Detained Russian launches challenge

Marina Talashkova

Marina Talashkova

Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

A beautiful Russian flight attendant snared in one of the most sophisticated American bogus Internet vehicle schemes wants a quick flight from Canadian detention.

She could be seeking her release on bail as early as June 5.

Marina Talashkova appeared briefly in Superior Court in Toronto Thursday but her extradition hearing was adjourned by the prosecution until June 22.

The adjournment was triggered after her defence lawyer Tyler Hodgson launched a Charter challenge. Hodgson is asserting that his client’s detention by Immigration Canada between Jan. 15-18 “constituted an abuse of process and a violation of Marina’s rights,” court documents stated.

If successful, her extradition to the United States could be stayed.

The 24-year-old woman, who is an alleged underling, was arrested at Pearson Airport on Jan. 15 by Immigration Canada “on the offence of theft by deceit” for between $10,000 and $100,000 on American charges in Las Vegas in July 2009.

Talashkova requested a return to Russia when she was denied entry to Canada upon her arrival on Jan. 15 in Toronto, court documents alleged. For no apparent reason, she was instead detained, although there was no information then that the Americans wanted her.

She was detained by Immigration Canada on the grounds of “serious criminality.” Her lawyer is asserting she should have been allowed to leave at that point.

Hodgson is asserting that the U.S. should have used provisions of their treaty with Russia to extradite Talashkova. Instead, authorities used a provisional arrest warrant with Canada to try to send the woman back to face American justice.

It’s unclear why she was detained at that time, especially because the Americans weren’t seeking her extradition. Hodgson is seeking to have disclosure of the Canadian authorities’ basis for her continued detention in January.

American authorities branded the bogus Internet vehicle scheme as one of the most sophisticated, but not the largest, operations preying on victims in the U.S.

Their complex scam involved the creation of phony identification and passports along with fictitious bank accounts.

The fraudsters allegedly promised the buyers luxury cars, vintage vehicles, RVs and jet skis, took their cash and delivered nothing. The fraudsters siphoned $4 million from 110 bank accounts under these false names from Sept. 4, 2007, to Oct. 5, 2010.

Two of the organizations’s alleged ringleaders are facing trial in Las Vegas next month.

 


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