Attack by woman’s tenant led to the discovery he was son of one of CIA’s ‘valuable’ Russian spies


Lisa Sales (pictured), who says she was brutally assaulted by her tenant in 2011, later discovered that he was the son of one of the CIA’s most valuable Russian spies

A Virginia woman, who says she was brutally assaulted by her tenant in 2011, later discovered that he was the son of one of the CIA’s most valuable Russian spies after she stumbled across an investment report that listed more than $16million in assets following his arrest. 

Lisa Sales recalled to Yahoo News how Dmitry Mikhaylov, a Russian immigrant attending graduate school at George Washington University School of Business, seemed to be a friendly and sociable person when she first met him nearly 10 years ago. 

He had inquired about renting a space in her home and eventually the two agreed on him taking the basement for $2,000 per month. 

Things appeared to go relatively well for awhile, and according to Sales’ friends, she even started treating him like a younger brother. 

Sales recalled how there were hints that Mikhaylov’s life wasn’t that of your typical graduate student. 

She said he drove a flashy black Mercedes, would often buy rounds of alcohol for people when they went out and told a story about his father that made her a little suspicious. 

After a few drinks, Mikhaylov reportedly told Sales that his father ‘kind of an important person’ who worked for ‘the company’, according to Yahoo. The company is a term that’s sometimes used in movies and TV to reference the CIA. 

After his arrest, Sales began piecing together the life of Dmitry Mikhaylov through documents he left at her home. She came to believe that he is the son of Valeriy Mikhaylov (left in prison), who was arrested in 2007 in Russia for spying on the nation for the CIA. The man pictured on the right is Valeriy's attorney

After his arrest, Sales began piecing together the life of Dmitry Mikhaylov through documents he left at her home. She came to believe that he is the son of Valeriy Mikhaylov (left in prison), who was arrested in 2007 in Russia for spying on the nation for the CIA. The man pictured on the right is Valeriy’s attorney

Despite those initial hints, Sales brushed them off and their friendship continued as normal until the night of the attack on September 16, 2011. 

Sales told the news site that Mikhaylov had been drinking heavily before the attack, which started with her dog, Halo. 

During testimony at his trial, Sales said: ‘First he went after my dog. He picked her up twice and threw her against the dresser.’ 

She said he then ‘lunged’ at her and threw her to the ground. 

‘He sat on me. He took his knees and he spread my legs. And he was wearing — I will never forget this for as long as I live — he was wearing a red leather belt around his jeans… And he unbuttoned the top button of his jeans. He kept me pinned with his other hand, and then he unzipped his pants and started to touch himself,’ she told Yahoo. 

She said that while on top of her he rambled in Russian and English before screaming that he was going to ‘f**k me for a bit’. 

Sales said the incident lasted for about five hours as she ‘kept trying to pull away’.

Lisa Sales, pictured, recalled how Dmitry Mikhaylov, a Russian immigrant attending graduate school at George Washington University School of Business, was her tenant in 2011 before he left her with extensive injuries to her knee and back

Lisa Sales, pictured, recalled how Dmitry Mikhaylov, a Russian immigrant attending graduate school at George Washington University School of Business, was her tenant in 2011 before he left her with extensive injuries to her knee and back 

‘I tried to get away from him. And he was just grabbing me. And I tried to get over from my back to my front and crawl away on my knees. And he kept pushing me down and sitting on me. He grabbed whatever he could grab. He was grabbing my limb, my foot, my leg, my hair, whatever he could grab,’ she said, according to Yahoo. 

Before it was all over, Sales said Mikhaylov tried to ‘strangle’ her in the bathroom. 

Eventually, she broke free and barricaded herself in her bedroom with furniture while Mikhaylov screamed outside her door.   

Sales said the attack left her with extensive injuries, including knee and back pain. Her doctor even recommended that she have surgery on her cervical spine after the incident.  

