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Daily Archives: December 2nd, 2011

LAP RAP: Zhanna Kuznetsova (above) leaves court last night after a roundup netted 20 at nine strip clubs, including Cheetahs in Midtown, for an alleged immigration scheme


The feds busted 20 people yesterday — including Gambino, Bonanno, and Russian Mafia gangsters — in an alleged mob-run scheme that stocked local strip clubs with young women smuggled in from Russia and other Eastern European countries.

Authorities said the nubile illegal aliens used phony offers of waitressing jobs to score summer-work and travel visas — which bar visitors to the United States from working in the adult-entertainment industry.

But once on American soil, the women allegedly served up flesh at nine jiggle joints in New York City and Long Island.

The clubs, which were all raided yesterday, include Cheetah’s in Manhattan; Gallagher’s 2000, Perfection and Rouge in Queens; and Scene in Commack, LI, said Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes Jr., of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Hayes said the arrests “bring to an end a long-standing criminal enterprise operated by colluding organized-crime entities that profited wildly through a combination of extortion and fraud.”

“Today, that business model has been extinguished,” he added.

The ring — which includes seven reputed members and associates of the Gambino and Bonanno organized-crime families — also allegedly arranged sham marriages with men upstate so the dancers could remain in the country.

The mob figures — who are accused of shaking down the owners of four strip clubs in Queens and Long Island for “protection” payments and resolving disputes over who got to hire the illegal aliens — include reputed Gambino family capo Alphonse Trucchio, son of notorious mobster Ronald “Ronnie One Arm” Trucchio.

Also charged are alleged Gambino soldier William “Old Man Willy” Pazienza Sr., and purported Bonanno captain Anthony “Perry Como” Frascone. Those accused mobsters, and four others, face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Three of the defendants — who are accused of helping recruit the dancers — also allegedly entered into sham marriages themselves. They include Natalia “Natasha” Ivanova, 43; Elena Turubanova, 24, who also goes by the name Ellen Totten; and Zhanna Kuznetsova, 24, who also goes by Zhanna Striano.

Kuznetsova, in an interview with The Post last night, insisted she is both a secretary on Long Island, and legitimately married to Joseph Striano — just not happily.

“It’s a real marriage,” said Kuznetsova, who faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. “It’s a cold relationship. We don’t talk a lot. Right now, things are not so good. I don’t have to be married to a person I love.”

At Turubanova’s home in Huntington Station, LI, neighbors said that young, pretty women came and went from the house at all hours.

“We just knew something was going on, and we thought it was prostitution,” said a male neighbor.

Another neighbor recalled seeing women, dressed to the nines, being picked up from the house by luxury cars at night — and then coming home after sunrise wearing the same clothes.

Additional reporting by David K. Li and Jessica Simeone  Click here: Cops break up Mafia Russian stripper import scheme –