Subject: SUBMISSION: Back in the USSR

Here's my first serious attempt at scambaiting. Hope you can use it. I didn't receive the opening email, but found it on

I was interested in this one because it was an unusual variation on the old theme. An imprisoned Russian dissident makes a change from all those dead dictators and businessmen in Nigeria. How could I resist...?

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky (scammer du jour)


Tom Cobley (and all)

[Scam-o-note: See also the Slavorama Page.]

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

From: mrs_khodorkovsky
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005

Dear Friend,

I will want you to come to my aid in the face of the Harrasment and maltreatment my husband is going through in the hands of the Russian authority for joining and funding a political party opposed to the way the affairs of Russia is being managed by the Russian President.I will want you to take this letter to be very private and equally verify all details on your own without putting both of us into problems,hence,the need to be transperent to each other.

I am Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky,wife of Mikhail Khodorkovsky(The Richest man in Russia)and a owner of YUKOS OIL (Russian Most Largest Oil company) and Menatep SBP Bank. Following the arrest of my husband and the freezing of all our banks accounts and the letter received from the Russian ministry of finance on the 8th.,of february 2005 that they will take over the payment of all DEBT owed by YUKOS OIL before it final liquidation,i will want to beg for your help to assist me in securing my husbands funds.

My husband got arrested for his involvement in politics and in financing the leading and opposing political parties (the Union of Right Forces,led by Boris Nemtsov, and Yabloko, a liberal/social democratic party led by Gregor Yavlinsky) which poses treat to President Vladimir Putin second tenure as Russian president. You read more of the stories on this news from 13 rkovsky

The documents of a large amount of funds were handed over to me by my husband before he was taking into solitary confinement by the Russian President so that they will not be confisticated by the Russian authority as a result of the political differences between the president and my husband which has led to the freezing of all his bank accounts.
I will arrange for the documentation which will enable the funds to be transfered to you.
My husband will want to relocate out of Russia as soon everything about his arrest and bail are concluded to start a new lease of life.
As soon as I get your willingness to help me out of this i will give you more details and consequently talk about what i will give to you from this transaction.
Please kindly reply to my more secure email address:

Thank you very much and God bless you


Mrs.Inna Khodorkovsky

Although she's Russian, her "secure email address" is a .it domain. Oh, well. Let's just hope she doesn't notice she's getting a reply from someone who was never on her mailing list.

Tom Cobley

Date: Tue, February 15, 2005


Thank you for your interesting email. I was very upset to hear about your plaight, but I'll need more information before I can decide whether to help you. Please could you get in touch with me? Thanks.

Thomas Cobley.

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

Subject: Thanks for the prompt response to my mail
Date: Tue, February 15, 2005 3:30 pm

Dear Thomas Cobley,

Thanks for your prompt reply to my maill.I will like us to work via email due to security reasons. I am working hand in hand with my husband who is being detained by the Russian Govt.unjustly and would like to ask for your Partnership in re-profiling funds over US$450 million. I sent our current mail status to him and have received the authority to proceed with you, and get some clarifications both ways. PLEASE NOTE THAT IN CASE YOU DO NOT GET MAIL URGENTLY FROM ME, KNOW THAT I HAVE TO CLEARIFY SOME OTHER THINGS FROM HIM BEFORE SENDING REPLY TO YOUR MAIL SO THAT WE DO THINGS CORRECTLY.PLEASE BEAR WITH ME.

Before I am able to give out the information that will enable you access confidential data-pages of of my family, I would need some information as follows:

(1) What investment can we go into in your country and how can you assist us in the investment?

(2) If you have problems, do they affect your activites you undertake with us as an individual rather than a corporate entity?

(3) Have you handled large funds, and was Successfully?

(5) Can you travel to Monte Carlo within short notice of say three days?

All the answers will be kept very confidential. I must explain why i am are asking these questions: If you do have existing profile problems, we may end up inheriting your backlog thus creating a problem where none exist. We intend to liquidate a large investment here in Russia, and take the capital approximately derivative to provide a new investment fund in your country, under your management, for future investments, thus negating any requirements for taxation or declaration of process for income generation. However, if you do have issues prior to this,it puts anything you do in the light, and thus puts us in uncomfortable situation.

