// Press Releases (in English)

US Government Sanctions Russian Officials Who Posthumously Accused Sergei Magnitsky in the US$230 Million Fraud He Had Uncovered

February 2, 2016

US Gov­ern­ment Sanc­tions Russ­ian Offi­cials Who Posthu­mously Accused Sergei Mag­nit­sky in the US$230 Mil­lion Fraud He Had Uncovered

 

 

2 Feb­ru­ary 2016 – The United States gov­ern­ment has announced visa bans and asset freezes on sev­eral Russ­ian offi­cials involved in the posthu­mous accu­sa­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky in the US$230 Mil­lion fraud that he had in fact uncovered.

 

“This is an impor­tant devel­op­ment in the con­tin­ued fight for jus­tice in the Sergei Mag­nit­sky case. In spite of inter­na­tional con­dem­na­tion, Russ­ian author­i­ties con­tinue to falsely accuse Sergei Mag­nit­sky in the $230 mil­lion theft from the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment that he uncov­ered and exposed. These sanc­tions show that it is not accept­able for the peo­ple involved in the crime to hide behind a man they killed,” said Bill Brow­der, leader of the Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice campaign.

 

The new Magnitsky-related sanc­tions list announced by the US Trea­sury includes four Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials involved in posthu­mous pro­ceed­ings against Sergei Magnitsky:

 

1) Alexei Anichin, most senior Russ­ian offi­cial on the list, was (until June 2011) Deputy Inte­rior Min­is­ter and Head of the Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee of the Inte­rior Min­istry of Rus­sia, which orga­nized the arrest and deten­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky, and pres­sured him to with­draw tes­ti­mony impli­cat­ing Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials in the US$230 mil­lion fraud, with Alexei Anichin per­son­ally sign­ing a decree in those pro­ceed­ings in July 2008. After Sergei Mag­nit­sky died, the Anichin-led Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee advanced false accu­sa­tions against Sergei Mag­nit­sky posthumously.

 

2) Pavel Lap­shov, Colonel of the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry, served (until Octo­ber 2012) as Head of the Orga­nized Crime and Cor­rup­tion Direc­torate of the Inte­rior Ministry’s Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee. He appeared at a press con­fer­ence in Decem­ber 2011 to advance false posthu­mous accu­sa­tions against Mag­nit­sky and exon­er­ate com­plicit offi­cials (http://www.novayagazeta.ru/news/52474.html).

 

3) Boris Kibis, inves­ti­ga­tor of the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry, who dur­ing 2011 – 2012 was in charge of the posthu­mous pro­ceed­ing opened against Sergei Mag­nit­sky after his death. Kibis also issued mul­ti­ple sum­monses to Sergei Magnitsky’s mother and tried to remove her lawyer who chal­lenged the posthu­mous proceedings.

 

4) Oleg Urzhumt­sev, is a close asso­ciate of the crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tion exposed by Sergei Mag­nit­sky. He was an inves­ti­ga­tor from the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry put in charge of inves­ti­gat­ing the crim­i­nal con­spir­acy. In that role he exon­er­ated its key mem­bers, and posthu­mously accused Sergei Mag­nit­sky of the $230 mil­lion fraud that Mag­nit­sky had uncov­ered. While in charge of “inves­ti­gat­ing” the Magnitsky-uncovered crim­i­nal con­spir­acy, inves­ti­ga­tor Oleg Urzhumt­sev trav­eled with Andrei Pavlov and Yulia May­orova, the two key per­sons whose role in the crim­i­nal con­spir­acy he was sup­posed to inves­ti­gate, to Ukraine and back to Rus­sia dur­ing 8 – 10 July 2008 http://russian-untouchables.com/rus/docs/F13.pdf. He then ques­tioned them in the two fol­low­ing months, on 21 August and 21 Sep­tem­ber 2008, about the cir­cum­stances of the crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and found on wrong­do­ing in their actions. The con­nec­tion of Oleg Urzhumt­sev to Andrei Pavlov, a close asso­ciate of the leader of the crim­i­nal con­spir­acy, Dmitry Klyuev, who him­self had been pre­vi­ously sanc­tioned under the Mag­nit­sky Act, goes back as far back as 2005 based on the joint travel pat­tern http://russian-untouchables.com/rus/docs/F14.pdf.

