I’ve spent the past few days researching Bill Browder some more. My conclusion is that Browder is a liar and a thief. But I don’t expect you to take my word for it. I’m going to prove it. First, we’ll look at Browder’s lies.
Lie: Sergei Magnitsky was the smartest tax lawyer Browder knew.
Truth: Sergei Magnitsky was an accountant and never earned a law degree or held a license to practice law in Russia. We know this because the Russian government has said so, and Magnitsky’s mother has said so.
But we also know this because Browder admitted it under oath in his 2015 deposition. c1.100r.org/media/2017/10/…
“Q. Have you ever told anybody that he didn't go to law school and didn't have a law
A. No.
Q. Did you tell them that he was working for you for many years and he was working capa- -- in capacities other than legal?
A. Yes.”
“Q. Did you tell these gentlemen over here (referring to the lawyers attending the deposition)?
A. Yes.”
So he flat-out lied, and continues to lie about Magnitsky being a lawyer, a lie that has been repeated hundreds of times in the media.
Lie: Sergei Magnitsky reported the theft of three Browder companies as well as the subsequent $230 million tax fraud perpetrated on Russia.
Truth. The theft of the companies was reported by a female Browder employee six months before Magnitsky was interrogated.
Browder himself revealed this on his own website. web.archive.org/web/2008101616…
in this article: web.archive.org/web/2009013012…
“April 2008: Ms. Starova files a criminal complaint with the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan falsely accusing representatives of HSBC’s companies of the theft of state funds.” Ms. Starova was a Browder “employee”, one of many shills he used as fronts for his shell companies..
When she realized what was going on, and that she would be on the hook for the tax theft, she reported the scam to the police and implicated Browder. He, of course, insists it’s all a lie, something Browder does routinely.
Lie: Sergei Magnitsky was convicted posthumously.
Truth: He was not. This came out in Browder’s deposition, but he stubbornly refused to admit it even though the defense attorney read the document to him. Browder was convicted and sentenced to nine years for tax fraud.
“Q. And you have said many times that Mr. Magnitsky was convicted posthumously. You've said that?
A. Yes.
Q. And on the first page it appearsthat it's dismissed against Mr. Magnitsky, correct?
A. No. “
Even when confronted with documentary evidence of his lies, Browder refuses to admit that he’s lying.
Lie: Browder company seals were used by the police to steal his companies.
Truth: A forensic exam proved this was untrue. The seals used to “steal” the companies were duplicates purchased by Browder. This too came out during the deposition.
“ Q. But you said the seals were used in
the fraud, correct?
A. Correct.
Q. But you've known for many years that there are -- that there is an analysis that shows the same seals were not used in the fraud. Isn't that true?
A. No.”
“Q. Mr. Kleiner never informed you that there was a forensic analysis that showed the same seals were not used?
A. No. “
Browder has been lying about Magnitsky and the tax fraud for so long that he can’t even admit the truth when it’s staring him in the face.
Lie: A Firestone Duncan lawyer was beaten so badly by tax officials that he had to be hospitalized. Browder provided pictures of him in the hospital.
Truth: No lawyer was beaten. The pictures Browder provided were of a civil rights marcher from 1961 who has been identified.
Browder literally lifted a picture off the internet and used it to claim a lawyer was beaten by the police. washingtonsblog.com/2018/04/privat…
“A photo of an alleged employee of Browder’s law firm, Firestone Duncan, who is shown in Browder’s publications as being named “Victor Poryugin” and as having facial wounds from allegedly having been beaten by police, turned out to be showing a person who never was with Browder’s
firm, but instead to have been picturing “an American human rights campaigner beaten up during a street protest in 1961.” It was Jim Zwerg, civil-rights demonstrator, during the 1960s, in the American South.”
This is the level of deception that Browder has employed to sell his fantasy of Sergei Magnitsky, the innocent whistleblower who uncovered a massive tax fraud scheme and was killed by the state for exposing corruption. The reality is quite a bit different.
Browder routinely setup shell companies outside Russia to hold the shares of Russian companies that were used to skirt the laws and tax advantage of tax loopholes to enrich him and his clients. 100r.org/2017/10/magnit…
Why should Browder matter to you? Because he has singlehandedly soured relations between the US and Russia and has falsely portrayed Russia as overrun by rampant corruption. sott.net/article/373799…
Now, here’s the truth about Browder. In November 2005 his Russian visa was revoked. scribd.com/document/35486…
One month later, one of his companies was assessed a civil penalty for tax fraud and of over $40 million in taxes and penalties. 100r.org/media/2017/10/…
On October 8, 2006, Sergei Magnitsky was questioned about ongoing tax fraud and released. 100r.org/media/2017/10/…
On June 2, 2007, the offices of Hermitage Capital and Firestone Duncan were raided by tax investigators. 100r.org/2017/10/magnit…
That same month, HSBC, the bank backing Browder, set aside $7 million for legal fees. 100r.org/media/2017/10/…
According to the auditors, the fees were set aside for legal fees associated with the recovery of Browder companies that were stolen.
“The manager of the fund approved the establishment of a legal provision in the financial statements of U.S. 10 million. This is to address costs associated with legal actions relating to the recovery of legal ownership and directorship over Russian investment entities
owned by HSBC Private Bank (CI) Limited, as trustee for the Hermitage Fund. These entities were illegally appropriated by third parties within Russia with the intention of creating fraudulent liabilities within the entities, and then settling those liabilities using the assets
of those entities or the Cypriot holding companies in an effort to fraudulently expropriate those assets.”