As you see, our assets are frozen in switzerland because my husband joined the opposition party, and while we have excess of USD5b lying there, we are unable to liquidate them, or use them as guarantee for payment of the USD3.5b backtaxes inflicted on us by the government. If the situation does not improve, we shall be bankrupt before the end of forth quarter this year.
The funds being liquidated arise from independent investments of my husband's group, outside the russian soil, SO WE CAN LEGITEMATELY DO THIS.
Hence,please answer the questions in honesty, and let me know if i am comfortable with you. I am trying to ensure that you do not put us in any trouble, and likewise,i shall provide you with an input as an entity with no history to the investment, only as a management consultant. Everybody must be safe now and in the future, hence the questions.
I am sure you know of my husband's predicaments presently. This is why i need your help I received your positive position hence this email to you based on his advice. I am sure you are up to date with his problem with Mr. putin the Russian President.
Mr. Putin is intent in destroying Him and our business empire,We are working to get a break from the courts and we will need all the cash call we can muster to hold our head above waters in the coming days. The Gibraltar portfolio is one of our arms yet to be infected by the Moscow led fed tax offensive designed to bring my husband down and i need you to help us keep it so. We need funds from this portfolio and we can not get the funds on our own without arousing moscow. To avoid this we need to completely reprofile the funds from Gibraltar portfolio in your name so as to turn away Moscow and their ally from us. The complete amount available for you for reprofiling is presently over $500m and hope you will accept 7% of the funds from.PLEASE ACCEPT THIS AS MY OFFER TO YOU IN ASSISSTING MY FAMILY. The new beneficiaries of the portfolio will need to offset the back taxes to the authorites in Gibraltar(which i will assist with in paying here on your behalf) and move the funds through a dedicated confidential bank access that I will obtain from my husband in Moscow through existing channel of communications.
Your name or company name, address, for identity to replace that of my husband and reprofile the portfolio accordingly, then I will get the bank access across to you to access the portfolio, pay the back taxes to the authorites and move the funds to another account we will provide you in monte carlo.Please write back promptly.I will also suggest you visit these news sites on the internet to be better informed about this projet. Please supply me the following informations so that i can apply for this immediately:
1.Your full names and address and contacts
2.Banks details,address and phone contacts.

May God bless you and your family


Mrs.Inna Khodorkovsky


The people must have closed down her "secure email address", since this one was sent via hotmail. Never mind. And she wasn't suspicious about my address. She obviously thought she'd sent her original batch to "Tom Cobley and all."

BTW to understand the next email, you'll need to know that "chavs" is British slang for Poor White Trash. "Nadger" and "moulies" are made up rustic words from the old-time radio show "Round the Horne".

Tom Cobley

Date: Wed, February 16, 2005


Thank you for your email. Sorry I couldn't reply sooner, but a chav somehow found its way onto my farm, and tried to nadger one of my moulies. Luckily, we managed to shoot the chav before any real damage was done, but we had to spend the rest of the evening searching for the whole fence where it made its way in.

So, as you can see I didn't have much time for replying to your email. It's a shame you don't want us to talk the phone, because it would be much easier that way.

By the way, did you know that the Government up in London is planning to ban the shooting of chavs if Blair gets re-elected. First they tried to ban fox hunting, and now this. I don't know what the world's coming to. Still at least politics here bain't as bad what's happening to your husband in Russia. It must be some comfort to him knowing that you are taking such good care of things for him.

You asked for my personal financial history. Very well, here goes. I'm mainly a farmer with a very large smallholding in Dartmoor, Devon. (In fact, it's the largest smallholding in the country.) However, I also a bit of an entrepreneur, starting and investing in many other successful projects. At the moment I'm thinking of converting one of my old barns into an arena for Dwarf Throwing, a very popular sport here.

Through good farm management and careful investment, I've managed to make nearly 3 million UK pounds so far, which is a good sum, but nowhere near your US$450 million. That much money must be worth a fortune!

