Fear and loathing in Brighton beach

“the Tape.ru” continues cycle publications on thieves — generals of the underworld. Appearing in the early twentieth century, they very soon stood at the head of organized crime in the Soviet Union and then Russia. In the previous article we talked about Gennady Kerkove named Mongol, which in the 70s was the terror of the underground millionaires of Moscow and earned the nickname “grandfather of the Russian racket”. Like him the laurels of the father of the Russian mafia in the US can safely claim to be a lawyer Evsey (Leningrad) Agron. He became the nightmare of the “Russian” district of new York- Brighton beach, and the famous patronage of the Sicilian “Cosa Nostra” allowed a gang of agrona to make the ocean a real mess. However, the Italian mafia never took Evsey in “family”, and when their interests crossed — sent “to the Russian” dead fish.

Future storm businessmen from Brighton beach and kingpin Evsei Agron was born January 25, 1932, in Leningrad, into a poor Jewish family. The room is not left the city even in the years of the great Patriotic war. Evsey lived in St. Petersburg until moving to the States, for which he received the nickname Evsey Leningrad.

History is silent, had to go through Agron, Jr., during the siege, when famine and cold in his eyes died and went crazy relatives, friends and acquaintances. He survived and set a goal: to live a normal, prosperous life, free of poverty and hunger. Your dreams Evsey eventually reached — though not the most righteous ways.

When the end of the 1970s new York businessmen talking about “the ruthless Russian”, knocks them tribute, the city went bike that before emigrating to the United States Agron spent time in Soviet camps for ten years for a brutal murder. Details no one knew, but such a legend was to Agron on the arm — she had added brutality to his image in the eyes of potential victims. However, nothing in common with reality this story had.

Agron was three times put on trial, but never participated in the “the dirty”, as in gangster jargon is called murder. First time Evsey made for pick-pocketing, almost the first in your life: the art of the pickpocket (the pickpocket), who was famous for most thieves, Leningrad was never captured. Therefore, once free, Agron engaged in financial fraud. However, again unfortunate: for the illegal transactions again recovered behind bars.

Freed after the third term in the rank-crowned lawyer, Agron tempered zeal and prowess, began carefully to work out financial fraud and soon became the Manager of the thieves ‘ common Fund: money collected from the lawyers and was involved in drug trafficking until the distribution of the authoritative brothers serving time. By this time Agron was known not only in the criminal environment of Leningrad, but also far beyond its borders.

By the way, the appearance and habits of Evsei did not give him the belonging to the criminal world. Agron sported in a perfectly ironed suit and tie, often appeared in the local Philharmonic with his wife Valentina (contrary to one of the main thieves ‘ law, he married, however cleverly justified for this act at the meeting and avoid raskolennuyu). Knowing Evsey thieves have repeatedly pointed out the character of steel lawman and his powers of persuasion. Still, the detractors he had, one of them thought of the thief in the law Vyacheslav (Yaponchik) Ivankov. Because he was nearly broke emigration of Agron.

By the mid-1970s, Evsey finally realized that career growth in the homeland he had not seen. And did not fit into the Soviet reality, life thieves and bad luck Agron with his dreams of a beautiful life. Wind of endless time he didn’t want to be limited to allocated from the common Fund funds, too. So he decided to leave in search of happiness in the United States, the good times were suitable: there was a mass emigration of Soviet citizens, mostly Jews, who left the country for political reasons.

by the Way, according to one version, a list of those wishing to go abroad had been carefully studied by the KGB. And all criminal elements have been given the green light: indeed, why arrest a contingent at home? Among the lucky winners were and Agron. However, on his way there a sudden obstacles.

When in the hands of Agron were all required to check-out the documents, he had developed a serious gambling debt — as many as two million rubles (in maps to Evsei unlucky as well as in criminal activity). To find in no time that kind of cash was impossible, and at the next meeting the lawyer has requested a delay on repayment of the debt. Given the reputation of agrona, the thieves didn’t mind against such a situation. Everything except jap: that went to the principle and stated that to grant the request of Agron impossible, because this precedent will shake the fundamental rule Holy card debt and is payable on demand.

Ivankov suggested “colleague” or pay before the departure abroad, or to endure shame in the case of Evsei procedure askarovna — cotton ears. Fortunately for Agron, young jap besieged the older and more reputable lawyers, who issued a final verdict: the trip to be, but about debt Evsei should not be forgotten. He did not disappoint, and settled at the first opportunity, and Ivankov for his hostile attack and not forgiven — the cool relations between thieves remained until the death of Agron.

the details of the exile of the future head of the Russian mafia in the United States vary. According to one, before coming to America in 1971, Agron managed to visit Hamburg, where for some time protected a network of brothels and underground casinos. Other sources claim that the first Evsei went to Italy, where earned the money to pay a gambling debt, and then on 8 October 1975, flew to new York. This place was chosen by Soviet emigrants of all kinds: in the first wave of resettlement from the Union entrance to new York, unlike other States, did not anticipate charging a fee for a single entry visa in the amount of $ 100 per person.

