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Rasputin owner indicted in debt-relief fraud

A look at Rasputin's interior, courtesy of RasputinNY.com

Federal prosecutors say a New York City debt-settlement services firm defrauded debt-ridden individuals out of millions of dollars — with much of the ill-gotten gains used to fund operations of the Rasputin Supper Club in Brighton Beach.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York said on Tuesday that Mission Settlement Agency, its owner Michael Levitis and three employees have been charged with mail and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the defendants scammed more than 1,200 victims by lying about Mission's fees. They say Mission employees also lied about the debt-reduction results they supposedly achieved for customers.

A woman who answered the phone at Levitis' Brooklyn home said he had no comment.

Levitis' wife, Marina, was featured on the short-lived television program "Russian Dolls," the New York Post reported.

May 7, 2013 - 10:45am


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