Russian mobster to be released
BASTROP -- A Russian Mafia don who masterminded a 1980's tax scheme is set to be freed Saturday from a federal prison in Bastrop.
Authorities say Marat Balagula, 61, led a scam to cheat the U.S. government out of $85 million in gasoline taxes.
He's been behind bars since the early 1990s following convictions on federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges.
Investigators say before that, Balagula headed a global criminal enterprise from his Brooklyn, N.Y., restaurant.
Efforts to contact him for comment weren't successful.
Balagula and his illegal exploits, which began in the former Soviet Union before he emigrated in the late 1970s, have been profiled in detail in books and magazine articles.
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