Oct. 22, 2009 — -- The FBI has added a Russian mobster, a violent gang member, and a hitman in a drug trafficking network to their "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list this week.
Russian mobster Semion Mogilevich , known as the "brainy don," has overseen criminal enterprises stretching from Central Asia to Philadelphia specializing in arms trading, human trafficking networks, money laundering and securities fraud according to law enforcement officials. He was indicted in 2003 on racketeering charges, accused of bilking investors and middlemen out of $150 million in a financial schemes involving YBM Magnex International, a holding company in Buck County, Pennsylvania.
According to officials briefed on his case, Mogilevich was also involved in a major money laundering scandal involving the Bank of New York that totaled around $10 billion coming out of Russia. The mobster had allegedly moved funds from Russia's Inkombank, which he acquired in 1994 and eventually moved the funds out of the country to various off shore accounts
In addition to his financial crimes, according to a Justice Department officials, Mogilevich is also believed to have overseen prostitution and human smuggling rings coming out of Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Mogilevich has long been sought by the FBI and has been the subject of previous FBI Crime Alerts and Fugitive listings. Believed to be living in Moscow, Mogilevich is also the subject to Interpol Red Sheet notices seeking his arrest and extradition to the United States. He was arrested in early 2008 by the Russian Interior Ministry, but was released in July 2009 by authorities there and is currently believed to still be in Moscow.
Last year then Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that even after his 2003 U.S. indictment, Mogilevich continued to expand his criminal enterprise.
"Mogilevich – also known as the 'Brainy Don'," Mukasey said, "...continued to expand his criminal empire in a new direction. He was said to exert influence over large portions of the natural gas industry in parts of what used to be the Soviet Union."
According to FBI Special Agent Peter Kowenhoven, "the FBI doesn't have the jurisdiction to charge him with other crimes taking place solely in other countries... but open-source reporting shows him to be involved in weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale."
FBI Targets Two Other "Most Wanted"
Also added this week was Eduardo "Tablas" Ravelo, a Mexican drug lord who may have altered his fingerprints and had plastic surgery to change his appearance. According to the FBI wanted poster, "Ravelo is known to be a Captain (Capo) within the Barrio Azteca criminal enterprise and is allegedly responsible for issuing orders to the Barrio Azteca members residing in Juarez, Mexico. Allegedly, Ravelo and the Barrio Azteca members act as "hitmen" for the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Drug Trafficking Organization and are responsible for numerous murders. Ravelo has ties to Mexico and El Paso, Texas. He may have had plastic surgery and altered his fingerprints."
And on Monday, the FBI added Jose Luis Saenz, 34, of Los Angeles to the top 10 list for killing his girlfriend and several other people. He is wanted on charges of murder, rape and kidnapping. His crime rampage began in 1998 when Saenz allegedly shot and killed two rival gang members in Los Angeles. Then roughly two weeks later in August 5, 1998, he allegedly kidnapped, raped, and murdered his girlfriend. Saenz allegedly murdered a fourth victim in Los Angeles in October 2008 and is now on the top 10 list.
All of the men have $100,000 rewards on their heads for information leading to their arrests.
Since created, the FBI's "Most Wanted" list has resulted in the capture of 463 fugitives.