They grew rich on the universal poverty. The history of underground millionaires of the USSR
“Ribbon.ru” continues a series of publications on the ingenious Scam of the Soviet Union — the people who under penalty of death managed to make fortunes in the eyes of the authorities. During the war years and the postwar period there were underground businessmen, for which the total deficit became the key to wealth.
In a previous article we talked about the Benjamin Wiseman — the irrepressible con artist who claims to be twice hero of the Soviet Union. He provided a comfortable life by tricking the Soviet of Ministers. Weisman wasn’t the only one in its kind: in the war years and the postwar period there were underground businessmen, machinists, who grew rich on a terrible deficit, without regard to the government and comrade Stalin. In a country where not enough of everything from the bread to the record — smart businessmen quickly became millionaires. But the fabulously wealthy tsehovikov often ruined banal passion for lush sprees…
At the beginning of the great Patriotic war somebody Michael Isaev for the big money bought “liberation” from participation in hostilities. However, no matter civilian, he sat and took a job as a supplier to regional industries. Due to the penetrative nature and questionable morality Isaev in just a few years rose to the chief of the supply division of Raspashena. His Department supplied throughout the Union, not only bread, but also other products; deliveries were in military units, canteens, shops, kindergartens…
In the harsh war years the post Isayev was literally and figuratively a very bread — and he could not resist the temptation.
But to bother with multi-pass schemes did not become, having decided simply to take the part of the supplied products. It would seem, a trifle — one egg in a dozen, but given that the Department Isaeva every day shipped thousands of eggs, he got a very decent profit.
Took everything indiscriminately: and flour, and sugar, and tea with every delivery a little left myself. Isayev did not hesitate to steal even goods intended for residents of besieged Leningrad, knowing about their terrible situation.
To nothing he does not interfere, the speculator has got the fact that in the dashing 90-e will be called a roof. To protect Isaeva from those who want to enter with him into the share became his friend the bandit, Andrey Gorelov. For this he received not only generous fees, but valuable tip: Isaev told him on what part of the railroad stuck a particular composition of food. At the time this happened quite often — because of the constant bombing of the path were in poor condition, and trains are permanently stuck on a deserted station.
Isayev received from another tip, Gorelov was collected accomplices and attacked the train with the products — because of the lack of people they were practically unguarded and the prey is battered raiders without noise and dust. The gunner from attacks Gorelova also made a profit: if he knew that the composition is guaranteed to get stuck, then loaded into wagons only half of the specified in the invoices of food. After the attack of robbers Isaev just shrugged — like, all that was listed in the documents, was kidnapped by the bandits. Held with him at the stake accountant David Rosenbaum, who was still shadow accounting of his boss, the words Isayev fully confirmed.
By the end of the war, the swindlers “have earned” one million rubles, and have wondered where exactly to put it. Isaev knew that “Shine” wealth is strictly impossible, and therefore as accurately as possible bought jewelry. The gold speculator then gave away numerous mistresses, some just buried in the country.
There, in the earth, he hid three-liter jars, tightly Packed with banknotes. Hastily Isayev had not closed them tightly, and a large portion of cash in the end simply rotted away.
The owner of the stolen treasures was trying to be as close as possible: Isaev was often taken to be accomplices in his country house, staged a noisy party. Swindler seemed that in the wilderness of the suburbs to it no one cares, but he was wrong — tired of the constant noise of the neighbors complained about Isayev to the police. Lured by the swindler, the district tried to hush up the case, but his boss is strongly interested in how ordinary supply of funds for such frequent feasts.
Investigators began to look to legends and soon found that during his “work” he, along with accomplices stole, among other things, about two tons of sugar and jam, almost 10 tons of flour and 400 kilos of butter. And Isaev, even knowing that he came under suspicion, continued to lead a dissipated life.
The last straw was the suicide of his wife, who was tired to suffer betrayal and bullying husband.
Trying to avoid fanfare and attention, the crook used all his connections to get the conclusion about her death from a heart attack.
We took advantage of watching Isaev employees of the Department for combating theft of socialist property (obkhss), the Ministry of internal Affairs of the USSR: they quickly figured out all his criminal connections and established associates. The whole group was detained in the summer of 1947; a few months later the scammer Isaev and his accountant Rosenbaum received 25 years in prison. All their property, and the property their home was confiscated. The only one who managed to escape punishment, was the leader of a gang of robbers Gorelov: realizing that the smell of fried, he disappeared. To find it and failed.
While Isayev had made fortunes in fraudulent products, there were those who were interested in not less scarce in the postwar years the product — the fabric. Since the factory was destroyed, the Soviet Union lacked even the most simple cotton cloth — not only for ordinary Soviet citizens, but also for the production of workwear. That though as-that to compensate the disadvantage, the state was to allocate linen fabrics from impoverished by the time the strategic reserves. They went to sewing all kinds of gowns, aprons and head scarves — primarily for physicians and food industry workers.