I do have many commitments both on the farm and in my other businesses which might make it difficult to reach Monte Carlo in less than 4 or 5 days notice. I hope this will not be a problem. Where is Monte Carlo anyway? Is it in South America, or is that Montevideo? I always get those two mixed up.

My address is: Thomas Cobley,
"Load of Old Cobblers" Farm
Devon, PL20 6RR
United Kingdom

My bank is: Bank of England, Dartmoor & Princetown Branch.
Account number: 01822 892185

Hope that helps.

Anyway, I look forward to doing business with you. Here's hoping that we can get your husband's money transfered here before his release, eh?

Thomas Cobley.

The following email arrived while I was typing that one. They must have crossed in the ether.

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

Subject: Waiting
Date: Wed, February 16, 2005 1:13 pm

Dear Thomas Cobley,

Good day.i am still waiting for your response to know if you will help me.

Please kindly reply me so that i know the position of things at your end.


Inna Khodorkovsky

Tom Cobley

Date: Wed, February 16, 2005


Hello, my deario. Please see the email I just sent you. I hope that answers all your questions.

By the by, I've been thinking about your husband's situation. In a way, you're lucky he's in Russia. It could be much worse, y'know. If he'd been in a third world country, he would have been executed by now. But Russia has aspirations towards being a modern democracy, no matter how much it fails in reality. If we petition the Russian government, we might be able to bring pressure on them to release your husband.

I've had some experience of organising campaigns and protests: the campaign against banning fox hunting for example. And while that weren't totally successful, I like to look on it as a learning experience. I'm sure I'll make a proper job of my campaign to free your husband. I'll see if I can get everyone in the village to sign a petition, and maybe a few publicity stunts to make the local newspapers. Being on the front page of the Dartmoor And Devon Despatch will surely help your case.

Your husband will soon be free to enjoy the money which we've brought here for him. What do you think?

But for some reason, she just isn't interested in my plans to free her husband. I can't imagine why!
Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

Subject: Thanks for your concern:Submitted the informations
Date: Wed, February 16, 2005 3:28 pm

Dear Mr.Thomas Cobley,

Thanks for your care and concern towards my husband and my family.I will appreciate all your efforts in getting my husband released.i really appreciate all.

By the Grace of God everything will be ok with this.You will not encounter any problem in doing this for me and my family.

I have sent in your information over to the federal ministry of finance here in Russia through my Husband's nephew.He was promised that all approvals will be ready before monday.
I pray this comes out as planned.They equally said they will inform us the amount to pay to the government as tax for this.This i will do here on your behalf through my husband's nephew.Be rest assured that everything will be ok.
I will want my husband nephew who is staying with me here and really assisting me in working out things to come over to your place as soon as you receive the funds.
Please i will want you to send him an invitation letter so that he can equally assist you too in doing somethings in your country as soon as the funds gets to you.

I will be sending you a photocopy of his international passport photograph once he gets it from were it was kept(because his own was the only that was not seized while they were embarrasing my husband when they came to search the house) so that you can identify him.
I will be sending all the necessary details as soon as he gets them so that you can use them to prepare the invitation letter.
I will want you to send me any form of identity of yours.

Moreover,i will keep you informed as everything progresses here.

My regards to your family.
God bless you

Mrs.Inna Khodorkovsky

Tom Cobley

Date: Wed, February 16, 2005


Hello, my deario. It's great to hear that everything is going well with your family. It looks like your nephew's making a proper job of helping with your husband's affairs. Please send me his email address so I can contact him as soon as possible.

I'm sure he'll like visiting us here in Dartmoor. We've got some interesting local traditions which always fascinate newcomers. In fact, we're doing something in the village hall tonight, and I mustn't be late because it's my turn in the barrel.

I've spoken to my neighbour, Tom Pearce, about starting a petition to have your husband freed. Don't worry, I didn't mention anything about our deal. That's still secret. However, he is interested in the campaigning side of things, and will put it to some of the other villagers in the gathering tonight.

Thomas Cobley.

Tom Pearce, like Tom Cobley, comes from the folksong "Widdicombe Fair".
If you need the "It's my turn in the barrel" joke explained, then you're far too innocent to know about it!

Meanwhile, Inna's after the money...

