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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukrainian Detainee Turns to Romney for Help

A Ukrainian citizen kept in pretrial detention in New York for the past five years has turned to U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for help in his case, hiring a single-engine plane to fly over the city with a banner reading, "Romney, help!"

Vadim Vasilenko, also known by the nickname "Russian," last week hired a similar plane with the help of his friends in a separate appeal to U.S. President Barack Obama, RIA-Novosti reported.

Explaining why he appealed to Romney this time, Vasilenko told the news agency that "he seems to be closer to businessmen."

Vasilenko went on to explain that he would have to appeal to the Virgin Mary next, as it seems that politicians weren't paying any notice.

U.S. authorities accuse Vasilenko of laundering $47 million as part of an online criminal network known as Western Express, and prosecutors are reportedly seeking a 45-year jail term for the Ukrainian citizen.

Vasilenko denies that he had any criminal intent but said he would partially admit guilt in exchange for a prison sentence equal to the time he has served and a ticket to Russia.

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