Fake Whistle-blower of the New Cold War

Raising the Curtain on the Browder-Magnitsky Story

By: Jeremy Kuzmarov

Earl Browder, the former head of the Communist Party, USA, is no doubt rolling over in his grave at the actions of his grandson William, a hedge fund manager who made a fortune during a period of Western financial looting of Russia, and who has been lobbying vigorously for a new Cold War.

In 2015, Browder published Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice, which recounted how his investment capital firm was raided by the Russian government and how he successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress and European and Canadian parliaments to pass economic sanctions. [1]

The 2012 Magnitsky Act was named after Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who according to Browder, had exposed a Russian government scam to rob taxpayers of $230 million by filing fictitious returns after seizing his company, and died in an Alcatraz-like prison awaiting trial on trumped up charges.

The story Browder tells would make for a good Hollywood thriller spotlighting government corruption and abuses in the Russian criminal justice system and the noble fight by a reformed “red” who gives up his lucrative business career to achieve redemption for his crusading friend caught up in a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Journalist Michael Weiss of The Daily Beast compared the Magnitsky affair to a “21st century Kirov assassination or Reichstag fire” which had “raised the curtain on Putin’s thermidor.” [2]

If only the story were true.

A blacklisted film directed by Andrei Nekrasov and written by Torstein GrudeThe Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes (Piraya films) and new book by Hedge Fund Manager Alex Krainer, The Killing of William BrowderDeconstructing Bill Browder’s Dangerous Deception (Monaco: Equilibrium, 2017) have revealed serious inconsistencies in Browder’s story. [3]

Notable among these is the fact that Magnitsky was not actually a lawyer but a tax accountant, as Browder admitted under oath, and that he was not hired by Browder after his company was scammed as Browder has claimed. Magnitsky rather was hired by Konstantin Ponomarev, founder of the Firestone Duncan law firm which served as a minority partner of Hermitage, years earlier to set up an offshore structure that Russian investigators would later say was used for tax evasion and illegal share purchases by Hermitage. According to Nekrasov’s investigation, Magnitsky was an expert in “circumventing the laws and regulations” which required foreigners like Browder to pay more for business and stock shares. [4]

The Truth Emerges

Russian-language transcripts of Magnitsky’s interviews with police show that Magnitsky never actually accused anyone of malfeasance and was not a whistle-blower but was questioned by police about tax evasion practices Browder’s firm had been accused of beginning in 2004. The report of the $230 million theft was made by Paul Wrench, a Hermitage employee, not Magnitsky as Browder claimed.[5]

Nekrasov stated in an interview that in his view “Magnitsky was manipulated into protecting Browder and his colleagues by his (Magnitsky’s) lawyers, controlled/paid by Browder, while in jail” and that Magnitsky was growing “progressively more frustrated with them” in the days before his death.[6] In a telling scene in the film, Browder is asked whether someone asked on his behalf the imprisoned Magnitsky to take responsibility for his tax returns, and instead of denying it, Browder under oath says he did not remember. At the time of Magnitsky’s arrest, Browder furthermore never discussed his case or assisted in his defense, and Hermitage never had any mention of it on its website, turning him into a martyr only after he died. The U.S. embassy also did not raise any public concerns or outcry in the crucial period that Magnitsky was in prison, raising questions as to why they only spotlighted the case after his death. When I tried to pose this question to Ambassador John Beyrle, he refused to answer, as did later ambassador Michael McFaul.

The actual whistle-blower, according to the film’s telling, is Rimma Starova, a 70-year-old Hermitage employee who filed a criminal complaint with the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan accusing representatives of HSBC Private Bank – whose financial empire Hermitage belonged to – of the theft of state funds. Ms. Starova refused to speak with Nekrasov for the film out of self-protection.

Another witness who may know the truth is Viktor Markelov, the figurehead of Browder’s companies with power to receive and transfer the $230 million. He served five years in prison for his involvement in the tax refund scheme. Before his arrest, he asked Pavel Karpov, a Major in Russia’s Interior Ministry, to obtain a court order based on invented liability for the Hermitage Company, which would lead to a claim for a tax refund. Karpov said that the refund application would require detailed information from the companies’ books, which pointed to inside involvement, though Markelov never told Karpov the identity of the client who would benefit. Nekrasov says that today Markelov is “totally incommunicado, and no journalist has ever been able to reach him. I hope he’s still alive but there’s no trace of him anywhere.”[7]

Magnitsky’s death in custody was surely a great tragedy, however, there is no conclusive evidence he was beaten and tortured or singled out for special cruel treatment. Browder claims that Magnitsky was beaten over the head when the Russian post-mortem found no cranial damage. Browder alleges that Magnitsky was beaten by eight riot police though Nekrasov tried to recreate the scene and found eight officers could not fit in Magnitsky’s cell. Browder’s account also only specified that his body had lacerations on his knuckles and wrists. Browder went on to claim that Magnitsky was kept in a windowless room in December, the heart of the winter chill, when it was actually in September. He also fails to point out that Magnitsky’s last month of incarceration was in a medical facility.