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

Date: Thu, February 17, 2005 11:26 am

Good afternoon Mr. thomas,

My Husband's nephew brought this morning the amount required for the funds transfer to the account today as calculated by the Ministry.



1.Outgoing transfer of funds from Russia :0.0125% of the transfer amount=One million,four hundred and eighty seven thousand,five hundred Rubles(1,487,500.00Rubles)
2.Communication(telex,swift,telegraphic) expenses of the ministry=628,000.00 Rubles
3.Time Deposit/vat of fund above three million,five Hundred thousand Russian Rubles:0.011%=One million,three hundred and nine thousand Russian Rubles(1,309,000.00Rubles)

This brings the total amount to:Three million,four hundred and twenty four thousand,five hundred Rubles(3,424,500.00Rubles).

I just have to see how i can get this done here because i know how hard you gone out of your work and schedule to assist me in getting this done especially in receiving the funds. I will get you notified about the situation here later today if i can get the required money so that we can get everything sorted out and transfered.


Inna Khodorkovsky

Tom Cobley

Date: Thu, February 17, 2005


First my name is "Thomas Cobley", which means Thomas is my given name, and Cobley is my surname. So I'm "Mr. Cobley," or "Thomas", but I bain't "Mr. Thomas". That'd be daft. By the by, my close friends just call me Tom. Maybe you it'd be less confusing if you did too.

Anyway, thanks for the details of the expenses, but I'm a bit cordwangled by the values being in "Rubles." Are they anything like rubies? If so, how much are they worth in UK pounds? (My financial advisor Peter Gurney normally handles that side of things for me, but I don't want to ask him because you said this transaction should be confidential between the two of us.)

By the way, you still bain't given me your nephew's email address like you promised. I'm loking forawrd to sending him a letter of invitation to Devon. Hopefully, he'll be able to arrive in time for the traditional Wicker Man festival we hold each Easter. In fact, I'd like him to be the guest of honour for our festival. But if you don't give me his adress, I can't invite him.

Do you have any such customs or traditions in your country? Yesterday was All Possetting Eve here, the second Wednesday of Lent. The most respected person in the village is chosen to be the Posset in the Barrel. This year, it was my turn, and I was well and truly possetted by the whole community. Then, because this is essentially a religious occaision, we went to St. Custard's church to attend the vicar's organ recital almost immediately.

* The description of the Vicar playing with his organ was stolen word
* for word, without permission, from another scambaiting site, so
* I've removed it here.

While I was there, I managed to speak to some of the other villagers about my plans for a petition campaign to presuade the Russian Government to release your husband. Once again, don't worry, I didn't mention anything about our other business. They all seemed enthusiastic, and it looks as if we'll soon be seeing some banners and T-shirts printed to give this campaign a proper launch. Tomorrow I'll be speaking to old man Frankland, my legal advisor, about getting registered charity status for our campaign.

Tom Cobley.

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

Date: Thu, February 17, 2005 6:31 pm

Dear Thomas,

Thanks for your mail and asssitance so far.The total amount was about twenty five thousand in pounds.The funds i had with me i had to make do with them to pay these charges because of the committment i have ahead especially with my husband's trial and paying other expenses.

Please as soon as you get the funds in your account, i will need about thirteen million Rubles so that i can offset so many things here especially the attorney fees for my husband's trial and other family issues here most importantly that of my children, the twins mostly and my husband's nephew so that he can process his documents as soon as you send his invitation letter.

You know they freezed our accounts and other source of income.That is why your help and asssitance here has been most appreciated and valued here by family members.
For like two days now when i keep talking about you,my children,especially the twins are always wondering about what their mum is talking about with serguei.The one i said will be coming over to your place.

The name of my husband's nephew is SERGUEI ZAKHAROV.I am attaching his passport here for your identification,so that you know who is coming to place as soon as you send the invitation letter and he gets the visa.

Please as soon as the funds is transfered into your account,you can send me the requested funds to me with the informations below by daily money transfer by sending them i bit.







What about your family?Please extend my kind regards and sincere appeciation to them.


Mrs.Inna Khodorkovsky

Attached was an old Soviet Union passport, with the details changed in photoshop.