No marks on the criminal record Agrona in his documents, did not appear, and customs officers he had a modest jeweler. This is quite enough for us to freely set foot on American soil. Once in new York, Agron started to settled in a fellow countryman: he managed to move to the States even during the great Patriotic war and as an adult, found myself in law enforcement — and became a policeman.

However, Evsey did not hamper other, the more that came to America, he is clearly not in order to work from morning to night, relaxing with a bottle of beer in a provincial bar. Agron knew that he has a chance to infiltrate the underworld USA and realize their American dream. He soon settled in the southern part of Brooklyn, inhabited mostly immigrants from the Soviet Union, and quickly amassed a small but fierce group. Its members imposed a tribute to all the surrounding dealers, frightening them to distraction.

For many years in memory of the Brooklyn dealers have remained the case from the beginning of the 1980s. One local resident witnessed the massacre of bandits from the group Evsey Leningrad over one of the merchants and agreed to testify for the prosecution.

Such courage cost the lives of not only herself but also her son, both killed in his own house, after Vukolov eyes unhappy. There were rumors that Evsey personally present at the showdown with recalcitrant traders and even brought into play their know-how is electric stick pogorelko for livestock. However, the presence of such attribute Agron denied his second wife, the singer Maya Rozov.

Electric stick for slaughter? — outraged gay in an interview. — Where he kept it? In the closet? In the fridge? Where? He always had a gun of 32 caliber, and the house was the 22nd! All!

the Bandits of Agron did anyone preferences and it is no small matter. One of the immigrants from the Soviet Union, a Jew, had the temerity to brag to your neighbors — say, saved for the coming wedding of the daughter of 15 thousand dollars. Word of this quickly reached the gang Evsey, and extortionists showed up to any unsuspecting compatriot. He began to stretch, and then the bandits put an ultimatum: either he gives them a hard-earned, or his daughter will go to the hereafter on the day of her wedding. Broken threats the emigrant gave the villains every penny.

About this story he, with tears in his eyes told me a few years after the death of Agron American police of Russian origin. And the question is, why not said the extortionists before, the old man just shrugged — sense! By the way, the futility of fighting the mafia Evsey Leningrad knew almost all the locals. And was trying to figure out the details of another crime the police of Brighton beach ran across the silent wall potential witnesses. They say that one of the first phrases learned by American law enforcement officers in Russian, was “I know nothing”.

it is Noteworthy that “good” for their activity Agron received from a representative of the Genovesi family, one of the criminal clans of the Sicilian mafia “Cosa Nostra”, ruling the underworld in the United States. Of course, not the patrons deducted decent interest rate with the racket. In addition, both groups often acted in conjunction with each other — as, for example, at fraud casino “dune” in Las Vegas, where they were laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars. Approval from the elite mafia finally unleashed militants Agron, which by the early 1980s there were about 500 people.

Under their pressure began to fall even lawyers and doctors — they were also ordered to pay the wages. Do not shun criminals and the usual looting, raiding trucks that deliver products to shops. Once the bandits have committed a fraud with the usual shoes, giving her orthopedic and having sold at a higher price. Extortion, fraud and robbery against residents of Brighton beach was Evsei brought unprecedented for those times the profit of approximately 100 million dollars a year. In addition, the drug trade weekly, also joined tens of thousands of dollars the Treasury of the king of racket.

Regular calculations acquired occurred at the El Caribe Country Club in Brighton beach — a kind of headquarters, the famous mass gatherings of members of the group of Agron. There’s also the bandits made plans for further enrichment. Surprisingly, with all their capabilities lived Evsey habitually modest. Contrary to rumors going about luxurious mansions with Golden toilets, a lawyer with a wife and child lived in a small three-room apartment on the top tier of a six-storey building on the Boulevard of Ocean Parkway. According to the recollections of relatives of Agron, the place was extremely noisy: there was a bridge on which day and night drove the car.

Agron was Dressed continue to in cheap business suits and still looked like a clerk-laborer. Relax Evsey prefer the old fashioned way — according to the good Soviet tradition: every weekend I went to a bathhouse in Manhattan. Weekday evenings are whiled away reading Russian poetry: Evsey was very fond of Lermontov and even memorized his poems. Music, he is also respected, especially loved chanson (in this genre sang and his second wife). In the biography of Evsey there is a scene when he helped Vladimir Vysotsky during his American tour to unpaid shifty organizers a fee for the performance.

