a $100 million gambling and coin laundering operation headquartered on the 63 rd floor of Trump Tower.
The New York office was run by Vadim ” Dima ” Trincher, the other elderly is part of exactly what he period the “Tiwanchik-Trincher Organization” in a 2013 federal racketeering indictment. Trincher was apprehended, pleaded guilty, and received a five-year prison term.
Now under two accusations, Tokhtakhounov stood safely in Moscow. He would just like to to think of his associate Viktor Bout to be reminded of the hazards of the venturing outside Russia when missed by the United States.
Bout had been arrested in Thailand in 2008 and expelled to the United States on terrorism and arms trafficking prices. He is said to have played important roles in Angolagate and likewise exchanged artilleries to everybody from al Qaeda to the Taliban to Iran to guerrillas in Colombia. He was tried without Manhattan federal field, the same venue where Tokhtakhounov would have been tried had the highest Italian courtroom not overturned his expulsion. Bout was imprisoned in 2011 and sentenced to a 25 -year term.
Bout’s fate inspired Tokhtakhounov to send the Russian daily Izvestia an op-ed character, perhaps the first such missive ever written by an alleged mob boss.
” The question with these kinds of legends is that the United States regularly and harshly condemned our citizens for some breathtaking crimes, after which it takes a long time to prove one &# x27; s innocence and clean oneself of negative impact ,” Tokhtakhounov wrote.
” This is necessary that American gain trumps in the political game against Russia, and we have no way to crusaded it , no recourse .”
He did not likely planned a pun. The macrocosm was still six years away from picturing that Donald Trump might ever become president.
” Americans might intervene everywhere, and we, as it is about to change, cannot adequately respond. Why can the U.S. experts detain a Russian citizen in a third country and extradite him and try him without our involvement? And we do not intervene, because Russia is still in some ways a dependent country. It is difficult for us to utilize strong initiatives to protect our citizens.
Tokhtakhounov’s op-ed went on,” In this case, meter is a doctor. Thanks to our current permissions, the country is germinating mightier .”
The” current dominions” intending Vladimir Putin.
” And maybe in five to10 years, in some cases, we &# x27; ll be able to unzip the control[ on our pants ], so to say, and be demonstrating .”
Tokhtakhounov could not likely have foreseen just how freedom he would prove to be. Putin would virtually do precisely that thanks to the malleable narcissist in the penthouse three storeys up from where the Vor set up shop in Trump Tower.
In the meantime, Trincher was exhausted to house arrest, which conveyed he was limited in splendor as federal prisoner 68454 -0 54 instantly below the Trump residence all during the presidential safarus and during the first seven months of the brand-new organisation. Federal probation policemen fronted the novel potential of having to pass through the Secret Service to run spot checks on a felon.
As for Bout, he has appealed to Trump to allow him to be retried before an international tribunal.
And Tokhtakhounov is no doubt vastly experiencing the sight of America upending itself like some clown on ice. He has even been able to envision Comey get fired and smeared.
At least the rest of us can watch these wonderful Olympic skaters end with excellent goodnes so unlike what we are witnessing in our politics.
In these Winter Olympics, it is even legit, unless somebody is out there trying to match Tokhtakhounov’s world record for choosing a gold medal.