 

“The Mag­nit­sky Act was intended to be an open-ended process, and we are reg­u­larly review­ing the sit­u­a­tion to see whether there are addi­tional des­ig­na­tions pos­si­ble,” said the US State Depart­ment official.

 

Explain­ing the new Magnitsky-related des­ig­na­tion, the US State Depart­ment offi­cial said:

 

“Alek­sey Anichin was the for­mer head of the Russ­ian inte­rior ministry’s inves­tiga­tive depart­ment. He was – he had autho­rized the crim­i­nal case under which Sergei Mag­nit­sky was orig­i­nally arrested. Pavel Lap­shov was the head of the inte­rior ministry’s inves­tiga­tive depart­ment of orga­nized crim­i­nal activ­ity. He was – his inves­tiga­tive unit con­cluded that Mag­nit­sky him­self was respon­si­ble for the con­spir­acy which Mag­nit­sky uncov­ered. Two of the oth­ers – that is, Urzhumt­sev and Kibis – were involved in the posthu­mous pros­e­cu­tion of Magnitsky.”

 

The new Magnitsky-related des­ig­na­tion offi­cially pub­lished on 1 Feb­ru­ary 2016, con­tains five indi­vid­u­als, bring­ing the total num­ber of per­sons sanc­tioned since the enact­ment of the “Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act,” to 39.

 

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

 

Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky Campaign

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

www.facebook.com/russianuntouchables

billbrowder.com

 

List of New Magnitsky-related Designations:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20160201.aspx

Annual Report on the Imple­men­ta­tion of the Sergei Mag­nit­skyRule of Law Account­abil­ity Act:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/02/251969.htm?goMobile=0

Brief­ing by Senior State Depart­ment Offi­cial ViaT­ele­con­fer­ence, Feb­ru­ary 1, 2016:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/02/251989.htm

 

 



Pro-Kremlin Russian Nationalist Politician Calls for Rendition of William Browder to Russia

January 28, 2016

Pro-Kremlin Russ­ian Nation­al­ist Politi­cian Calls for Ren­di­tion of William Brow­der to Russia

 

28 Jan­u­ary 2016 – Pro-Kremlin Russ­ian nation­al­ist politi­cian, Eduard Limonov, has pub­licly called for the ille­gal ren­di­tion to Rus­sia of UK-based Putin critic William Browder.

 

“The task of our spe­cial ser­vices is to catch Brow­der and bring him in a sack to Rus­sia,” Eduard Limonov told to the pro-Putin news agency “Novy Den.”  (http://newdaynews.ru/moskow/555722.html).

 

This is the sec­ond ille­gal ren­di­tion threat against Mr. Brow­der ema­nat­ing from Rus­sia. In the sum­mer of 2014, Mr. Brow­der received a warn­ing from the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice of a sim­i­lar Russ­ian threat. The threat related to actions being put in place to “find” Mr Brow­der in Lon­don and “poten­tially return” him to Russia.

 

This most recent threat came just as Brow­der called on British Prime Min­is­ter Cameron to impose travel sanc­tions and asset freezes on senior offi­cials in the Putin regime in response to the find­ing of the Russ­ian state’s com­plic­ity in the Litvi­nenko mur­der which endan­gered lives of oth­ers in Britain.

 

In an open let­ter in the Guardian, William Brow­der said:

 

You can’t undo an act of state-sponsored ter­ror­ism on British soil from 2006, but for the long-term safety and secu­rity of every­one in Britain you must act in a way that leaves no doubt that the UK gov­ern­ment will not be cowed. You must stand firm and ensure seri­ous con­se­quences for any­one who dares to repeat such an atro­cious act on British soil.”(http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/26/litvinenko-report-punish-russia-cameron-bill-browder)

 

Last month, on 15 Decem­ber 2015, Russ­ian Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Chaika lashed out against William Brow­der, accus­ing him of work­ing with West­ern spe­cial ser­vices to desta­bilise Rus­sia by pro­duc­ing a cor­rup­tion expose against the Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor.