But Browder claims Magnitsky reported the theft in June 2008. So, how did Browder know this almost a year ahead of time? And how did Browder know to remove all the assets BEFORE the theft occurred? (He brags about that.)
But then he stated in his deposition that there was about $15,000 in the bank accounts of those companies, and somehow the corrupt officials didn’t take that money. Very strange crooks. I guess when you’re stealing millions, a few thousand gets missed.
On April 3, 2008, a Russian newspaper reported the Browder tax fraud investigation. translate.google.com/translate?hl=e…
Browder even posted it to his website: web.archive.org/web/2008060517…
The next day the same newspaper reported that Hermitage was claiming someone had fraudulently stolen their companies. microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&…
On November 24, 2008, Sergei Magnitsky was arrested and placed in detention. scribd.com/document/35486…
Every other person involved had taken Browder’s advice and left Russia.
So, what actually happened? Browder drained the accounts of the companies and moved his money out of Russia. Then he gave power of attorney to a man named O.G. Gasonov, who transferred ownership of the companies to another man named Viktor Markalov.
Those men then filed fraudulent claims against the companies for services rendered. Those claims were then reported as losses against the companies’ assets and the companies then filed for a tax refund of $230 million based on those losses.
Since Browder gave Gasanov power of attorney to do this, he’s obviously involved. But we can’t question Gasanov because he’s dead. So are two other people involved in the fraud. And Magnitsky died while in detention.
Magnitsky’s death is another lie by Browder. He claims he was beaten with rubber truncheons by eight guards on the night of his death. That’s a lie. He claims Magnitsky died of a skull fracture caused by the beatings. That’s a lie. He died of complications from pancreatitis.
There is no question that Magnitsky’s treatment in the Russian jails was abysmal. The conditions were awful at times, and his medical problems were never adequately addressed. He was scheduled for gall bladder surgery, but then he was transferred to a different prison.
That prison didn’t have medical facilities. So, when his condition worsened, he was transferred to a medical facility where he was ignored while he writhed in pain for two hours before expiring.
But he was not beaten to death, and it was not because he refused to recant his claim that the police stole the companies. In fact, Magnitsky’s interrogation records make it quite clear that he was a suspect, not a whistleblower.
The kicker to this entire sordid tale is that Browder has traveled the world lobbying for sanctions against the Russian officials who “murdered” Magnitsky.
And he has provided ALL of the evidence for the crimes, which EVERY country has accepted without even bothering to investigate to verify his claims. He has even provided false translations of Russian court documents to prove his case.
And he has “helpfully” provided tracing documentation, put together by his staff, “proving” that certain entities have laundered the $230 million in ill-gotten gains. In fact, he got the SDNY DoJ to prosecute a Russian company, Prevezon Holdings, for their part in the scheme.
Guess who Prevezon’s lead attorney was? Natalia Veselnitskaya. Ring a bell? Fortunately, Veselnitskaya is no slouch as a lawyer. Along with her co-counsel, Baker Hostetler, she has exposed many of Browder’s lies as well as the despicable efforts of the FBI/DoJ.
They even got an investigator to admit under oath that he got all his information from Browder and did no independent investigation at all!
Not only that, but they got Russia to respond to the DoJ concerning the Magnitsky case. And their response blows Browder out of the water. Now, this link is behind a paywall: docketalarm.com/cases/New_York…
I paid to download it so you wouldn’t have to. And now I’m going to post screenshots of the response so you can see how evil Browder is.
As can be seen by reading this document, Browder is responsible for the $230 million tax fraud in Russia, and Prevezon Holdings is an innocent victim that has been harassed by Browder, costing them a great deal of money in legal fees and settlements.
But the greatest sin of Browder is the creation of this insane hatred of Russia that has created political problems for Trump and for the US. And all because this scam artist has worked overtime to hide his fraudulent activities. Browder should be expedited to Russia.
He should have to face the justice he has so long evaded. The government should apologize to Denis Katsyv, the owner of Prevezon Holdings, and vacate their agreement. And the countries of the world should apologize to Russia for falling for Browder’s scam.
Hopefully Trump is aware of all of this and has a solution devised that will make Prevezon whole and satisfy Russia. Even our enemies should not be treated so shabbily.
Addendum: Browder’s attorney’s successfully argued to remove Baker Hostetler from the case, causing more difficulties for Prevezon’s case. Early on, the court denied their request and commented on their argument.
When Hermitage raised the possibility that BakerHostetler would defend Prevezon by arguing that Hermitage committed the Russian Treasury Fraud, the district court  commented that it “seem[ed] . . . very, very speculative”
Now, why would Browder’s attorneys bring that up? Baker Hostetler didn’t. Later in the case, after Veselnitskaya brought them the evidence, they did make that argument, but Browder’s attorney’s preemptively bringing it up is strange. Unless they knew something…
Here’s Browder: “The officials seized all the corporate documents connected to the investment holding companies of the funds that I advised. I didn’t know the purpose of these raids so I hired the smartest Russian lawyer I knew, a 35-year old named Sergei Magnitsky.
I asked Sergei to investigate the purpose of the raids and try to stop whatever illegal plans these officials had.” So, before he even knew what was going on, he asked SM to find out what illegal plans the Russian officials had? He’s admitting that he hatched this scheme.
If you follow what Browder says closely, he trips himself up with his own lies and admissions.
Addendum 2: To show you what a scumbag Browder is, he paid his attorneys to sit in on depositions in USA v Prevezon Holdings, a case that he was only a part of as a witness. Then, when the case was over, he petitioned the court to have Prevezon pay his attorney’s fees.
The court laughed at him.
A better question is, should Jack be tarred and feathered and rode out of town on a rail.
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