Tom Cobley

Date: Fri, February 18, 2005


Hello, my deario. Thank you for your latest email with your nephew's passport. I got to confess, I'm a fair bit cordwangled about it. The passport says that it was issued by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 2000. I don't know much about foreign politics and such, so maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the USSR was disbanded in 1991. How were they still able to issue passports nine years later?

I don't think the airport's Immigration Officers here will accept that passport when Serguei arrives in England, and they'll just send him straight back to Russia faster than a bandersnatch out of a gander-bag. However, I see that Serguei's passport is due to expire in a few months anyway. Maybe I should wait until he's got himself a new one, issued by the internationally recognised Russian authorities, and then I'll invite him over. It's a shame that young Serguei shan't be our guest of honour at the Wicker Man festival this Easter. He would've been the toast of the town.

Anyway, enough about your family. You asked about mine. Well, I never married, more's the pity, and at my age, I'm unlikely to find anyone now. When I was younger, I was engaged to a Minnie Bannister, but she left me to run off with a scoundrel called Henry Crun. Even after all these years, I've never found anyone else who could replace her. I bain't got any childrens of my own, but I got plenty of nephews and nieces. Trouble is, they're all in Princetown and don't often get out to the countryside to see their old uncle. That's one reason why I throw myself so much into my work and the community activities to fill the gap that it's left in my life.

By the by, I'm just off into the village to deal with some business matters, and I'll send you your 13 million Roubles while I'm there. I'll email you again when I get back.

Tom Cobley

Tom Cobley

Subject: Problem with the payment
Date: Fri, February 18, 2005 1:39 pm


Hello there, my deario. There's been a slight problem with the paying the money. You said...

> Thanks for your mail and asssitance so far.The total amount was about
> twenty five thousand in pounds. ...
> Please as soon as you get the funds in your account, i will need about
> thirteen million Rubles so that i can offset so many things here
> especially the attorney fees

I went into Desdemona-on-the-Moor today, and also visited the local Western Union office to see about making your transfer. The clerk there told me that 13 million Roubles bain't twenty five thousand pounds. It's two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. Ten times as much as the amount you said.

This gives us a couple of problems:

1) Western Union don't allow transfers that big, especially to politically sensitive places like Russia. Can you give me details of a bank account I could transfer it into, instead? Or a postal address so I could send you a cheque?

2) Although I do have that amount of money, and more, it's all tied up in investments. It shall take me a couple of weeks to free the money ready for payment. Can you wait that long?

3) What the turlingdrome is such a large sum of money for in the first place!?! I know good lawyers aren't cheap, but this is ridiculous. I'll need to see a proper, itemised invoice giving a detailed breakdown of all the charges before I can authorise payment on that scale.

I've also had more bad news about my own business dealings. Old man Frankland, my legal advisor, says that new Health and Safety regulations been that my planned Dwarf Throwing arena should only be using proper, trained stunt dwarfs, and I'll have to provide safety nets for them. This could end up costing more than I expected.

On the bright side, he has agreed set up official charitable trust status for our petition campaign to get your husband released. I'll be collecting the forms to sign on Monday. Just think, if the petition does make Russian government give in and pardon him, you won't need that expensive lawyer any more. Just think of the money we'll save!

I'll contact you again on Monday when I've got the form. Frankland really is a first class lawyer, and surprisingly cheap. Perhaps you'd care to use him for your court case? Or maybe your nephew Serguei could use him sort out the mess with his passport?

Tom Cobley.

Mrs. Inna Khodorkovsky

Date: Fri, February 18, 2005 5:31 pm

Dear Thomas,

I go your mail and thanks for your sincerity and care so far.

My husband's nephew said the documents will be out by next week.So as soon as i get them i will send same to you.

I think it will be better to send the funds in bit of about 300,000.00 Rubles daily or twice daily as soon as you get the funds into your account, so that i dont have problem here with receiving them instead of sending them all at once.

On the alternative i will try and work out other ways i can receive the money,so i will notify you about this before tuesday.

My husband's nephew is going to get another passport as you stated.

I will inform you about any new development here

Have a blessed weekend.

Mrs.Inna Khodorkovsky.

more to come?