SKY: YouTube is completely democratic, no one could block it

October 21, 2009

For more than a decade, Bill Browder of Hermitage Capital Management was one of the largest foreign investors in Russia.

But in an interview for Jeff Randall Live he has alleged that he has been the victim of a conspiracy that has seen him being refused re-entry into the country and the seizure of his company’s documents.

He claims that this allowed the business to be stolen from him as part of plot to defraud the Russian tax system.

“In a highly complex fraud that took place after that the companies were then used by the criminal group who stole them to steal $230m (£140m) from the Russian government of taxes that we had paid two years before.”

Mr Browder claims that his company has been targeted because he had uncovered so many cases of corruption in Russia during the 10 years he worked there between 1995 and 2005.

He also explained why he has just filed a criminal complaint with the Russian courts alleging that hundreds of millions of dollars have been stolen in state funds.

“We’ve actually written a letter of complaint to various law enforcement authorities last week to highlight the fact that the authorities in the tax offices in Moscow were working with the criminal group to make the largest tax refund in Russian history in two days and we have documentary evidence of that.

“Furthermore, we have evidence that about eight other fraudulent tax refunds were made totalling 11.2bn roubles, which is roughly $400m (£244m).”

He says the prime motivating factor now for his campaign is the case of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer involved in uncovering the fraud who has spent the past 11 months in detention on charges of tax evasion.

Sky News has contacted the Russian authorities for their response to the allegations made by Bill Browder.

A Kremlin official told us that it was an ongoing legal matter which will be resolved within the court system.

An interior ministry spokesman also said it has asked Interpol to place Mr Browder on its wanted list.


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