 

“I have absolutely no doubts that this men­da­cious movie has been ordered by W. Brow­der and intel­li­gence ser­vices who are stand­ing behind him… There is a global pur­pose — to com­pro­mise the Russ­ian Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­eral, his regional sub­or­di­nates, and once again to denounce our coun­try as…  the coun­try wor­thy of eco­nomic and other sanc­tions,” said Russ­ian Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Chaika. (http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2876887)

 

Mr Limonov has become an out­spo­ken sup­porter of Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Putin. This week, he tried to dis­miss the expose of cor­rup­tion involv­ing Vladimir Putin as “part of US war against Rus­sia.” https://www.therussophile.org/limonov-accusations-of-corruption-against-putin-are-part-of-us-war-against-russia.html/

 

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

 

Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky Campaign

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

www.facebook.com/russianuntouchables

billbrowder.com

 



US Appeals Court to Hear Emergency Motion on Disqualification of Lawyer John Moscow in the Magnitsky Case in New York

January 18, 2016

US Appeals Court to Hear Emer­gency Motion on Dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of Lawyer John Moscow in the Mag­nit­sky Case in New York

 

18 Jan­u­ary 2016 – The United States Court of Appeals for the Sec­ond Cir­cuit has agreed to an emer­gency hear­ing to be held at 10 am on Fri­day, 22 Jan­u­ary 2016, on an appli­ca­tion from Her­mitage Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment seek­ing to sus­pend the case of US vs Pre­ve­zon, to hear an appeal which will deter­mine whether lawyers with a seri­ous con­flict of inter­est should be allowed to remain on the case.

 

Hermitage’s appli­ca­tion arises out of U.S. law firm Baker Hostetler and its part­ner, John Moscow, switch­ing sides in the Russ­ian money laun­der­ing case from rep­re­sent­ing the vic­tim – Her­mitage, to rep­re­sent­ing the ben­e­fi­ciary of the crime – Pre­ve­zon Holdings.

 

Her­mitage said in sup­port of its motion for stay in the legal proceeding:

 

A stay pend­ing appeal is in the pub­lic inter­est. A lawyer’s oblig­a­tion to pre­serveclient con­fi­dences “touches upon vital con­cerns of the legal pro­fes­sion and the public’s inter­estin the scrupu­lous admin­is­tra­tion of justice.”

 

Hermitage’s motion is sup­ported by the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice, who said to the Appeals Court that the con­duct of Baker Hostetler rep­re­sents an “unheard of”, “extremely rare” and “egre­gious” case of con­flict of inter­est given that the law firm not only switched sides but went fur­ther by accus­ing Her­mitage, its for­mer client, of the crime of which Her­mitage has been the victim.

 

“The egre­gious sit­u­a­tion seen here, where an attor­ney for a vic­tim attempts to switch sides to rep­re­sent a ben­e­fi­ciary of the offense, is extremely rare, and it is unheard of that such attor­ney would go fur­ther and accuse his for­mer client, the vic­tim, of com­mit­ting the offense. Accord­ingly, courts have sel­dom been called upon to rule on such an extreme con­flict, often because it is sim­ply not done,” said the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice in their affir­ma­tion of Hermitage’s motion.

 

On 18 Decem­ber 2015, the dis­trict court judge Thomas Griesa in the South­ern Dis­trict of New York granted Hermitage’s motion to dis­qual­ify Baker Hostetler and John Moscow, find­ing it would be improper for Baker Hostetler to con­tinue to rep­re­sent defen­dants Pre­ve­zon Hold­ings because of Baker Hostetler’s prior rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Her­mitage. How­ever, on 8 Jan­u­ary 2016, Judge Griesa reversed his deci­sion rul­ing that Prevezon’s right to the choice of lawyers was more impor­tant than Hermitage’s right to not be betrayed by for­mer counsel.

 

Pre­ve­zon Hold­ings is owned by the son of a senior Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cial and, accord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of Justice’s law­suit, has been involved in laun­der­ing pro­ceeds from the US$230 mil­lion fraud uncov­ered by Hermitage’s late lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky. The US Depart­ment of Jus­tice, hav­ing traced pro­ceeds stolen in Rus­sia to Prevezon’s real estate prop­er­ties in Man­hat­tan, filed a civil law­suit seek­ing money laun­der­ing fines and for­fei­ture of US$14 mil­lion in Prevezon’s US assets. After the assets were frozen, Pre­ve­zon sought the ser­vices of John Moscow and Baker Hostetler. In spite of the obvi­ous con­flict of inter­est, John Moscow and Baker Hostetler agreed to rep­re­sent alleged ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the US$230 mil­lion crime – ignor­ing the fact that they had been pre­vi­ously hired by Her­mitage to iden­tify and bring to jus­tice per­pe­tra­tors and ben­e­fi­cia­ries of this crime.

