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Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
July 01, 2015

DA VANCE: MAN WHO POSED AS RUSSIAN TECH EXECUTIVE PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING $50,000 THROUGH APARTMENT RENTAL SCHEME

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of PAVEL SUKHORUKOV, 33, for stealing more than $50,000 through a scheme in which he used a fake identity to rent two different Manhattan apartments, and left without paying. SUKORUKOV pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to all of the charges in the indictment against him, including Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, and Theft of Services. He is expected to be sentenced on July 27, 2015.

“Today, Pavel Sukhorukov admitted to stealing more than $50,000 from two New Yorkers ‎by pretending to be an executive at a well-known Russian technology company,” said District Attorney Vance. “Forged leases and bank guarantees supported the ruse through which he earned his victims’ trust. I urge New Yorkers looking to advertise their homes on vacation rental websites, such as the one used here, to exercise caution. While these sites are increasingly common, they may also be abused by deceitful free-riders. Simple steps like maintaining paper trails – and renting your apartment in accordance with New York City’s laws – can help protect from fraud.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and statements made on the record in court, beginning in February 2014, SUKHORUKOV a fake identity and multiple forged documents to convince two separate victims to let him rent their apartments, which he discovered through Homeaway.com, a vacation rental site. SUKHORUKOV pretended to be an executive at a well-known Russian technology company, Mail.ru, in order to win his victims’ trust, and submitted forged documents, including leases and bank guaranty letters, as both proof of his identity and proof of future payment. SUKHORUKOV stayed at the first apartment, located on Greenwich Street in the West Village, for approximately two weeks, before moving into the second apartment, located on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, which he rented for approximately three weeks. SUKHORUKOV left without paying for his stays in either apartment, totaling more than $50,000 in unpaid rent.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Maltz prosecuted this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gloria Garcia, Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Archana Rao, Principal Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Michael Sachs, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Executive Assistant Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Investigators Gerald Bergold and Ahdout Bezhad, Investigative Analyst Manuel Guzman-Garrow, and Trial Preparation Assistant Oliver Van Zant assisted with the case.

Defendant Information:

PAVEL SUKHORUKOV, D.O.B. 1/21/1982
New York, NY

Convicted:

  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, four counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
  • Theft of Services, a class A misdemeanor, two counts