NEW YORK, Jan. 29 -- The reputed leader of New York's powerful Russian organized crime syndicate has been sentenced today (Wednesday) to nearly a decade in a federal penitentiary. Vyacheslav Ivankov and three others were convicted of trying to extort $3.5 million from a the Wall Street investment firm of a Russian emigre, threatening to harm family members and friends if the company's executives did not turn over the cash.
Ivankov, who was sentenced to nine years and seven months for extortion and conspiracy, is also believed responsible for ordering the April 1995 beating murder of the father of one of the owners of Summit International Investments. Federal Judge Carol Amon sentenced the 56-year-old Ivankov to less the maximum, saying she was considering only trial testimony and the jury's verdict, not any crimes attributed to Ivankov in Russia. Ivankov, who served time in a Siberian prison camp before settling in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, pleaded for leniency, claiming he was a religious man. He said he was persecuted in the former Soviet Union for being an ardent anti-communist. Earlier, Ivankov was sentenced to 19 months imprisonment for fraudulently marrying a woman to get a green card in the United States. Sentenced with Ivankov were Sergei Ilgner, Vladimir Topko and Valery Novak. All received lesser sentences. ---
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