310: Dennis Cosgrove – Russian Diamond Looters, Golden ADA

In this episode, retired agent Dennis Cosgrove reviews the Golden ADA investigation, which he opened after an informant provided information about three Russian immigrants who had opened a state-of-the-art diamond merchant center in San Francisco with diamonds were suspected of having been looted from the Russian government and smuggled into the United States.

The scheme resulted in Russia losing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of diamonds and precious gems and stones and as the case developed into major international operation, Dennis was assisted by a team of investigators Customs Special Agent was Joe Leonti (deceased), IRS Special Agent John Sentesy, FBI SA Joe Davidson, and Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Stephen Jigger.

After Dennis, a fluent Russian speaker, was transferred to Moscow as an Assistant Legal Attaché (ALAT), Joe Davidson took over the case, but Dennis continued his involvement, covering leads in Russia.

Dennis Cosgrove served in the FBI for 22 years. He was assigned to several FBI Field Offices, including the Kansas City Division, the San Jose Resident Agency (RA) out of the San Francisco Division, and the Fort Myers RA out of the Tampa Division. In addition to Moscow, Dennis was Legal Attaché (Legat) in Asia, and also worked internationally for the Bureau, in Hungary, Moldova, Iraq, Kazakhstan.

He was selected for the FBI Art Crime Team when it was first established in 2004.

Since retiring from the FBI, he has worked as a law enforcement advisor at U.S. Embassies in Montenegro, and in Tajikistan, and most recently as a senior advisor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – the OSCE, based in Vienna, Austria.

Special Agent (Retired)

Dennis T. Cosgrove

1/1986 – 122007








“Those with access to the wealth were grabbing what they could and what they could get away with because they were never sure if Yeltsin would be reelected. Because if he was not reelected, and he was out of office, their access to all that wealth would be at an end. It would end immediately. So they were hedging their bets by setting up the Golden ADA and other similar kind of businesses and frauds. They were basically ensuring their own futures.”—Retired Agent Dennis Cosgrove

The following are links to articles about the Golden ADA case:

L A Times – 6/20/1998:  Moscow Says Flashy Diamond Merchant Stole $180 Million – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

The Moscow Times – 2/15/1996: Lost Gems Bought Firm Life of Luxury ()

Lenta.RU – 1/04/2019: Golden ADA

To learn more, listen to these FBI Retired Case File Review episodes:

141: Bill Kinane – FBI in Moscow, First Russian LEGAT 

281: Debra LaPrevotte – Oligarchs, Kleptocrats, A Nation For Thieves

Dennis keeps a souvenir from the case, a coffee mug, and a pen topped with a fake diamond.
Dennis, in a photo with his wife, Lenore Cosgrove, and Director Louis Freeh, taken in Budapest in1999.
The three principle subjects of the Golden ADA U.S. investigation—Andrey, David and Ashot.
This case made national news in the U.S. and in Russia.







































Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

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