Federal authorities say Boris Stratievsky was a tough-talking Russian mobster whose father once boasted that his son had attempted murders.
"It's the same for Boris, whether to stab someone with a knife or shoot them," Lev Stratievsky told a wired-up government informant. But Boris Stratievsky wasn't so tough while he was in the Kankakee County Jail for 30 months while awaiting trial on federal money-laundering charges, according to his latest court filing.
"This was not the serving of time, but a form of torture to which no human being should be subjected," he wrote, begging a judge to give him a break at sentencing, which is scheduled for today.
Prosecutors will argue against such a break, saying the U.S. Marshals Service inspects county jails to make sure they meet standards for the care of inmates awaiting trial in federal court. Stratievsky's conditions weren't "truly egregious," prosecutors said.
The feds have contracts with local governments to house some of their pretrial detainees like Stratievsky in county jails.
Stratievsky said he was placed in the general population with gang members who were awaiting trial for murder, arson and other violent crimes. Because he wasn't a gang member, he says he was struck, pushed around and lived in constant fear.
He complained there was no "yard" to exercise in and that a basketball court with a broken backboard was a haven for gang-bangers and an "open invitation to be attacked."
"After one particular attack, which resulted in a terrible fight, I was finally transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center," Stratievsky said of the federal lockup in downtown Chicago.
Stratievsky, who lived in a Highland Park mansion on Lake Michigan and co-owned a Boeing 707, was arrested with his father in an FBI sting in 2005.
In May, he pleaded guilty, admitting he illegally transferred $80,000 in what he thought were drug proceeds from Moscow to a New Jersey bank. In return, he was to get a 20 percent fee.
Stratievsky believed he was working with an associate of Ukrainian drug traffickers, but the man really was an FBI informant, officials say.
Lev and Boris Stratievsky both were held in the Kankakee County Jail. Boris Stratievsky said he saw his father become gravely ill there and believes a lack of medical attention at the jail hastened his father's death.
Boris Stratievsky wrote that he was only allowed a 15-minute visit with his father at the hospital - and a short visit with his father's body after his death.
Thanks to Frank Main
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
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