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Bucks man accused of running child prostitution ring

The 38-year-old dual Russian-U.S. citizen lives in a four-bedroom house in Richboro, Bucks County, on more than an acre of land.

The 38-year-old dual Russian-U.S. citizen lives in a four-bedroom house in Richboro, Bucks County, on more than an acre of land.

He owns several businesses, including an interest in the Russian Yellow Pages here.

His net worth is more than $5 million.

But according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Andrew Mogilyansky had another line of work: He allegedly employed orphan teens and women in Russia as prostitutes.

Mogilyansky, authorities said yesterday, was arrested Tuesday on federal charges of traveling to St. Petersburg, Russia, to have sex with girls, then employing them as prostitutes in Moscow.

An attorney for Mogilyansky, George H. Newman, said: "We deny the allegations and look forward to contesting them in court."

At a news conference yesterday, acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid said Mogilyansky went "out of his way - in fact, all the way to Russia - to find the weakest population of victims: young girls 14 or less in orphanages."

She said Mogilyansky treated the teens "as a commodity - useful, marketable and ultimately disposable."

Tomorrow, the U.S. Attorney's Office will ask the court to have Mogilyansky detained on the ground that he is a flight risk.

According to the indictment, Mogilyansky conspired with four other Russian citizens from 2002 to 2004 to create a prostitution business in Russia that employed young orphans.

The ring advertised the business via a Web site called Berenika - named for a mythical Russian princess.

The indictment said Mogilyansky traveled from Philadelphia to St. Petersburg in December 2003 and had three girls younger than 14 brought to an apartment he owned in that city.

Prosecutors said he engaged "in sexual activity with minor females as a means of introducing them to the 'Berenika' prostitution business."

The indictment said the girls were transported to Moscow to work for Berenika, which advertised the girls on the Web site. Mogilyansky returned to Philadelphia on Jan. 31, 2004.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan-Kelly, a specialist in child-exploitation investigations who is fluent in Russian, said four Russian coconspirators were tried and convicted on prostitution charges in Russia. She said Mogilyansky left before formal charges were brought against him.

"If he returns to Russia, he'll be subject to arrest," she said.

Newman said he did not know the status of the case in Russia against his client. But he added, "Russia has a very lengthy history of bogus charges against lots of people."

Magid said the defendant believed he could not be charged in the United States for actions that allegedly took place in Russia.

"He was wrong - very, very wrong," Magid said.

Federal laws against American citizens engaging in illicit sexual activities overseas are relatively recent, having been enacted by Congress in the last 12 years.

If convicted of all charges, Mogilyansky faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on each of three counts, plus a fine of $1 million.

Local agents for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office led the investigation and were assisted by police in St. Petersburg and Russian prosecutors.

Magid described the investigation of Mogilyansky as "continuing." She said since he returned from Russia in 2004, he has been living in Bucks County.

"He was openly conducting his business," she said. "I don't think he was hiding."

Mogilyansky, the indictment said, travels frequently to Ukraine, France, Czech Republic, Denmark and Germany.

Mogilyansky is owner of IFEX Global Inc., a Bensalem company that distributes fire-extinguishing equipment, and also has a car-export business.

The indictment said that IFEX was valued at more than $10 million in 2004, while Mogilyansky's personal wealth was valued at $5.3 million in 2006.