Canada
Russian flight attendant accused of fraud loses Charter challenge

Trans Air stewardess Marina Talashkova is in jail in Toronto. U.S. authorities want her extradited to face fraud charges. Photo from Voice of Russia web site.

Credits: AgenceQMI

SAM PAZZANO | QMI AGENCY

TORONTO - A Russian flight attendant snared in the investigation of a sophisticated Internet vehicle scheme lost a Charter challenge Thursday that would have stayed her extradition to the U.S.

In a comprehensive judgment, Justice John McMahon dismissed the application that contended the constitutional rights of Marina Talashkova had been violated.

Talashkova will be back in court Jan. 25 to either set a date for extradition or possibly appeal the decision to a higher court.

Her lawyer, Tyler Hodgson, had asserted his client's detention by Immigration Canada last January "constituted an abuse of process and a violation of Talashkova's rights."

"It was an abuse of process for the Canada Border Services Agency to detain Marina for any purpose other than to administer the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act," Hodgson stated in a document filed to the court.

The 24-year-old woman - an alleged underling in the multimillion-dollar scam - was arrested at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Jan. 15, 2012, by Immigration Canada for "theft by deceit" of between $10,000 and $100,000 on charges in Las Vegas in July 2009.

Talashkova requested a return to Russia when she was denied entry to Canada, court documents said.

She was detained by Immigration Canada on the grounds of "serious criminality" but Hodgson insisted she should have been allowed to leave at that point.

American authorities branded the bogus Internet vehicle scheme as one of the most sophisticated operations to ever target victims in the U.S.

The fraudsters allegedly promised the buyers luxury and vintage vehicles, RVs and Jet Skis, took $4 million and delivered nothing.

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