December 9, 2009

All the really cool crimes in LA are committed by ...

guys from somewhere roughly between St. Petersburg and Kabul. From the LA Times, we have the story of Pavel Valkovich, who hired a second hit man to behead the first hit man he'd hired:
A Sherman Oaks man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to a bank fraud charge has admitted to federal authorities that he sought to have a witness in the case killed in a drive-by shooting, officials said Wednesday.

Pavel Valkovich, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of solicitation of murder for offering to pay $10,000 to arrange for the slaying of a man who was cooperating with authorities in the fraud case against him. Valkovich was involved in a scheme in which he and others used stolen personal identifying information to transfer funds from victims' bank accounts to PayPal accounts he and his cohorts could access, prosecutors contend.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Jennifer L Williams said Valkovich had initially pleaded not guilty in the case and was seeking to have the witness killed to stop him from testifying. When Valkovich later learned that the person had already begun cooperating, he changed his plea to guilty. But he continued with his plan to have the witness killed, Williams said. Only his motive had changed -- to revenge.

Valkovich approached a fellow inmate in the Federal Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles and asked that he arrange for someone to kill the witness with a gun equipped with a silencer, according to prosecutors. Unfortunately for Valkovich, the witness in the fraud case wasn't the only one who ended up cooperating with authorities.

The inmate he approached as a go-between told prosecutors about the plot and agreed to testify against Valkovich.

Valkovich was charged with the crime and transferred to another jail. Apparently unfazed, he approached another inmate, this time about arranging a pair of killings, prosecutors contend. He wanted the original informant dead, as well as the first guy who was supposed to have arranged for his killing. He was willing to pay $40,000 for the job and provided the inmate, who was slated to be released soon, with information about the targets' appearance, residences and cars. He also had a special request, according to prosecutors: He wanted the first inmate he had approached not only killed, but beheaded.

I wonder if it's the same Pavel Valkovich who got into an altercation with Jennifer Lopez's bodyguards six years ago in Miami Beach?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

He also had a special request, according to prosecutors: He wanted the first inmate he had approached not only killed, but beheaded.

Anybody have any thoughts why?

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a classic movie cliche. The stars are inadvertent witnesses to a murder. The perps find out who these witnesses are (how they do this is almost never explained), hunt them down and kill other people but not the crucial witnesses. However these new killings are in sight of new witnesses, are these new witnesses then hunted down? No.

Bird on a Wire - Goldie Hawn & Mel Gibson, first time I noticed it.

Anonymous said...

Rather inept of this chap. He's obviously a very poor judge of character. Each of his confidantes have found advantage in turning on him. Just a naive and trusting soul, he should contemplate a career change. Gigolo, perhaps? Much less risk there.

Thomas said...

Doesn't seem as though Mr. Valkovich is a very bright criminal. He's gotten one, and probably now two, charges of soliciting the murder of federal witnesses, to contend with in addition to the bank fraud charge he started with.

Anonymous said...

I bet this guy is not ethnically Russian.

Mike said...

I used to think that criminals who acted in irrational or short-sighted ways in movies or books weren't realistic, because wouldn't you think things out more if you were going to commit some crime. But then I read about how psychopaths in real life aren't the calculating Hannibal Lecter types generally, but rather impulsive people who might be smart, but have this cognitive blind spot for thinking about consequences, and learning from mistakes. I remember reading about one case of a psychopath holding a person against his will, and then telling him something like, "I'm running away to Las Vegas. Don't come after me!"

Peter A said...

You need to include Odessa, St Petersburg is too far East. How about "committed by guys from a triangle defined by Odessa, St Petersburg and Kabul."

Middletown Girl said...

"I bet this guy is not ethnically Russian."

A lot of 'Russian' gangsters are Chechens or Jews. Jews are smarter, Chechens are more brutal. Both groups are viciously ruthless.

I think there was a book recently called McMafia, Crime without Frontiers.

But, then the entire Russian government is run by gangsters. The best thing you can say about Putin and his cronies is they are genuine Russian patriots. Even so, they too are thugs.

I've seen a few Russian gangster movies and they are depressing. American gangster movies are often ugly too but they also have a spirited fairytale aspect as perverted variations of the American Dream fantasy. It's like America is a glorious and fabulous country, and if you don't have the connections, smarts, nor patience to make it to the big times, there is the way through crime--if you have big enough balls.

The landscape in Russian gangster films is bleak, a total wasteland. Russian gangsters commit crime to gain respect, not respectability, in a world where everyone is either desperately poor or rich-through-nefarious-means. Gangsterism isn't a perverted imitation or shortcut to something good but the ONLY way to survive or command respect.

patrick said...

Don't know if he is ethnically Russian or not. There are some pretty nasty characters who are actually Russian or Ukrainian. Very few Jews or Kavkaz folks in the Pacific NW but we have major Eastern European OC problems here.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Same Pavel as the Lopez incident. He had a lot of pics with celebs when I was with him in San Bernardino County while he was fighting this case. Tell ya right now, complete set up. Nothing more then him jokingly saying something in prison out of anger or just plan venting/drugged up on medication from the medical nurse, and the feds running with it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Same Pavel as the Lopez incident. He had a lot of pics with celebs when I was with him in San Bernardino County while he was fighting this case. Tell ya right now, complete set up. Nothing more then him jokingly saying something in prison out of anger or just plan venting/drugged up on medication from the medical nurse, and the feds running with it.