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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

07/10/1996

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Russian Emigre Confesses To Fraud-by-Retail Scheme

NEWARK, New Jersey -- A Russian operating an export-import firm admitted in court that he cheated an oil company owned by the Russian government out of up to $2.4 million. The oil company, Kuiby of Novokuybyshevsk, sent the money to the firm operated by Lev Model, believing that it was purchasing American consumer goods for its workers. In dealing with Kuiby from July 1991 to January 1993, Model pretended to be a representative of the retailer Sears, Roebuck and Co., he acknowledged Monday in court. Model, 50, transferred nearly all of the money received by his company to various personal accounts, he admitted. Some of the money was spent to buy a new Mercedes-Benz, and Model made numerous cash withdrawals. The purchase of the family's home in 1993 also appears to have been made with Kuiby funds. Model, 50, a naturalized U.S. citizen, could face one to four years in prison for the two counts of wire fraud when sentenced Oct. 3 by U.S. District Judge John Bissell.

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