Magnitsky’s own mother believes that her sons’ death stemmed from negligence on the part of prison staff rather than murder. This is what a Russian commission that led to the dismissal of twenty-one prison employees concluded. Mr. Nekrasov told me that he spoke off-the-record with a Doctor Kratov from the Mutyrka prison, who was indicted and put on trial in Russia for negligence in his treatment of Magnitsky (he was acquitted but traumatized by the experience).

According to Nekrasov, “Kratov said that in his personal opinion there was a chance that Magnitsky had indeed been killed (he died of a heart attack officially) but that in that case only Browder and Co. could have been behind it. Theoretically it is possible to organize such a killing from outside a jail in Moscow, even if there is no evidence of it in our case in my view. What is clear however, is that only Browder stood to benefit from Magnitsky’s death, while the authorities needed Magnitsky alive, as a witness against Browder.”[8]

In October, Browder was charged by Russian authorities with murder in the death of Sergei Magnitsky. The evidence to back up the murder charge is an intercepted communication from Western intelligence agencies which allegedly exposes an Operation called Quake designed to “start a scandal or significant news trigger to discredit the Russian Federation in the eyes of the international community.”

Operating under the code name “Agent Solomon,” Mr. Browder, with Britain’s MI-6 and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (AKA “Agent Freedom”) is said to have arranged for “proxies in the Russian federal penitentiary service to arrange the termination of any medical services for Magnitsky.” Similar accusations were previously aired on Russian state television but dismissed by independent analysts because the communication was found to have had spelling errors that derived from flawed Russian translation.[9]

——————————————————————

Browder’s book Red Notice provides fascinating autobiographical detail about how Browder rebelled against his left-wing family by “putting on a suit and tie and becoming a capitalist.” After receiving his M.B.A. at Stanford University, Browder worked for the investment banking firm Salmon Brothers, where he turned a $25 million investment in privatization vouchers in Russia into a $125 million stock portfolio. He then started up his own investment firm, Hermitage Capital, with help from Syrian-Israeli banker Edmond Safra, an owner of the Republican National Bank of New York which had sold tens of billions of dollars in U.S. dollar notes to corrupt Russian banks who also profited from the privatization voucher scheme.[10] Mr. Safra died under suspicious circumstances after selling shares of Hermitage to HSBC in 1999. According to a New York Times profile, he taught Browder “not to shy away from kicking up a scandal to protect his interests.”[11]

By 1997, Hermitage came to manage over $1 billion in assets and was able to withstand a $900 million loss following the Asian financial crisis, in part by adopting a strategy of picking up shares from corrupt firms and attacking corruption in them and helping to reinvigorate them. According to Timesreporter Clifford J. Levy, Browder functioned as “a foreign version of the Russian oligarchs who earned their fortunes in the mass privatization after the fall of the Soviet Union. He courted publicity.”[12] Browder says he got into trouble because his anti-corruption crusade implicated Russian President Vladimir Putin and some of his cronies and that Putin had him expelled from Russia before Hermitage was raided.[13] Another plausible explanation, however, is that Browder had become too big for his boots, prompting the Russian government investigation into his firm for tax evasion. According to reporter Lucy Komisar, he was close to getting shares of Gazprom, the state oil and gas company through one of his investors, the Ziff Company, whose legal team knew how to circumvent laws that restricted foreign purchase of Gazprom’s shares.[14]

In 2013, Browder was found guilty in Russian court of failing to pay 552 million rubles in taxes ($16 million) and illegally buying up shares in Gazprom, for which he was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison. Browder says this trial was a farce of justice and he refused to appear in his defense. Magnitsky was also convicted posthumously, which Browder says reflects the corruption of the Russian criminal justice system under Putin.

After Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s arrest in October, 2003 (before he was allegedly about to sell shares of Yukos oil to Exxon Mobil), Browder claims that Putin – whom he referred to as a “criminal dictator not too different from Hitler, Mussolini or Gadhafi” – had struck a deal with Russia’s oligarchs granting them prosecutorial immunity. In exchange, they promised to give Putin somewhere between thirty and seventy percent of their wealth. Browder qualifies his assertion by noting that “he wasn’t there” when Putin brokered this deal so “he was only speculating.”[15] In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 2016, Browder claimed Putin demanded fifty percent and from that point on became the biggest oligarch in Russia and the “richest man” in the world.[16] However, there is no hard evidence to corroborate these allegations and Browder’s changing the numbers implies a lack of precision.

Nekrasov told me that “there is no evidence of Putin’s excessive riches. There is not a single evidence of some bank accounts, or bribe he, or his wife for example, got from an industry, or any such thing. While there is such evidence in the case of quite a few other heads of state [including] evidence in Yeltsin’s case, quite specific and direct.”

While not personally enamored by Putin whom he had investigated for the killing of dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko, Nekrosov says that Putin is also not the threat to world security he has been presented in the Western media and by Browder “any more than the U.S. anyway and Russia is not as powerful. [Putin] is hugely popular and doesn’t really need to suppress democracy very much, even if he were able to…. The media, apart from the big national TV channels, is relatively free.”[17]

Shrewdly exploiting the public’s celebration of whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden for his own ends, Mr. Browder has used reporters to help spread his version of events and to demonize Putin’s Russia. He is alleged to have financed and founded the organized crime and corruption reporting project (OCCRP) according to Nekrasov. Media outlets like the New York Times continue to accept Browder’s narrative uncritically, and still refer to Magnitsky as a lawyer, as did a Senate Foreign Relations committee staff report issued by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), when it is known that Magnitsky never passed the bar.

In September 2013, the Justice Department launched a $14 million money laundering case in the southern district court of New York against Prevezon Holdings, a Cyprus-based company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv which allegedly received nearly $2 million and laundered $600,000 from the tax scam (out of $14 million in total) in New York real estate. The defendants, who were represented by a legal team that included Natalia Veselnitskaya – notorious for arranging a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. – agreed to a $5.9 million settlement two days before the case was slated to go to trial without any admission of guilt. Federal prosecutors in New York reached the deal, according to The Daily Beast, “because they felt there was a decent chance they might lose in court or win a pyrrhic victory.”[18]

Baker & Hostetler, the firm representing Prevezon, argued in their memorandum of law in opposition to the government’s motion that Browder himself had a motive to commit the Treasury fraud, notably to steal back the money his companies paid in taxes to the Russian federation in 2006. He also had the opportunity to commit the fraud as he had been expelled from Russia and had all the information he needed about three of his companies (Rilend, Parfenion and Makhon) that were allegedly stolen.[19]

Browder testified before the Helsinki commission that he only learned of the sham lawsuits against Rilend, Parfenion and Makhon in October 2007. However, Rilend, Parfenion and Makhaon received notice of the lawsuits, according to the defendants memorandum in the Prevezon case, via registered mail in July, meaning he could have went to court to stop the lawsuits and Treasury fraud which he never did. Browder had also set aside $7 million to cover legal expenses, implying foreknowledge of the crime, and his original complaint did not actually center on the stealing of any companies.[20]

The U.S. government in its official statements on the case tellingly dropped reference to the sham lawsuits because of the discovery they were conducted with Hermitage’s knowledge. Browder claimed that three of his companies (Parfenian, Rilen and Nakhaon) were stolen in June 2007 in a police raid in which the police adopted thuggish tactics. Nekrasov though considers the raid to have been part of a legitimate criminal investigation into tax evasion and was carried out professionally, without violence. Photos Browder displayed to prove physical abuse were actually of a Soviet dissident in the 1960s. Company seals can also be easily duplicated and police in this case offered to return them along with other seized documents, as even Browder admitted.[21]

