Wealthy Russian National Facing WMD Charges Represented by Public Defender

Wealthy Russian National Facing WMD Charges Represented by Public Defender

Vladislav Miftakhov, the eighteen-year-old Russian national arrested on January 24 for making bombs in Pennsylvania, is being represented by a public defender despite the wealth of his parents. 

Christopher P. Brown, a staff attorney with the Federal Public Defenders Office of Western Pennsylvania who appeared on Miftakhov’s behalf in his recent unsuccessful effort to be released on bail, confirmed to Breitbart News on Monday that he continues to represent Miftakhov.

According to documents filed in federal court by Brown, Vladislav’s father Valery Miftakhov is “head of a division at one of the world’s largest tech companies.” In addition, Breitbart News has learned that his mother and step-father own a house in San Carlos, California, which they purchased for more than $1 million in 2010.

Brown refused to comment Monday when Breitbart News asked him to explain why Miftakhov is being represented by a federal public defender in light of his parents’ significant income and assets. “You will have to ask someone else about that,” Brown said.

Subsequently, Breitbart News posed the same question to Brown’s boss, Lisa B. Freeland, the Federal Public Defender for Western Pennsylvania, through her assistant but received no response.

Last month the Altoona Mirror ran a photograph taken in 2012 of the suspect with a man which the paper identified as Valery Miftakhov. The caption underneath the photograph reads “Vladislav Miftakhov (left) stands with his father, Valery, in a 2012 photo. Miftakhov’s attorney [public defender Brown] presented photos of the Miftakhov family to prove the bomb suspect is ‘a bright young man, who comes from a loving family.'”

The suspect came to the United States when he was four years old and lived in San Carlos, California, with his mother and step-father until his graduation from Carlmont High School there in 2013. According to the Mirror, Miftakhov had a 3.47 grade point average in high school and received a scholarship to attend Penn State-Altoona, where he was a freshman studying engineering at the time of his arrest in January.

In a brief submitted to Federal District Judge Kim Gibson last month as part of an unsuccessful bid to obtain bail for Miftakhov, Brown stated that his client’s father, Valery, is “a lawful permanent resident of the United States and is head of a division at one of the world’s largest tech companies.”

Brown did not identify the company for whom Valery Miftakhov works in the legal filing. Breitbart News has identified that a man named Valery Miftakhov, whose physical appearance is uncannily similar to the man identified in photographs submitted in federal court as the suspect’s father, is employed by Google.

Valery Miftakhov’s LinkedIn profile identifies Google as his employer and lists his current job as “Head of Enterprise Scaling Solutions at Google.” A graduate of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the elder Miftakhov received a Phd. in Physics from Princeton in 2003 and worked for the consulting firm McKinsey and Company prior to joining Google. In addition to working for Google, Miftakhov is the founder and CEO of a Palo Alto, California, startup, Electric Motor Werks, which converts gasoline-powered cars to electric power.

When Breitbart News spoke with Brown on Monday, he refused to confirm that his client’s father is an executive with Google.

Google has also refused to respond to numerous phone and email inquiries from Breitbart News requesting a confirmation or denial that its executive, Valery Miftakhov, is the father of Vladislav Miftakhov, the eighteen-year-old Russian national charged with bomb making.

Numerous voice messages left at Valery Miftakhov’s residential phone number in San Mateo, California, by Breitbart News have been unanswered, as have messages left with Vladislav Miftakhov’s mother at her place of employment and his step-father at his place of employment.

Vladislav’s mother and step-father are also graduates of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. His mother has an M.S. in Physics from Dartmouth and works as an analyst for an insurance company. His step-father has a PhD. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and works as a systems engineer for a major technology company.

Vladislav Miftakhov was arrested by the Altoona Police Department on January 24 and charged with “possessing a weapon of mass destruction,” a felony under Pennsylvania state law. On February 6, federal prosecutors took over the case and filed felony charges against the suspect.

On February 11, U.S. Magistrate Keith Pesto granted Miftakhov’s release to the custody of his mother in California, pending an appeal to U.S. Federal District Judge Kim Gibson.

Brown, Miftakhov’s public defender, filed the brief asking Gibson to uphold Pesto’s decision to release Miftakhov on Tuesday, February 18.

Both U.S. Attorney James Kitchen and Blair County District Attorney Robert Consiglio objected vigorously to Pesto’s decision. Kitchen argued in his petition to Judge Gibson that Miftakhov should not be released because he is a flight risk, especially since he would be living in California on bail and is not an American citizen.

On February 28, Judge Gibson denied Miftakhov’s bail request.


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