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Russian businessman may leave prison

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A Russian businessman linked by the FBI to the disappearance of a Rochester-area millionaire may leave prison and head back to Russia, court records show.

Citing federal court documents, the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester (N.Y.) said a judge this month sentenced the businessman, Egor Chernov, to time served for illegal possession of a cellphone in prison, where he had been nearing the end of a sentence for dealing in illegal passports.

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He was expected to be deported to Russia after his release.

The FBI has linked Chernov to the 2005 disappearance of Rex Judd. In an affidavit, an FBI agent alleged evidence indicates Judd was murdered in Thailand while traveling with Chernov and other associates and friends, the newspaper reported. Judd's body has never been found.

Chernov has denied involvement in Judd's disappearance. Records indicate his sister, a former judge in Russia, has connections within the upper tiers of the country's government.

Chernov had claimed the FBI manufactured the cellphone possession charge to keep him jailed while the investigation into Judd's disappearance continued.

Judd had sold get-rich programs and had tax problems, leading some to question whether he's alive and living under a different identity, but the tax problems had been resolved before the trip to Thailand, the newspaper said.

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Judd and his wife lived on a lakefront estate in Wayne County, N.Y.

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