Two agents from Browder’s corporate service provider, Georgiades & Pelides, testified under oath that the transfer of companies were authorized and that they had signed false affidavits stating that their signatures were forgeries. According to statement made by Viktor Markelov, the actual transfer occurred through the re-registration of shell companies by Hermitage company lawyers, Eduard Khairetdinov and Vadim Kleiner, to a mafia linked figure acting as a middleman named Oktay Gasonov. He mysteriously died right after the transfers, as did his associate Semyon Karobeynikov who was thrown from a balconey. Gasanov had had a meeting with one Sergei Leonidovich, which Nekrasov says is how Russians would have addressed Magnitsky. When questioned by prosecutors, Mr. Magnitsky refused to answer the question as to whether he knew Gasonov, invoking his right to silence. Markelov also said he met with Magnitsky and that he had prepared the false tax rebate applications and stamped them with a duplicate seal.[22]

Tellingly, only about $25 million of the stolen money allegedly has ever been traced. The U.S. government’s “tracing expert”, under subpoena, acknowledged that the bank records provided by Browder of alleged transfer of stolen proceeds from the Russian Treasury and money laundering by Prevezon Holdings were never authenticated and that “he could not be sure the defendants received any stolen treasury funds.”[23] According to the defense attorney’s opening statement, Prevezon and its owner, Mr. Katsyv, are “nothing but collateral damage to Browder’s flight from justice and the [U.S.] Government’s irresponsible failure to investigate.”[24] While this statement may have been intended to deflect attention from their own client’s transgressions, the fact is that the U.S. government has blindly accepted Browder’s narrative without undertaking an independent investigation. When it passed the Magnitsky sanctions act in 2012, only seven of the sixty targeted individuals had anything to do with case.[25] This suggests the case is being used to advance an underlying political agenda, which has helped strain U.S.-Russian relations and enhanced the threat of nuclear war.

A suspicious aspect of the Prevezon case was that Nikolai Ghorkov, a lawyer representing Magnitsky’s family was thrown off a building in an act of intimidation Browder said was instigated by the Russian government.[26] However, Baker and Hostetler lawyers dispute this version of events and there could have been a plot to frame the Russian government to advance Browder’s narrative. Eight people associated with the Browder-Magnitsky case have died under mysterious circumstances and three others have been the target of assassination attempts. This indicates mafia involvement as well as possibly state cover-up, though the degree of coordination between different Russian government agencies in Browder’s story appears to be unrealistic.

Like with the JFK assassination, it is impossible for anyone except those directly involved in the monumental crime to know the full truth. Mr. Browder’s own credibility is undermined by conflicting unproven or false statements he has made starting with his reference to Mr. Magnitsky as a lawyer. Browder at one point said he had renounced his U.S. citizenship because his grandparents were persecuted by the U.S. government, however, he appears to have done it to evade paying more taxes. Browder also said that the $230 million tax scam was hatched by corrupt Russian officials in a secret meeting in Cyprus that has never been proved to have taken place. Browder furthermore accused Police Major Pavel Karpov of using stolen money from the tax scam to purchase a luxurious apartment in Moscow, however, documents showed that the apartment was purchased several years before, and a British court stated there was no evidence Karpov had anything to do with the conspiracy.[27]

So who did?

Among the most revealing scene in the film is when Mr. Nekrasov attends Browder’s book launch in London. There he meets Browder’s lawyer Mr. Khairetdinov who lets it slip that he had “an alibi” for the crime, and noted a warning he had provided prosecutors three weeks before the tax scam about a threatened company “theft.” Nekrasov finds all this suspicious and determined that the complaint document was tampered with and mentioned an alleged plot to steal $400 million in assets from Hermitage-linked companies, though Browder had previously told him that all his assets had been removed from Russia when his visa was revoked.[28]

Drawing on available documents and independent reporting, Krainer’s book The Killing of Bill Browder shows a pattern of unethical business practice by Hermitage. He points out that after buying a titanium production firm from Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Hermitage continued a transfer-pricing scheme that deprived is minority shareholders of dividends and Russian tax authorities of revenues.

With Magnitsky’s alleged participation, Hermitage also set up companies in the Republic of Kalmykia in southern Russia which offered low tax rates and major reductions for hiring at least 50% of its employees with handicaps. However, a court ruling in 2003 found the employees the company listed as handicapped (they were said to be disabled Afghan war veterans) had nothing to do with the company but were used to obtain tax relief.[29]

Browder’s credibility is undercut further by the disturbing anti-Russian smears that lace the narrative of his book Red Notice. Despite making a fortune over his ten years living there and marrying a Russian lady, Browder admits to only learning “taxi Russian.” He refers to the country pejoratively as a dark, violent and lawless place, which Western entrepreneurs could not save, so now had to punish.

