Man accused of being Russia agent didn't mingle

Associated Press Modified: October 4, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: October 4, 2012
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Fishenko filed paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State to form a for-profit corporation with his Houston business — Arc Electronics — in 2001. His company proved to be successful, earning him about $50 million in gross revenue since 2002.

But authorities say those profits came illegally as Fishenko sent hundreds of shipments to Russia containing thousands of electronics, lying to U.S. manufacturers and suppliers about who would be using this technology.

While neighbors said they weren't sure what Fishenko did for a living, they knew he was successful.

Don McGlynn, who lives across the street from Fishenko, said the now jailed businessman seemed to remodel his home every year. Electricians, carpenters and other workers would stream in and out of the house, he said.

McGlynn said his neighbor had bought a new Mercedes SUV within the last year and that his wife, Viktoria, drove around in a red sports car.

"I didn't even know what he did for a living," McGlynn said. "When he was out in front (of his home) he would never say hello."

Houssiere said he would occasionally see Fishenko's wife at the gym but that the family mostly "kept to themselves."

"There was nothing suspicious about them," he said.

Sophia Grinblat, president of the local Russian Cultural Center, said she had never heard of Fishenko.

Grinblat, who is also editor of "Our Texas," a Russian language newspaper distributed in Houston and other Texas cities, said that Fishenko's company had placed a want ad on her paper's website about four months ago, looking for employees. According to the ad, Arc Electronics was looking for "energetic individuals for the position of contract administrator," who would play a critical role in sales and purchases.

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Associated Press writers Tom Hays in New York, Nomaan Merchant in Dallas and Peter Leonard in Moscow contributed to this report.

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