One of the few manifestations of the pretensions of the rich man was the presence of Agron’s personal driver Boris Nayfeld, known in criminal circles under the nickname Biba. Quick lad came to the States from Gomel in the mid-70s with his older brother. Experience a life of crime, the brothers acquired another home where hunted burglary. The elder brother Biba from famous Brighton beach that has beaten to death the offender, his girlfriend and managed to evade criminal liability. Biba itself differed more sensible behavior and a couple of years managed to advance in the criminal ladder, he spotted Agron — and soon made his chauffeur and part-time bodyguard.

in proportion to the growth of the power of Agron, and increased the number of his enemies. Some are not limited to blind hatred and tried to physically eliminate a daring competitor. The first attempt on the Russian mafia happened in 1980, when Agron was walking along the promenade Coney island. He didn’t even have time to understand anything, when he received several bullets in the stomach. Eyewitnesses of the assassination immediately called an ambulance and the life of Agron managed to save. He restored health to a hospital bed, surrounded by guards, provided by the Genovesi family. As usual, the victim visited the police, only to cooperate with them Agron flatly refused, escaped with a short sentence: “I understand.”

Successful “trial” can be called a stretch — the next attack of his enemies, made four years later. In January 1984, the mercenaries ambushed Agron when he came out of his garage in the basement. This time the liquidators were Agron in the face and neck. The doctor, which brought the bleeding the patient was not able to get one of the bullets, which lodged too close to the brain. Part of his face permanently paralyzed, but the life of Evsey was once again saved. This time the mafia thought hard about it and weigh options, identified responsible for the assault of a competitor — a major drug dealer Boris Goldberg, with whom Evsei could not share spheres of influence.

the Hostility Goldberg to Evsei Leningrad and spurred the latest methods in relation to competitors: they are the accomplices of Agron did not stand on ceremony and, if caught at the point, just kill. This eventually led to the fact that Goldberg ordered Agron, promises to raise 25 thousand dollars. The final showdown between the enemies took place in may 1984. Evsey was resolute and had planned to shoot Boris, but he understood the intentions of the enemy, err … and brought to the meeting a crowd of Mexican bandits. The Agron was nothing left but to go with Goldberg on the world. Competitors agreed on spheres of influence, sealed the deal with a handshake and promised not to hunt each other.

Soon, Agron was not until Goldberg: he learned that in his entourage started up “rat.” It turned out that three members of the gang Evsey — the owners of the wholesale business for the sale of gasoline Michael Markowitz, Leo Persits and David Bogatin behind him, cranked big fraud with fuel, in fact simply robbed the boss. Public this scheme, annually allowed to steal from the budget of the United States more than $ 500 million, was due to Michael Francese, a former member of another Italian crime family the Colombo family. Franchise, nicknamed the “Prince of crime”, told about the scheme of fraud on the court in hopes of a reduced sentence.

the Opportunity to crank the Scam came with the new new York law on taxes on gasoline, adopted in 1982. Now taxes to the Treasury, it was decided to not collect on the counters at gas stations and wholesale fuel companies when the company sells gasoline to a retailer. The idea to create a chain of bogus wholesalers, pereprodavali each other gasoline, belonged to Bogatina, which was the Agron closest advisors, and was so effective that David received a standing ovation members of all five crime families “of the Cosa Nostra”.

With the move to sort out which firms must pay taxes when it is resold from one wholesaler to another, the staff tax could not. And when I finally came out on the trail right company, it turned out that it was ephemeral and no longer functioning. Thus, fraudsters, taking advantage of the confusion in the documents, quickly sold the fuel to the owner, without giving a penny to the budget. According to conservative estimates, the schemers got a week for $ 12 million.

after Learning about the betrayal in the entourage, Evsey Leningrad outright furious. However, to cut the head in a temper did not. First, Bogatin went to the favorites from the influential Italian mafia. And secondly, Agron and he decided to become a party to this Scam. He miscalculated only one thing: in the scheme of clearly-established fraud his persona was completely unnecessary. And it so happened that his activity the thief in the law only provoked members of criminal clans on the new idea is to eliminate the Agron. And that, not even knowing about the treachery of the allies, continued to make plans successful implementation in the gasoline business.

the Life of a famous lawman was interrupted on 4 may 1985. This Sabbath day has traditionally Agron was going to take a bath. At the bottom of it as usual, expecting Biba. However, as soon as Evsey pressed the Elevator button and was approached by a stranger in a tracksuit and put a gun to his head, pulled the trigger. Making sure even one shot in the head, the killer fled. This time to help Evsei doctors were not — he died almost instantly.

Buried Evsey on one of the city’s cemeteries in new York. His wife, fearing herself and her son, went to her parents in the Soviet Union. The place of the king of racketeering took adviser Agron Marat Balagula, who due to natural cunning in some ways even surpassed its predecessor — for example, that has managed to survive unharmed to a ripe old age.