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Moldovan flees to US to share details of $1 billion theft

WASHINGTON – The past months of Mihail Gofman’s (GOHF-man’s) life read like spy fiction: Fearing he’s being followed, he flees his native Moldova in a borrowed car, drives to neighbouring Romania and flies to Washington.

There he gives U.S. officials information he claims links top Moldovan political leaders and possibly U.S. citizens to a $1 billion heist that gutted the impoverished eastern European nation’s banking system.

The theft occurred under the watch of a Western-leaning government. Widespread anger kindled support for a pro-Russian candidate who won Sunday’s presidential election in Moldova.

Gofman is the former deputy chief of an anti-money laundering unit in Moldova. He says he’s shared documents with the FBI, trying to make the case that many people got rich off the bank scheme. And some may be Americans.