Tambovskaya gang member convicted for extortion from group leader’s ex-wife

Tambovskaya gang member convicted for extortion from group leader’s ex-wife
Elizabeth Elena von Messing (Pomidorikha) Photo: Fontanka

The victim herself is a defendant in a case on the withdrawal of 1 billion euros from Russia and was convicted of money laundering in Bulgaria.

The Smolninsky District Court of St. Petersburg handed down a sentence to member of Tambovskaya gang Sergey Fuks in the extortion case. He was convicted of demanding 49 million rubles ($835.6 thousand) from a citizen of Finland, Elizabeth Elena von Messing, Fontanka reports.

As previously reported by The CrimeRussia, in March 2017, the FSB officers detained two kingpins in St. Petersburg on suspicion of extortion a large sum of money as payment of farfetched debt from von Messing, previously known under the name of Elena Skorodumova. Members of Tambovskaya group Sergey Fuks and Andrey Abramov (Abram) demanded 49 million rubles ($835.6 thousand) from the woman since May 2015. After on February 2 unknown persons shot the car of her son, von Messing appealed to the law enforcement agencies. As evidence, she produced transcripts of conversations with the extortionists.

The Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee in St. Petersburg filed a criminal case on suspicion of Extortion on an especially large scale (part 3 of Art. 163 of the Criminal Code).

Sergey Fuks acknowledged the factual circumstances set forth in the indictment. He was sentenced to two years of a strict regime colony. The court also granted a civil claim for 2 million rubles ($34.1 thousand).

It is worth noting that the victim was previously a civil wife of one of the leaders of Tambovskaya gang, 'nephew' of Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin) Andrey Khloev (Besprizornik (Homeless child). This September in Bulgaria she was sentenced to 10 years and a fined 628 million leva (about $34.1 m) for money laundering. However, a few days ago she managed to get out of the women's colony for health reasons. In addition, 15 million euros, arrested on the accounts of her firm, were transferred to the state's income. Even before the appeal for release, Elizabeth Elena von Messing was allowed to move freely around Europe. Taking advantage of this, she has already returned to Helsinki, where she lives now.

In St. Petersburg, law enforcement officers suspected Skorodumova of direct participation in the group. It was assumed that she laundered Tambovskaya gang's money in Finland. Nevertheless, the woman was not charged with participation in the group, but in 2014 she was accused of complicity in illegal banking activities. According to the initial inference of the investigation, the suspect and her associates withdrew 45.6 billion rubles ($777.6m) from the legal turnover of Petersburg, earning more than 1.2 billion rubles ($20.4m) on this, and subsequently all charges were dropped from her. Nevertheless, the "northern capital" dubbed Skorodumova "the queen of shadow financial channels". The woman has another nickname - Pomidorikha, which she inherited from her first husband, passionately fond of preference: if he was all on edge during the game, he blushed like a tomato.

Currently, a case on illegal withdrawal of 1 billion euros abroad is being investigated against von Messing in Russia. In May, officers of the Investigative Committee of St. Petersburg and the regional FSB Directorate conducted a series of operational activities in the criminal case on funneling the funds abroad. Searches have also been conducted in the office of company of FTS, co-owned by Elizabeth Elena von Messing.

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