 

On 13 Jan­u­ary 2016, Her­mitage filed an emer­gency motion to sus­pend the pro­ceed­ings in the asset for­fei­ture case against Pre­ve­zon until the issue of John Moscow and Baker Hostetler’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion is resolved.

 

In sup­port­ing the Hermitage’s motion, the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice stated:

 

“After tak­ing almost $200,000 of Hermitage’s money to attempt to pre­vent Her­mitage from being accused of com­mit­ting the fraud, [Baker Hostetler’s part­ner] Moscow is now tak­ing the money of an alleged ben­e­fi­ciary of the very same fraud to him­self accuse Her­mitage of com­mit­ting the fraud.”

 

“Allow­ing the trial to take place in this fash­ion, and to expose Her­mitage to such irrepara­ble injury at the hands of its for­mer coun­sel, would be a mis­car­riage of jus­tice set­ting a prece­dent that would severely harm crime vic­tims’ inter­ests and could chill the coop­er­a­tion of vic­tims with law enforce­ment,” said the US Jus­tice Depart­ment in its filing.

 

The US$230 fraud and money laun­der­ing case was uncov­ered by Hermitage’s Russ­ian lawyer, Sergei Mag­nit­sky, who was tor­tured and killed in Russ­ian police cus­tody after he had given tes­ti­mony impli­cat­ing Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials in the scheme. To per­pe­trate the US$230 mil­lion fraud, the Russ­ian crim­i­nal organ­i­sa­tion stole three Russ­ian com­pa­nies belong­ing to the Her­mitage Fund and then sought an ille­gal refund of US$230 mil­lion of taxes pre­vi­ously paid by those companies.

 

When Hermitage’s Russ­ian lawyers reported the offi­cials involved, the lawyers them­selves became sub­ject of retal­i­a­tion from Russ­ian author­i­ties. In 2008, Her­mitage hired Baker Hostetler’s part­ner John Moscow to pro­tect Her­mitage and its lawyers and exec­u­tives from the retal­i­a­tion. Mr. Moscow had pre­vi­ously been a spe­cial­ist in com­bat­ing Russ­ian organ­ised crime and cor­rup­tion in the New York Dis­trict Attorney’s office. He assisted Her­mitage with the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the US$230 mil­lion fraud and liais­ing with the US law enforce­ment in bring­ing those ben­e­fi­cia­ries to jus­tice. Sev­eral years later the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice traced some of the US$230 mil­lion pro­ceeds to Man­hat­tan prop­er­ties owned by Pre­ve­zon and filed a law­suit in which John Moscow and Baker Hostetler appeared for Prevezon.

 

The hear­ing will take place in New York in the Thur­good Mar­shall U.S. Cour­t­house, 17th floor, Room 1703 later this week, on 22 Jan­u­ary 2016.

 

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:                  

 

Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky Campaign

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

www.facebook.com/russianuntouchables

 

 



Sergei Magnitsky’s Mother Demands Answers from Russia’s General Prosecutor Chaika About False Statements Against Her Son

December 22, 2015

Sergei Magnitsky’s Mother Demands Answers from Russia’s Gen­eral Pros­e­cu­tor Chaika About False State­ments Against Her Son

 

Yuri Chaika

22 Decem­ber 2015  – Sergei Magnitsky’s mother has demanded answers from Russ­ian Gen­eral pros­e­cu­tor Chaika over his hys­ter­i­cal let­ter con­tain­ing false infor­ma­tion about Sergei Mag­nit­sky pub­lished last week in Russ­ian news­pa­per Kom­m­er­sant. Chaika’s let­ter was a response to Russ­ian blog­ger Alexei Navalny’s explo­sive video about the cor­rup­tion and abuse of office involv­ing Chaika’s two sons and senior pros­e­cu­tors in the country.

 

In Chaika’s14 Decem­ber 2015 let­ter to Kom­m­er­sant, he claimed that Sergei Mag­nit­sky had never inves­ti­gated the $230 mil­lion theft from the Russ­ian budget.

 

In Sergei Magnitsky’s mother’s appli­ca­tion to the Gen­eral Prosecutor’s office which was filed at the end of last week, she refuted Chaika’s false state­ments and placed the respon­si­bil­ity on Chaika him­self for the cover up of the $230 mil­lion theft and its per­pe­tra­tors impli­cated by Sergei Mag­nit­sky in sworn testimony.