In his view, most Russians are “aggressive” “tense” and “rude” and “don’t operate on high minded principles.” The women “throw themselves at foreigners to the point where there was no sport to [getting them in bed] at all, no chase, no courting.” Besides, “everything in Russia was about money,”[30] which would equally apply to America if true.

In Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria, Swiss journalist Guy Mettan dates the origins of contemporary Russophobic discourse to the Middle Ages when Charlemagne competed with Byzantium for the title of heir to the Roman empire, and anti-orthodox Catholic propaganda followed the schism between the West and East of which Russia was associated. According to Mettan, Russophobia resembles both anti-semitism and Islamophobia in that it “exists first in the head of the one who looks not in the victims alleged behavior or characteristics. [It is] a way of turning specific pseudo-facts into essential one-dimensional values, barbarity, despotism and expansionism in the Russian case in order to justify stigmatization and ostracism.”[31]

A missing context in Browder’s story is the role played by predatory Western financial interests in the 1990s like his own firm in promoting and then profiting off of failed “shock therapy” policies in Russia. Rapid deregulation and privatization combined with cuts to basic state service resulted in vast economic inequality and destitution accompanied by the 40 percent drop in Gross Domestic Product and corruption, which Putin’s government has succeeded to some degree in lessening.[32]

Alex Krainer in an interview told me that Browder may be serving as a spokesman for powerful interests who made billions in Russia during the 1990s and who are trying to evade prosecution by the Putin government which began undertaking investigations into their illicit activity. These entities include HSBC Bank, which has also laundered money for drug cartels and the Bank of New York.

Krainer told me that the sanctions policy under the Magnitsky Act is designed to weaken certain segments of the Russian elite supportive of Putin’s agenda and has created barriers for Russians seeking to come to the West to investigate and build a legal case, and barriers in the judicial system and courts for prosecution. At the same time, it has helped create a public relations platform to demonize Russia for its alleged abuse of human rights.

Krainer stated that “Russia was supposed to have continued the course initiated by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s in turning over its industry and resources to Western interests and joining the New World order. However, Putin has done the opposite. He has asserted Russia’s sovereignty, blocked the theft of Russia’s resources including oil and asserted control over the Russian Central Bank.”[33]

The Magnitsky-Browder affair is so important because it has been used as a key opening salvo in a New Cold War. Browder has a connection to Ben Cardin, a key engine behind the Magnitsky Act, through his lobbying efforts, and may have provided financial support to his campaign through the Ziff Brothers; a firm associated with Hermitage, which gave over $1 million to Democratic Party candidates in the 2016 election.[34] Cardin just released a Senate report laced with anti-Russian invective that attacks Trump’s policy and calls for more aggressive measures to counter the Kremlin’s “malign influence” campaign.[35] The source of funding provides one plausible explanation as to why Cardin and other Democrats have adopted such a militant anti-Putin position and have pursued the Russia-Gate investigations even as they lead down a path to nowhere.

John Hobson famously emphasized in his 1902 classic Imperialism how the British empire was driven by financial elites seeking outlets for new investments and who unduly influenced government policy. With regards to the United States, Hobson wrote that “it is Messrs. Rockefeller, Pierpont Morgan, Hannah, Schwab, and their associates who need imperialism….because they desire to use the public resources of their country to find profitable employment for the capital which otherwise would be superfluous.”[36] Mr. Browder follows in the same tradition in this neoliberal era. He and his backers have been extremely successful in using their wealth and political connections to sway public opinion against Putin by financing anti-Russian politicians and gaining voice in the media, and have in turn helped legitimize the expansion of NATO and a new arms race that benefits the military-industrial-petroleum complex.[37] At one point, Browder called Secretary of State John Kerry – a lukewarm supporter of the Magnitsky Act – “Putin’s lapdog” and purveyor of an “appeasement policy.”[38] This kind of poisonous language suggests that Browder is part of a planned political campaign, driven by powerful financial and “deep state” interests who profited from the plunder of Russia in the 1990s, which can only lead us to disaster.

Jeremy Kuzmarov teaches at the University of Tulsa and is author of Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century(Massachusetts, 2012) and the forthcoming book with John Marciano, The Russians are Coming Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second Cold War as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018).

[1] William Browder, Red NoticeA True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015).

[2] Michael Weiss, “Moscow’s Long, Corrupt Money Trail,” The Daily Beast, March 22, 2014, https://www.thedailybeast.com/moscows-long-corrupt-money-trail

[3] Alex Krainer, The Killing of Bill Browder: Deconstructing William Browder’s Dangerous Deception (Monaco: Equilibrium, 2017); Andrei Nekrasov and Torstein Grude, The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes (Piraya films, 2016).

