July 20, 2024

The Catholic Transcript

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Abramovich used shell companies to send his wealth to the United States, where he was not subject to sanctions

Abramovich used shell companies to send his wealth to the United States, where he was not subject to sanctions

In July 2012, a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands was transformed $ 20 million For an investment vehicle in the Cayman Islands controlled by a large American hedge fund.

The wire transfer is the culmination of several months of small military operations with handlers and facilities in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. This is a fraudulent move, at the very least, to cover up the source of funding: Roman Abramovich.

For two decades, Oh Russian oligarchy This fraudulent investment strategy relied on – stabilizing the ranks of shell companies, managing money through a small Austrian bank and improving the connections of major Wall Street companies – quietly paying billions of dollars into major US hedge funds and investment firms. Private equity, according to those with knowledge of transactions.

The important thing is to be able to honestly say that not every lawyer, corporate director, hedge fund manager and investment advisor involved in the process works directly. Abramovich. In some cases, participants do not even know who is helping them manage the money.

Wealthy foreign investors want Abramovich Using Wall Street’s willingness to ask some questions about the ill-regulated investment sector and the origin of money, it has long been possible to transfer money to US funds using such secret and indirect systems.

Now that the United States and other countries have imposed sanctions on those close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, chasing that fortune could pose significant challenges.

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Last week, the IRS asked Congress for additional evidence to help oversee the Biden administration’s sanctions plan with the new Judicial Kleptocracy Task Force. And in Capitol Hill, lawmakers and investment advisers are proposing a bill called the Executioners Act, which calls for their clients to be more carefully identified and examined.

Abramovich There is rated luck $ 13 billion, Derived largely from his timely acquisition of the Russian state-owned oil company, which he sold back to the government. This month, European and Canadian authorities imposed sanctions on him and froze his assets, including the famous British football club Chelsea. The United States has not imposed sanctions on him.

Abramovich’s U.S. assets include millions of dollars in real estate, including a couple luxury homes near Aspen, Colorado. But he did invest heavily in financial institutions. His relationship with Putin and his wealth have made him a controversial figure.

Many of Abramovich’s US investments were facilitated by a small company called Concord Management, led by Michael Modlin, and those familiar with the transactions were not authorized to speak publicly.

Madeline declined to comment further on the report, describing Concord as “a consulting firm that provides independent third-party research, due diligence and investment oversight”.

Founded in 1999, Concord did not directly manage any of Abramovich’s money. It has acted as an investment advisor and the right diligence firm, providing recommendations to directors of shell companies in the Caribbean tax haven about potential investments in US investment firms who are well versed in the subject.

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Big Wall Street banks such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley often introduced Concord executives to protect funds, according to those who knew about those meetings.

Over the years, Concord has organized more than 100 investments in various hedge funds and private equity firms, mostly for Abramovich, according to an internal document prepared by Wall Street. According to sources and documentation, they include funds managed by Millennium Management, BlackRock, Sarissa Capital Management, Carlyle Group, DE Shaw and Pierre Sterns.

Concord had a low profile. It has no website. It is not registered with the US regulatory bodies. In 2020, the company applied for a $ 265,000 paycheck security plan loan during an outbreak – one of the few public appearances – and, according to a spokesman, Concord repayed the loan.

Concord’s secret has alerted some on Wall Street. In 2015 and 2016, investigators at the financial services firm State Street filed “suspicious action reports” to warn the U.S. government of transactions by Concord involving some of Abramovich’s Caribbean shell companies, BuzzFeed News reported. State Street declined to comment.

U.S. financial institutions should file such statements to assist the US government in combating money laundering and other financial crimes, although those statements are not evidence of any wrongdoing.

But for the most part, American financiers know nothing about the source of the money that Concord directed – or are not interested in finding out. As long as the routine background tests did not show red flags, that was fine.

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The hedge fund, managed by Paulson & Co., John Paulson, received the investments from a company representing Concord, according to one person who knew about the investment. Paulson said in an email that he “did not know” about Concord’s investors.

Concord sent $ 10 million from two shell companies to Highland Capital, a Texas hedge fund. Highland has appointed a division of JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank, to ensure that companies are legitimate and that investments comply with anti-fraud rules, according to federal court records in an unrelated bankruptcy case.

JPMorgan allowed the investment, and Highland did not know the final source of the money, court records show.

Large hedge funds may have accepted the money even though they knew it belonged to Abramovich. At the time, oligarchy was not under sanctions.

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