New Complaint Alleges Theft of $107 Million in Russia


Hermitage Capital filed a new criminal complaint, alleging Moscow tax officials helped steal $107 million through an earlier fraudulent tax-refund scheme in 2006.

Bill Browder, founder of the Russia-focused hedge fund Hermitage Capital, continues to seek justice from a seemingly corrupt system. “We hope to thoroughly embarrass the Russian government into action,” said Browder in a phone interview this morning.

On Friday, Hermitage Capital filed its latest criminal complaint with Russia’s State Investigative Committee, demanding that prosecutors investigate the second massive tax rebate fraud exposed by the late Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer working for Hermitage before his death in the custody of Russian cops he’d accused of corruption. Before his arrest, Magnitsky had helped Hermitage file a detailed criminal complaint in July of 2008 that provided evidence of a $230 million tax-refund scheme in 2007 (later described by Barron’s in “Crime and Punishment in Putin’s Russia,” April 16).

Friday’s complaint alleges that officials from Moscow Tax Offices 25 and 28 had also helped steal $107 million through an earlier fraudulent tax-refund scheme in 2006. The new complaint alleges that the head of Moscow’s Tax Inspection Office 28, Olga Stepanova, was part of a group that perpetrated two very similar heists one year apart. “It is the exact same tax forms being submitted, by the same lawyers, approved by the same officials, even the same bank,” said Browder.

Hermitage’s efforts are beginning to gain traction. Swiss prosecutors pursuing a money laundering investigation have frozen accounts at a Zurich branch of Credit Suisse (ticker: CS) that may belong to relatives of the involved Russian officials. Two weeks ago, the Russian government television station NTV devoted a third of its Saturday investigative show Russian Sensation to the Barron’s story on Olga Stepanova. займы на карту займ онлайн на карту без отказа www.zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/fast-and-easy-payday-loans-online.php микрозайм онлайн

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