Sales said she didn’t immediately call police out of fear, but eventually she listened to her friends who urged her to speak to authorities. After she went to police, Mikhaylov was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He later pleaded guilty to the assault. 

Mikhaylov testified that he did have several drinks on the night of the attack but he said they only argued for 30 minutes. 

He said that he had ‘several complaints’ about the living situation, including that the utility bills were split down the middle as a fixed amount. 

Mikhaylov claimed Sales became ‘very upset and agitated’ and they argued before he went to bed. 

An officer who interviewed Mikhaylov about the incident following his arrest, said Mikhaylov told him that he had been drinking and the ‘details of the evening may have escaped him’.

‘He remembers throwing the dog but he said that occurs on a regular basis. Mr Mikhaylov stated that he regularly goes to Sales’s bedroom but does not remember going into her room that night,’ the officer said at the time. 

‘Mr Mikhaylov would not give me any statements of admission or denial of the accusations of the evening,’ the officer added, according to Yahoo News. 

Mikhaylov spent less than a month in jail for the assault. After filing a civil lawsuit, a jury awarded Sales just over $300,000 in damages for assault and battery and for infliction of emotional distress.

Days after his arrest, Sales began going through his belongings. While looking around, she came across a flash drive that contained an investment report listing total assets of more than $16million, according to Yahoo. 

She also found a letter that Mikhaylov’s father, Valeriy Mikhaylov, wrote to his son. 

‘Hello my son. Dima, thank you for your postcard and your greetings,’ Valeriy Mikhaylov wrote, according to Yahoo News. 

Valeriy Mikhaylov reportedly volunteered to spy for the CIA in 2001. He spent six years spying on the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured). Valeriy retired in 2007 and ended up in the US before heading back to Russia in 2010, when he was arrested

Valeriy Mikhaylov reportedly volunteered to spy for the CIA in 2001. He spent six years spying on the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured). Valeriy retired in 2007 and ended up in the US before heading back to Russia in 2010, when he was arrested

‘Today is March 1, 2011, Tuesday, and the first day of spring. The weather is frosty and sunny. I just came back from a walk. I feel well and my mood is good. Soon it will be six months that I’ve lived in Lefortovo.’

According to the news site, Lefortovo is a prison where many of Russia’s most high-profile criminals and spies are kept. 

‘Everything is because I made a mistake, believing in my lucky star,’ Valeriy wrote. ‘Now I will have to pay for it by spending a long time in captivity.’ 

When Sales took another look at the $16million investment report, she also found Valeriy’s name on it.  

This discovery piqued her interest and led to her emailing the FBI. 

Sales wrote that she believed the younger Mikhaylov ‘has fiduciary responsibility’ for his incarcerated father.

‘I am not certain why a man with his means would elect to enter into a lease arrangement with me and become my roommate,’ she wrote, but the FBI never responded to her about her tenant’s ‘suspicious activity’.

Despite this, she continued her own investigation ahead of his trial.

She told Yahoo News that with the documents left behind, she came to believe that Mikhaylov made entry to the US with the help of the CIA, adding that Valeriy Mikhaylov appears to be one of the CIA’s most valuable assets.

She pointed to a 2012 blog post by Joseph Fitsanakis, a professor at Coastal Carolina University. The post revealed that the Moscow District Military Court had convicted Valeriy Mikhaylov of high treason and sentenced him to 18 years in prison for passing ‘thousands of secret and top-secret documents’ to the CIA. 

Valeriy Mikhaylov reportedly volunteered to spy for the CIA in 2001. He spent six years spying on the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Valeriy retired in 2007 and ended up in the US before heading back to Russia in 2010, when he was arrested.    

Mikhaylov, who now works at the World Bank, told Yahoo News that he never attacked Sales, calling her a ‘scammer’ who who was only after his money. 

Sales said justice in this case would be for the ‘federal government’ to ‘take responsibility’ and a public admission would be a start. 



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