 

“The infor­ma­tion you have dis­sem­i­nated inflicts pain on a mother who lost her son, it is not based on facts, it has not been cor­rob­o­rated by courts, and it is refuted by doc­u­ments, includ­ing the crim­i­nal case files about Magnitsky’s death,” said Ms. Mag­nit­skaya to Pros­e­cu­tor Chaika.

 

“Thanks to Sergei Magnitsky’s inves­ti­ga­tion which he con­ducted on instruc­tion from his client — the Her­mitage Fund — the theft of 5.4 bil­lion rubles [$230 mil­lion] was uncov­ered, and reported to you on 25 July 2008 in an appli­ca­tion seek­ing to inves­ti­gate the fraud and pros­e­cute its per­pe­tra­tors. In response your senior aid Bumazhkin replied that the inves­ti­ga­tion had been ter­mi­nated …due to the lack of crime. Your aid also reported that the out­comes of this inves­ti­ga­tion were under con­trol of the Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office,” said the appli­ca­tion from Ms. Magnitskaya.

 

“It fol­lows that under the con­trol and with knowl­edge of the Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office headed by you, per­pe­tra­tors who com­mit­ted a grandiose theft of 5.4 bil­lion rubles from the bud­get, remained for a long time free, had oppor­tu­nity to destroy evi­dence of their crime and con­tinue it unhin­dered through laun­der­ing the pro­ceeds stolen from the Russ­ian peo­ple via bank wire trans­fers,” said Ms. Magnitskaya’s application.

 

Sergei Magnitsky’s mother’s appli­ca­tion asks Chaika whether the infor­ma­tion he had dis­sem­i­nated was his per­sonal opin­ion, or his offi­cial con­clu­sion as Gen­eral pros­e­cu­tor of Rus­sia tasked by Russ­ian pres­i­dent to per­son­ally over­see all cases con­nected to Sergei Mag­nit­sky. The reply from Pros­e­cu­tor Chaika to Magnitsky’s mother appli­ca­tion is yet not known.

 

For more infor­ma­tion please contact:                     

 

Jus­tice for Sergei Magnitsky

 

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

www.facebook.com/russianuntouchables

www.billbrowder.com



New York Federal Court Disqualifies Lawyer John Moscow and BakerHostetler in Magnitsky Money Laundering Case

December 21, 2015

New York Fed­eral Court Dis­qual­i­fies Lawyer John Moscow and Bak­er­Hostetler in Mag­nit­sky Money Laun­der­ing Case

 

21 Decem­ber 2015 – The fed­eral court in New York has dis­qual­i­fied lawyer John Moscow and his firm, Bak­er­Hostetler, who rep­re­sented the alleged Russ­ian recip­i­ents of money laun­der­ing pro­ceeds from the US$230 mil­lion Russ­ian fraud that Sergei Mag­nit­sky uncov­ered, in a civil for­fei­ture case brought by the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice. The case alleges money laun­der­ing of pro­ceeds of Russ­ian fraud into multi-million dol­lar Man­hat­tan real estate by Pre­ve­zon, a com­pany owned by a son of for­mer Vice-premier of the Moscow Region and the cur­rent Vice-president of Russ­ian Rail­ways Pyotr Katsyv.

 

John Moscow and Bak­er­Hostetler had orig­i­nally worked for Her­mitage in 2008 to defend Her­mitage against unfounded accu­sa­tions relat­ing to the fraud, includ­ing (among other projects) by track­ing the stolen US$230 mil­lion and its recip­i­ents, and bring­ing the evi­dence of this com­plex Russ­ian fraud which vic­timised Her­mitage, to the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice. On Hermitage’s behalf, John Moscow per­son­ally pre­sented the find­ings from the Hermitage’s and Sergei Magnitsky’s inves­ti­ga­tions of the $230 mil­lion fraud to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

 

On 25 Novem­ber 2008, one day after Sergei Magnitsky’s arrest by cor­rupt Russ­ian offi­cials on false charges, John Moscow also became involved in Hermitage’s legal actions to free Sergei Mag­nit­sky from Russ­ian deten­tion. Prior to his arrest, Sergei Mag­nit­sky gave tes­ti­mony to Russ­ian author­i­ties impli­cat­ing Russ­ian offi­cials in the theft of Hermitage’s Russ­ian com­pa­nies and of US$230 mil­lion the Hermitage’s com­pa­nies had paid to the Russ­ian government.

