Bill Prouder on Putin, Magnitsky law and the unraveling of Russian fraud

US-born British businessman Bill Prouder says the war in Ukraine is sharpening the world’s attention on Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Suddenly, the world is worried about the evil of Vladimir Putin,” he told reporters Seth Tony.

But it has long been clear to the browser that Putin is targeting himself. It was while walking in a London park that he received a dangerous phone call: US intelligence knew that the browser could be hijacked and taken to Russia.

He recalled, “My secure world in London has really evaporated.”

After moving to Russia in the 1990s to profit from its privatization following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Browder’s decades-long Odyssey began with high levels of Russian power. Browder’s Hermitage Fund quickly became the nation’s largest foreign investment fund. They surveyed Russian companies, initially to invest in:

“What we have found is that the oligarchy and corrupt officials who control these companies are stealing all the profits and all the assets of the companies,” Prouder said. “So, I realized that I can only invest responsibly if I find out how they steal and try to stop them.”

“Isn’t there a way to welcome you so much in Russia?” Tone asked.

“Well, it’s interesting that at the beginning of this moment, Vladimir Putin fought with the same comrades I fought for. But it turns out that he did not try to end the oligarchy era; he wanted to become.

Tony showed the charts a web of elaborate money laundering operations that Proder helped them uncover. “The money went from the Russian treasury to Latvia via Moldova and then to Switzerland,” Prouder said. “The whole idea of ​​money laundering is to complicate such a chart to the point where no one can effectively put it together.”

Bill Browder reporter Seth Tone shows the way to money laundering.

CBS News

Doane asked, “Does Russia need a transferred investor to do this?”

“It takes an investment guy whose lawyer and friend were brutally murdered and has made it his mission to pursue the killers for the rest of his life,” he replied.

That lawyer and friend was Sergei Magnitsky, who investigated the tax fraud scheme on behalf of Broder. “My company paid taxes to the Russian government,” Prouder said. “A group of Russian officials seized my documents, then arranged for my companies to be identified and stolen, and then arranged for a $ 230 million tax refund. We are Refunded to those stolen companies so they can enjoy the money. Sergei discovers $ 230 million tax deduction fraud. ”

Prosecutor Sergei Magnitsky has been killed in a corruption case in the Russian government.


Magnitsky testified before the Russian State Commission of Inquiry: “But five weeks after Sergei testified, the same officers who testified against his arrest detained him in Russia before the trial, and then tortured him to withdraw.”

Sergei Magnitsky died in a Russian prison in 2009. He is 37 years old.

“Do you think you were responsible for his death?” Tone asked.

“I will do.”

“How to deal with it?”

“I vowed in his memory, for his family, for me that I was going to spend all my time, all my energy, all my resources in searching for those who killed him. [to] Make sure they face justice. ”

He emphasized a key piece of legislation known as the Magnitsky Act. It first authorized persons involved in that tax fraud and the death of Sergei Magnitsky. Signed into law in 2012. Some of the money from that tax plan went into properties bought in London, New York and Dubai.

Simon & Schuster

Browder’s quest for justice is the basis of the best-selling book, The Red Notice. Now, this week, his latest, “Freezing Order” (released by Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS-owned Paramount Global). The true story of “money laundering, assassination and escape from the wrath of Vladimir Putin”, the story of what happened next.

Tone asked, “Does some of this sound like some kind of gang, mafia movie?”

“Vladimir Putin is a mafia boss,” Prouder said. “If all of his ministers really look at ‘The Sopranos’ like the New Jersey Mafia and the Brooklyn Mafia, the Philadelphia Mafia, they can all take the money they can steal, they have to pay. A tribute to the mafia boss Vladimir Putin.”

Broder alleges that some of the stolen $ 230 million went into Putin’s hands, a leader notorious for his shadowy wealth. The official salary of the Russian president is $ 140,000 a year, which raises some obvious questions about his $ 1.4 billion residence, $ 700 million boat and his million-dollar watch collection.

Putin has long maintained that Sergei Magnitsky died of a heart attack. At the joint press conference of his joint president in Helsinki in 2018, his hostility to Broder was clear when he suggested to US President Donald Trump that Moscow would be ready to “transfer” the 12 accused Russian military intelligence officers if the Trump administration handed over Bill Prouder to him. .

“I was shocked,” Prouder said.

Browder is proud that he has successfully campaigned for other countries to adopt the Magnitsky Act, targeting corrupt officials and human rights abusers, and that sanctions have been used to punish Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

“Sergei Magnitsky’s story is now a small microbe that has multiplied a million times,” he said. “The people of Ukraine are just like Vladimir Putin’s criminal burden we did in a very small way. And I feel broken, because if people had listened too much to what I had to say in the last ten years, we probably would not be in this position.”

Read an excerpt: “Order to freeze” Putin, money laundering and assassination

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Story by Mark Hudsbeth. Author: Emanuel Cheeky.

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