Levitis (Source: Facebook)

Stories about crime and corruption featuring Eastern European perps are juicy material for members of the “Russian Insider – News, Reviews and Gossip” group on Facebook, but the page has gone silent on one of the juiciest of stories: the guilty plea of former Rasputin owner Michael Levitis, who admitted this week to masterminding a debt-relief scheme that leeched $2.2 million from those who turned to him for help.

That’s because the page is run by Levitis himself, as well as his wife, Marina, and mother, Eva. Sources told Sheepshead Bites that the crew has been removing any mention of the scandal and booting members of the nearly 7,000-strong closed group.

“So yesterday the story was out but no one was posting it, all you saw is people posting ’7/11′” – a reference to the seven-to-11 year sentence Levitis faces – “So I private messaged one of the people who told me anyone who posted the story was banned and the story removed. I posted a few comments saying … ‘I wonder it anyone is going to address this’. This morning I was banned from the group as well,” a source told Sheepshead Bites.

According the About section of the page, it serves as “A Group for Russian-Americans to post local news, issues, business reviews, or anything else that concerns us… Let’s try to stick to interesting, useful and buzzworthy posts….”

But while the news of Levitis’ bust last year and guilty plea this week has exploded on social media, it’s not viewed by the page’s moderator as “local news” or “buzzworthy” enough to share with the community, members say.

Meanwhile, screenshots sent to Sheepshead Bites by another source show that members commonly share news items about those in the community who’ve been busted for similar crimes:

insider2A former member of the group mused to Sheepshead Bites that it was an example of “Putin-style censorship.”

A handful of members told Sheepshead Bites that the group is often used to promote businesses they believe are connected to Levitis, including an online “Groupon”-style coupon site.

Apparently, Levitis is also using the group to prepare his reading list for his upcoming stint in the big house:

levitis

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  • Anonymous

    wow, slow news day? I find you a respectable news source, but hearsay stories such as this are so ridiculous. Would you post articles bashing sheepsheadbites on your own website? Of course, he’ll delete bad mentions about him, it’s human nature and it’s his group – he can do whatever he wants with it.

    • Another Anonymous

      Levitis, re-login!

    • nanomouse

      I fail to see what you call “hearsay” when people are getting banned for sharing opinions on different groups even. It’s there, plain as day and hard as concrete. Getting banned for disagreeing with a convict is foolish and pathetic IMO

  • I Love Michael!

    Michael Levitis
    16 hrs · New York, NY
    According to the Americans- to pass a lie detector test- you have to squeeze your anus. Anybody try?
    Like ·

    • 7/11

      No one tried, but when you try that in prison, please feel free to share the experience

  • Boris
  • Boris

    Michael Levitis — whose wife, Marina, was featured on the short-lived
    reality TV show “Russian Dolls” — faces between 7 and 11 years behind
    bars after pleading guilty in Manhattan federal court to mail fraud and
    wire fraud conspiracy charges.

    The feds say the 37-year-old Levitis and others at a bogus company
    called Mission Settlement Agency allegedly stole $2.2 million from
    struggling credit-card holders who paid the company to re-negotiate
    their outstanding bills.

    Levits is set to be sentenced Aug. 21. He agreed to forfeit $2.2 million to the government as part of the deal.

    • oleg

      They should put the dude on a suicide watch. No way this girlie man is doing 7to11. I have another catchphrase. which Vitas. Does this Lavitas want to go to the pokey and start singing like the Vitas or does he want to make like tennis great Vitas Gerulaties. If I were him I would choose the later and have the kid who did not get to become gifted hands do a Dr. Kevorkian on him.

  • King of Coney Island AVE

    Or how about all the bashing on “Russian Insiders Group” that he has done to the new Romanoff resturant. Just because Michael thought running a club was all about the broads, booze and cash and ran it into the ground dosen’t mean he has the right to bash someone who opened up a new business that he fucked up. Just my 3 Cents

  • anna

    HAHA. I was banned today too. What a pansy

  • Stan_LS

    lol, he’s sad

  • BLOCKED BY YOU

    WAS JUST BANNED FOR SAYING THAT THE BASHING ON THE SITE IS NOT HATE BUT JUSTICE! EVERY ONE SHOULD KNOW HOW THEY HURT OTHERS WHO RELIED ON THEM TO BE HELPED AND THEY GOT HURT OVER IT YES I KNOW YOU WILL READ THIS AND BY YOU I MEAN THE ADMIN OF THE GROUP.

    • Alex

      man, your Caps Lock is stuck?

      • Same guy

        Yea so

  • Olga

    So, I gather than it is not Levitsis, who tried to jump of a fire escape on Avenue X. Boy these Russians are worse than the Blacks. Maybe Levitses will be given a cell in Rikers withe the Black kid who lit a mattress. This pyromaniac will light a mattress in Rikers and Levitsis will breath in the fumes. So long Mike.

  • Metalp3n

    Just wanted to update this. I finally got banned (but I knew this was coming):