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Moscow police round up gang of "black realtors"

May 29, 2012, 14:41 UTC+3

Fraudsters had sold apartments of lone pensioners and disabled persons

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MOSCOW, May 29 (Itar-Tass) — Police in Moscow detained a gang of fraudsters who had sold apartments of lone pensioners and disabled persons, spokeswoman of the Interior Ministry's department for combating economic crimes and corruption Irina Volk told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"The gang comprised 11 persons, including a woman notary," Volk said.

The criminals worked out a detailed plan of crimes: gang members found lone pensioners, disabled persons and war veterans who had real estate, and then drew a power of attorney on their behalf to make a contract to sell their apartments. They then shared the sales proceed between themselves.

"Agents of the department for economic security of the city's southwest district figured out the whole chain of fraudsters and detained 11 persons, including Moscow notary Inessa Yudayeva, who had drawn fake documents giving the right to inherit the property of diseased persons by will; she also authenticated the above documents," the spokeswoman said.

The gang was led by Lev Bezrodny, who had a criminal record. He recruited anther ten people and involved them in the crime. "Bezrodny used several crime schemes. For example, the wrongdoers learnt that a pensioner had died in the Moscow. They forged his marriage certificate which the pensioner allegedly had before his death. Then, Bezrodny's accomplice came in possession of property as lawful wife and sold the deceased person's apartment.

Searches of the gang members' apartments found fake passport forms, title deeds, more than 100 seals of the Federal Migration Service and seals of Moscow notaries.

Criminal proceedings were opened against the detainees under Article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code /fraud/.

Three persons, including Bezrodny, have been placed under arrest.

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