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An ex-Russian mobster convicted in the gruesome 1995 slaying of a Brooklyn boxer helped the feds secure the conviction of a banker accused of fraud, according to new papers filed in the Manhattan federal court case.
The former gangster, identified by defense attorneys as convicted murderer Natan Gozman, worked with the FBI as a confidential informant in a financial fraud case against former bank manager Herode Chancy.
Chancy, along with co-conspirator Michael Albarella, pleaded guilty in March of conspiring to fraudulently obtain business loans of more than $1 million and to not repay them, prosecutors in Manhattan federal court said.
But in a sentencing memo filed earlier this month, Chancy’s attorney argued Gozman set him up to engage in the bank fraud — and worked with the feds while he needed cash to pay back some $70,000 in defaulted loans.
“The scheme never could have happened without Gozman, who coached Mr. Chancy at length on how to make the fraudulent applications,” Chancy’s attorney, Clay H. Kaminsky, wrote.
“He told Mr. Chancy exactly what to do and how to do it. Together with the undercover agent, Gozman even suggested the amounts for the fraudulent loan applications and asked for Mr. Chancy’s help laundering his (Gozman’s) share of the proceeds,” he added.
In the filing, Kaminsky added that Chancy was unaware of Gozman’s extensive and violent criminal history as a member of the Russian Mafia known as the “Brigade” or “Bratva.”
As part of a deal with the feds in 2005, Gozman pleaded guilty to the 1995 slaying of Brooklyn prizefighter Sergei Kobozev, which drew national headlines at the time, prosecutors said.
He also copped to a separate murder, as well as to robbing a jeweler and testified in a 2007 trial in exchange for a wrist-slap sentence of 10 years in prison, according to court papers filed by prosecutors Tuesday.
Gozman participated in Kobozev’s murder allegedly to boost his standing in the Russian crime syndicate, which he joined as a teen in the 1990s. As part of his criminal career, he carried out robberies, extortion, as well as the pair of murders, federal prosecutors said.
In the letter Kaminsky filed on behalf of Chancy, the attorney detailed the 1995 slaying the FBI informant helped execute.
“Kobozev, a boxer, had been working as a restaurant security guard and had therefore played a small role in offending a member of the Brigade who had become drunk and pugnacious at the restaurant where Kobozev worked,” Kaminsky wrote.
“Gozman and his associates later approached Kobozev, shot him, forced him into a
car, and drove him to New Jersey to dispose of his body,” he added.
The judge in Chancy’s case scheduled a hearing for later this week to determine if allegations raised by Chancy about Gozman’s involvement in the scheme should be considered in his sentencing.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Gozman denied organizing the fraud to entrap Chancy.
“Nobody set him up. Nobody set nobody up,” he said.
Chancy’s attorney declined to comment.
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