 

One year later, on 16 Novem­ber 2009, Sergei Mag­nit­sky was killed in Russ­ian police cus­tody before he could tes­tify in an open trial.

 

In 2013, John Moscow and Bak­er­Hostetler switched sides, and went from rep­re­sent­ing Her­mitage to rep­re­sent­ing Russian-owned Pre­ve­zon, an alleged ben­e­fi­ciary of the US$230 mil­lion fraud, that Sergei Magnitsky’s inves­ti­ga­tion had led to after his death. The US Depart­ment of Jus­tice has traced to Pre­ve­zon nearly US$2 mil­lion of the US$230 mil­lion fraud pro­ceeds and more funds in false and ques­tion­able trans­ac­tions.  The US court has frozen about US$14 mil­lion in Prevezon’s assets, includ­ing bank accounts and sev­eral Man­hat­tan properties.

 

In Novem­ber 2015, John Moscow and Bak­er­Hostetler made fil­ings on Prevezon’s behalf in which they explic­itly accused Her­mitage of com­mit­ting the US$230 mil­lion fraud that they orig­i­nally have been hired to defend against.

 

On 15 Decem­ber 2015, Her­mitage filed a motion to dis­qual­ify Bak­er­Hostetler and John Moscow.

 

In Judge Griesa’s opin­ion, issued on 18 Decem­ber 2015, the U.S. Court for South­ern Dis­trict of New York ordered:

 

“The court is now con­vinced that it would be improper for Bak­er­Hostetler and Moscow to con­tinue as coun­sel to defen­dants. …Hermitage’s motion to dis­qual­ify Bak­er­Hostetler and Moscow as coun­sel to defen­dants is granted.”

 

Her­mitage Capital’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive said of the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of John Moscow and Bak­er­Hostetler:

 

“This dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion is a stark reminder that lawyers can’t switch sides just because there is money being offered to them.”

 

Under Rule 1.9 of the New York Rule of Pro­fes­sional Con­duct, lawyers are not allowed to betray their for­mer clients. In par­tic­u­lar, the rule says:

 

“A lawyer who has for­merly rep­re­sented a client in a mat­ter shall not there­after rep­re­sent another per­son in the same or a sub­stan­tially related mat­ter in which that person’s inter­ests are mate­ri­ally adverse to the inter­ests of the for­mer client unless the for­mer client gives informed con­sent, con­firmed in writing.”

 

Her­mitage became the vic­tim of the US$230 mil­lion fraud in 2007 when a Russ­ian crim­i­nal organ­i­sa­tion, com­pris­ing FSB, Inte­rior Min­istry and tax offi­cials and headed by a con­victed fraud­ster Dmitry Klyuev, raided offices of Her­mitage and its law firm in Moscow, unlaw­fully seized statu­tory and finan­cial doc­u­ments for its cor­po­rate Russ­ian sub­sidiaries. Using those doc­u­ments, the Russ­ian crime group forged con­tracts and pow­ers of attor­ney, fraud­u­lently re-registered the stolen Her­mitage com­pa­nies to felons pre­vi­ously con­victed for vio­lent crimes, and through sham court pro­ceed­ings obtained about US$1 bil­lion judg­ments against the stolen Her­mitage com­pa­nies, in order to claim US$230 mil­lion in pur­port­edly “over­paid” taxes.

 

The fraud­u­lent US$230 mil­lion tax refund was granted by Russ­ian tax offi­cials, who were mem­bers of the crime group, in one day, and paid out two days later to two small Russ­ian banks, where fraud­sters had opened bank accounts, and then laun­dered through Russ­ian banks and around the world.

 

Through efforts of Her­mitage and law enforce­ment author­i­ties around the world, about US$40 mil­lion con­nected to the US$230 mil­lion fraud uncov­ered by Sergei Mag­nit­sky have been iden­ti­fied and frozen.

 

Bak­er­Hostetler is an “Am Law 100 law firm” with more than 900 attor­neys and 14 offices. John Moscow is a for­mer New York pros­e­cu­tor and a part­ner at Baker Hostetler.

 

For more infor­ma­tion please contact:                     

 

Jus­tice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__

www.facebook.com/russianuntouchables

www.billbrowder.com



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