Russian Official Offers to Become FBI Informant to Assist Son Allegedly Involved in Money Laundering Scandal in Magnitsky Case

December 10, 2015

Russian Official Offers to Become FBI Informant to Assist Son Allegedly Involved in Money Laundering Scandal in Magnitsky Case

Pyotr Kat­syv, for­mer Min­is­ter of Trans­port for Moscow Region, Vice Pres­i­dent of Russ­ian Railways

10 December 2015 – Documents filed in the US court in the first US civil money laundering case involving the $230 million crime that Sergei Magnitsky had uncovered, show that Pyotr (also spelled Petr) Katsyv, a senior Russian government official, offered to become an FBI informant to help settle the money laundering action brought against his son’s company in the Magnitsky case.

According to court documents, Pyotr Katsyv, currently Vice President of Russian Railways, and former Vice Premier of the Moscow Regional Government, offered the US Government to meet to provide information on “criminal activity in Russia.” This offer was preceded by a meeting between his son, Denis Katsyv, and FBI Special Agent in Rome, Italy.

Following the offer from Pyotr Katsyv, plans were made by the US Department of Justice to meet him in Hungary in September 2014. However, he did not show up at the meeting.

One month later, in October 2014,  it was announced that Pyotr Katsyv was appointed vice president of Russian Railways, the Russian state company, whose former chairman Vladimir Yakunin is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and subject of US sanctions. Pyotr Katsyv then informed the US Government that that he wanted to “negotiate a settlement” in the case of his son, Denis Katsyv.

Denis Katsyv

Denis Katsyv’s company, Prevezon Holdings, is defendant in the civil forfeiture and money laundering case brought by the US Department of Justice in 2013. The US court froze US$14 million of Prevezon assets in real estate and bank accounts pending trial in this action.

In addition to the US proceeding, assets of Denis Kastyv and Prevezon have been frozen by the Swiss General Prosecutor under the criminal money laundering investigation connected to the same $230 million fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky. In 2005, another company of Denis Katsyv, Martash, had 35 million shekels (U.S. $8 million) confiscated as part of settlement of a separate money laundering investigation by the Government of Israel.


According to the US Government, Katsyv’s company was involved in laundering into Manhattan real estate proceeds connected to the $230 million crime. The US Government has traced over US$4.2 million in false and questionable wire transfers to Prevezon, described as payments for “bath tubs,” “auto spare parts,” video equipment” and other goods, while Prevezon is a real estate company that has nothing to do with manufacturing or trading goods. Nearly $2 million of those transfers have been traced by the US Government to the $230 million crime in Russia uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.


According to court filings, Denis Katsyv met with FBI Special Agent Penza in Rome on 12 February 2014. He was accompanied to the meeting by his Russian attorney. The meeting, according to Denis Katsyv’s lawyers, was held at the recommendation of an unnamed Israeli “consultant.”


Explaining the original meeting with FBI, Denis Katsyv’s lawyers said:


Mr Katsyv was approached by an Israeli gentleman who represented that he was a consultant in forfeiture cases and could assist Mr Katsyv in this case. This individual convinced Mr Katsyv to meet with FBI agents in Rome.”


After the Rome meeting, the FBI informed the US Department of Justice, that Denis Katsyv and his father, Pyotr Katsyv, wanted to meet again “to provide information about criminal activity in Russia.


After learning that Katsyv senior wanted to “act as an arguable intermediary” for Katsyv junior, the US Department of Justice terminated plans to meet with him.


Born in 1953, Denis Katsyv’s father, Pyotr Katsyv, has been a long-standing Russian government official. For twelve years, during 2000-2012, he served as Minister of Transportation of the Moscow region, while his son’s company was awarded transportation contracts from the Moscow regional budget. During 2012-2013, Pyotr Katsyv was head of the Moscow Regional Government’s Department in charge of relations with federal government. In October 2014, Pyotr Katsyv was appointed vice president of Russian Railways. Katsyv senior is also member of the development committee of the Transportation Ministry.


Sergei Magnitsky uncovered and testified about the $230 million fraud in Russia. He was arrested by some of the same Russian officials he had implicated in his testimony. Sergei Magnitsky was tortured and killed in police custody after 358 days in pre-trial detention on 16 November 2009. In 2012, the US Congress passed Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act imposing sanctions on those involved in Magnitsky’s ill-treatment and death, and their cover up.

The trial in the USA vs Prevezon is due to begin on 6 January 2016. This US action is one in multiple facets of the $230 million fraud, uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky. Proceeds from that crime have previously been traced to Swiss banks and real estate in Dubai owned by Russian officials and their relatives.


For more information please contact:                   


Justice for Sergei Magnitsky


+44 207 440 1777


Twitter: @KatieFisher__


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