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Potato Bag Gang

The Potato Bag Gang, a manifestation of the Odessa Mafia,[1] was a gang of con artists from Odessa that operated in New York City's Soviet émigré community in the Brighton Beach area of New York City in the mid-1970s.[2]

Criminal activity

Posing as merchant sailors, they would offer to sell victims bags full of antique gold rubles for thousands of dollars each. In reality, only the sample coin was authentic, and the bags were full of potatoes.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Orleck, Annelise; Elizabeth Cooke (1999). The Soviet Jewish Americans. Greenwood Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-313-30074-5. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
  2. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (04 June 1989). "Soviet Émigré Mob Outgrows Brooklyn, and Fear Spreads", The New York Times.
  3. ^ Manning, George A. (1999). Financial Investigation and Forensic Accounting. CRC Press. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-8493-0435-4. Retrieved 2008-09-13.

Further reading