A new true crime documentary series dropped on Netflix on August 5, World’s Most Wanted, which profiles five of the most notorious fugitives of the past few decades. One of the episodes focuses on Ukrainian-Russian mobster Semion Mogilevich, who is considered by many agencies to be the “boss of bosses” of the majority of Russian mafia organizations.
A 2009 press release by the FBI says he was born on June 30, 1946, in Kyiv, Ukraine, but sometimes puts July 5, 1946, as an alternate date of birth. He has been called the “most dangerous mobster in the world” by the FBI and was added to their Ten Most Wanted fugitives list in 2009 for his involvement in “weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale.”
Where is Semion Mogilevich today? While he is still alive, he is no longer wanted by the FBI (more on that below).
Mogilevich Is Believed to Be at the Head of a Large International Criminal Enterprise & the Leader of the Red Mafia
In 2009, the FBI added Mogilevich to its “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list, the 494th person to make the infamous list. Its press release described him as a Ukrainian businessman who is around 5’6″ and weighs almost 300 pounds. “He has pockmarks on his face, may have a moustache, and is a heavy smoker,” the poster reads.
The FBI wrote that Mogilevich is a ruthless criminal: “Victims don’t mean anything to him. And what makes him so dangerous is that he operates without borders. Here’s a guy who managed to defraud investors out of $150 million without ever stepping foot in the Philadelphia area.” Mogilevich is said to control a large international criminal enterprise that controls and influences governments and economies, with a money-laundering network that spans 27 countries.
He was federally indicted in Philadelphia and charged with 45 counts of racketeering, securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering in a defrauding scheme. In 2008, he was arrested in Russia and accused of tax evasion but he was released in 2009. A Russian government spokesperson said the charges “are not of a particularly grave nature so investigators had no particular reason to keep them imprisoned.”
Mogilevich is sometimes called the “Brainy Don” and is considered the leader of the Red Mafia or the “boss of all bosses” in the Russian mafia. In 1998, the Village Voice wrote that Mogilevich is the leader of the Red Mafia, “a notorious Russian mob family that in only six years has become a nefarious global crime cartel” based in Budapest. Its report came after the outlet obtained hundreds of classified documents from the FBI and Israeli intelligence and conducted interviews with some of Mogilevich’s associates.
Mogilevich Is Living Openly in Moscow & Was Removed From the FBI’s Most Wanted List Because He Lives in a Country That Does Not Have an Extradition Treaty With the U.S.
In 2015, Philly Voice reported that Mogilevich had been removed from the FBI’s ten most wanted list. It wrote that although Mogilevich is still alive, at large and wanted for his involvement in a stock manipulation scheme, he is currently living in a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S. and he is no longer believed to be an immediate threat to the public.
The FBI told the outlet that their search for the mobster received a lot of publicity but he was not captured. Although they have removed him from the list, he is still being investigated with the intention to “ultimately apprehend him.” Mogilevich is living freely in Moscow with his wife and three children.