Accused Russian Spy Also Labeled Lousy Tenant

     MANHATTAN (CN) – A Bronx man fighting federal charges of economic espionage for Russia also faces a civil lawsuit accusing him of being a landlord’s nightmare and children’s toy-thief.
     “Evgeny Y. Buryakov betrayed the United States of America as a spy,” landlords Constance and Feroze Bacchus allege in a 7-page complaint. “At the same time, but in a different but no less pernicious manner, he betrayed the plaintiffs.”
     The Bacchuses owned the 5833 Liebig Avenue property in the affluent Riverdale neighborhood where Buryakov lived before his Jan. 23 arrest this year.
     “The house was a short distance from the official mission of the Russian Federation located in a 22 story building at 355 West 255″ Street, Bronx, New York,” the Manhattan Supreme Court complaint notes.
     Still early into his pretrial phase, Buryakov is battling federal charges that he acted as an unregistered agent of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, known as the SVR, in the Manhattan office of Vnesheconombank (VEB).
     In their lawsuit, the Bacchuses say that VEB signed a furniture lease agreement with them before Buryakov entered into a lease for the property.
     Buryakov’s family “abandoned” the house after his arrest, according to the complaint.
     “The family’s two automobiles remained parked outside the Russian mission on Mosholu Avenue,” the complaint states. “The family remained in the mission then fled to another safe-house. Thereafter the family fled to Russia.”
     VEB’s “high-level” employee Alexander Slepnev and his associates subsequently entered the house and aided the defendant Buryakov and his wife in removing property not belonging to them, caused damage to the house, and stole property belonging to the plaintiffs and failed to return property which had been illegally appropriated,” the complaint states.
     “That property included wooden toys belonging to the plaintiffs’ 11 year old son,” it continues.
     “The property which was stolen in January, 2015 has not been returned, nor has the exterior damage to the house been paid for, notwithstanding demand has been made. The damage to the house and its contents involved broken furniture, structural damage, and extraordinary filth.
     “After the January, 2015 arrest of Buryakov, the defendant Buryakov stopped making payments under the lease,” the complaint states.
     Buryakov and VEB face two counts of fraudulent misrepresentation and a breach of the implied covenant of fair dealing.
     Slepnev is accused of aiding in the conversion and damaging of property.
     Prosecutors claim that Buryakov shirked his obligations to notify Washington about his ties to Moscow under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
     In a recent motion to dismiss , Buryakov’s lawyer Scott Hershman argued that his client never hid his employment at VEB, which was known to be wholly owned by the Russian state.
     “The court may also take notice of the legal fact that to comply with U.S. law, VEB filed on behalf of Mr. Buryakov a petition for, and was granted, an L-1A work visa from the U.S. government that was conditioned on Mr. Buryakov entering the United States expressly to work as VEB’s Deputy Representative,” the motion to dismiss states.
     Although the United States has not yet filed its reponse, Buryakov’s landlords believe the alleged spy traded upon deception.
     “Buryakov did so by fraudulently representing himself to be someone he was not, failing to honor a contractual agreement, damaging property belonging to the plaintiffs, and arranging through the help of others to steal property from the plaintiffs,” their complaint states.
     The Bacchuses demand at least $500,000 in punitive damages.
     They are represented by John Rieck of Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack.

%d bloggers like this: