(most recently seen here) would like comments on this new version.
Former FBI consultant Flynn Christopher is asked by a friend at the bureau for a favor ; let the FBI use Flynn’s pawn shop for a sting involving fake credit cards. Their target is Alexei Antonov a former Russian Colonel.
It’s supposed to be simple, do a meet and greet and turn the operation back over to the FBI. Antonov checks Flynn out prior to the meeting and learns about his close ties to the over 5000 members of the American Pawnbrokers Association. [Are his ties to these 5000 members closer than other members' ties?]
He’s just what Antonov needs.
Unscrupulous land bosses in Russia, associates of Antonov, have conned the government into defunding a diamond mine deep in the Ural mountain wilderness. It’s been shut down as unprofitable and abandoned. However, the mine was out producing expectations and is secretly reopened. Criminals are running the mine now, complete with their own diamond cutters.
Antonov double crosses his partners in a brutal assault on the mine and makes off with untold millions in diamonds. [If the mine is outproducing expectations, and Antonov is a partner in the operation, I don't see why he's better off double-crossing his partners than just continuing to take his share over time. For purposes of the query (if not the book) Antonov could just be the part of the operation charged with finding buyers for the diamonds. You can just say Antonov's men are running the mine now, complete with their own diamond cutters. And leave out the brutal assault. It saves us wondering why he's giving up a sweet racket for a one-time score.]
Flynn is in way over his head when the unpredictable Antonov shows back up in [returns to] Baltimore. [We didn't know he was in Baltimore to begin with. Call it Flynn's Baltimore pawn shop back in sentence 1.] He wants Flynn to set up a network to sell the stolen diamonds through his fellow pawnbrokers. [He wants Flynn to contact 5000 pawnbrokers and invite them to sell stolen diamonds?]
Caught in the middle, he agrees to lure Antonov into an FBI trap. The plan calls for Flynn to double cross an increasingly psychotic Antonov. Cheated out of over five million in diamonds, Antonov [Wait, I missed that. How did he get cheated?] is set on vengeance, and Flynn. [He's set on Flynn? We assume you're talking about Flynn when you say he's set on vengeance.]
So as part of the sting, Flynn tells Antonov he'll distribute the diamonds to thousands of pawn shops, and Antonov says, "Great," and just gives him the diamonds? And at that point the FBI doesn't swoop in and take Antonov into custody, but leaves him free to seek vengeance on Flynn?
If Antonov gives the diamonds to Flynn and walks out, how does he find out he's been cheated? He can't expect the money to start rolling in immediately.
If Antonov wants to sell diamonds to pawn shops instead of jewelry wholesalers, it's probably because pawnbrokers have a reputation for questionable business practices, like dealing with stolen goods. But wouldn't that also mean they'd be more likely to give him a raw deal or even swindle him?
I don't think any of the versions has explained this. Why pawn shops?