ShareThis Page
Nation

Monroeville man gets 15 months in money-skimming scheme

Jason Cato
| Friday, June 29, 2007

A Monroeville engineer was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to steal international aid money with a former Russian energy minister.

U.S. District Judge Maurice Cohill ordered Mark Kaushansky, 56, to pay a $20,000 fine and back taxes for helping alleged co-conspirator Yevgeny Adamov skim the money for several years.

Kaushansky pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy and tax evasion charges. He originally was indicted on 20 counts.

Prosecutors said Kaushansky teamed up with Adamov to divert $15 million earmarked to upgrade security at Russian nuclear plants through banks in Delaware and Monaco, and PNC and Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh.

At least $9 million went through U.S. companies the defendants created, and Kaushansky was responsible for $5.5 million in back taxes, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Cohill ruled Kaushansky, a Ukrainian native who worked as a Westinghouse nuclear engineer, owed only $63,000 in taxes. That reduced his potential sentence.

Former U.S. Attorney Fred Thieman, who represented Kaushansky, said his client and Adamov diverted the money to keep it safe from the volatile Russian economic market and used it to pay Russian nuclear scientists.

"I was given an opportunity to help hundreds of Russian scientists and their families in dire need," Kaushansky said yesterday. "I think I did a lot of good, but in the process I made some mistakes."

Adamov, 68, served as Russia's nuclear power minister from 1998 until 2001. The United States had him arrested in Switzerland in 2005 and attempted to extradite him to Pittsburgh. Swiss courts, however, sent the nuclear physicist to Moscow to face criminal charges there. His trial began in January, but was later postponed.

"Dr. Adamov will probably never be in the United States to have the charges against him resolved," Cohill said.

Prosecutors believe that will likely be the case, but they have not dropped charges against Adamov.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me