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David Copperfield Has a New Assistant: the KGB

TIME Notebook: the magician turns to some unlikely sources to help him escape from behind the remnants of the Iron Curtain

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When magician David Copperfield found himself in a bind he couldnĺt escape, he got some real masters-of-the-universe help from former CIA and KGB insiders. After a December 12 performance in Moscow, Copperfield had his seven trucks and all his equipment seized by the Russian promoters, who claimed he owed them money. The State Department was unable to help, and after three weeks without his trucks, a desperate Copperfield turned to IGI, a security agency populated with former CIA and FBI insiders. The ex-spooks reached out to the KGB vets they had spied on in the past. "In Russia, they are the people that know the terrain the best," says IGI vice president Jack Devine. "They know how to negotiate." Evidently. According to Devine, the "negotiators" came up with an agreement "which was comfortable for all parties." The ordeal cost Copperfield more than $500,000, but on January 15 his magic convoy finally disappeared from Russia, crossing the border into friendlier Finland.
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