Garrett M. Graff | Longreads | June 2018 | 20 minutes (5,086 words)
Razhden Shulaya maintained a diverse business empire, like a Warren Buffet of crime. By age 40, from his base in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, he had a cigarette smuggling operation, a drug ring, a counterfeit credit card scheme, an extortion racket, an illegal gambling establishment, and teams devoted to hacking slot machines. According to prosecutors who have been building a case against him, Shulaya’s associates provided gun-running, kidnap-for-hire, and the fencing of stolen jewelry. Plans were in place for what authorities came to call the “romance scam”: use an attractive woman to lure a target down to Atlantic City, knock him out with chloroform, and steal his money. They’d take his Rolex, too.