On the Origins of Fuel Racketeering:
In the last several years public attention on organized crime in the United States has increasingly focused on criminals from the former Soviet Union and various Eastern European states. The US Senates Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) held a five-part hearing on Russian Organized Crime in the United States. During the course of the past sixteen years the major mark of racketeers has been made in fuel racketeering. Until the 1980s, the ownership of New York area fuel terminals was in the hands of established firms, though this did not mean they were uncooperative when it came to frauds. According to California authorities, fuel tax fraud is probably the most lucrative criminal activity in the State. In 1976 Balagula came to the United States from Odessa and sprinted to the top of the migr underworld in Brighton Beach. He was sentenced for the credit card fraud and then tried and convicted for gas racketeering in New York.