[4] Lucy Komisar, “The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act: Did Bill Browder’s Tax Troubles in Russia Color Push for Sanctions?”100 Reporters, October 20, 2017, https://100r.org/2017/10/magnitsky/; Nekrasov and Grude, The Magnitsky Act; Personal Interview with Andrei Nekrasov, October 2017.

[5] “Andrei Nekrasov’s statement for the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Magnitsky Hearing,” November 17, 2017, https://andreinekrasov.livejournal.com/5987.html.

[6] Personal Interview with Andrei Nekrasov, October, 2017.

[7] Personal Interview with Andrei Nekrasov, October, 2017; Nekrasov and Grude, The Magnitsky Act.

[8] Personal Interview with Andrei Nekrasov, October, 2017; Nekrasov and Grude, The Magnitsky Act.

[9] Andrew E. Kramer, “Conspiracy Claims Devour Magnitsky Murder Inquiry,” New York Times, October 23, 2017.

[10] Browder, Red Notice.

[11]Clifford Levy, “Foreigner’s Investment in Russia is Derailed by Kremlin’s Might,” New York Times, July 24, 2008, A16.

[12] Clifford J. Levy, “An Investment Gets Trapped in Kremlin’s Vise,” New York Times, July 24, 2008, A16, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/world/europe/24kremlin.html.

[13] Browder, Red Notice.

[14] Komissar, “The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act.”

[15] Browder, Red Notice.

[16] William Browder, Chief Executive Officer, Hermitage Capital Management Leader of the Global Justice Campaign for Sergei Magnitsky, Testimony to: Hearing on the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, April 29, 2015, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA16/20150429/103395/HHRG-114-FA16-Wstate-BrowderW-20150429.pdf

[17] Personal Interview, Andrei Nekrasov, October 2017.

[18] Harry Siegel, “Trump’s Latest Russia Conspiracy Busted—Why the Feds Settled the Prevezon Case,” The Daily Beast, July 17, 2017, https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-latest-russia-conspiracy-busted-why-the-feds-settled-the-prevezon-case.

[19] DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO THE GOVERNMENT’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. PREVEZON HOLDINGS LTD., et al., Defendants, Case No. 1:13-cv-06326 (TPG) ECF CASE.

[20] “Andrei Nekrasov’s statement for the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Magnitsky Hearing,” November 17, 2017, https://andreinekrasov.livejournal.com/5987.html; Grude and Nekrasov, The Magnitsky Act; DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO THE GOVERNMENT’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. PREVEZON HOLDINGS LTD., et al., Defendants, Case No. 1:13-cv-06326 (TPG) ECF CASE.

[21] Krainer, Killing Bill Browder; Personal Interview with Nekrasov.

[22] Grude and Nekrasov, The Magnitsky Act; Komissar, “The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act.” Journalist Oleg Lurie met Magnitsky in prison and claimed that Magnitsky was asked to take the fall for alleged financial misconduct and turned down Browder’s offer of legal assistance. Later Lurie says he was offered $160,000 by someone using Browder’s name to change his story about Magnitsky, and allegedly had recordings to support his claim. Krainer, The Killing of Bill Browder, 154.

[23] Grude and Nekrasov, The Magnitsky Act; DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO THE GOVERNMENT’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. PREVEZON HOLDINGS LTD., et al., Defendants, Case No. 1:13-cv-06326 (TPG) ECF CASE.

[24] DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO THE GOVERNMENT’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. PREVEZON HOLDINGS LTD., et al., Defendants, Case No. 1:13-cv-06326 (TPG) ECF CASE.

[25] Ellen Barry, “Kremlin Says New Evidence Ties Lawyer Who Died in Jail to Theft of $230 Million,” New York Times, November 16, 2010, A12.

[26] Michael Weiss, “Russian Lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov Thrown from Window Was a Witness for the U.S. Government,” The Daily Beast, March 23, 2017, https://www.thedailybeast.com/russian-lawyer-nikolai-gorokhov-thrown-from-window-was-a-witness-for-the-us-government.

[27] Krainer, The Killing of Bill Browder; Grude and Nekrasov, The Magnitsky Act.

[28] Grude and Nekrasov, The Magnitsky Act.

[29] Krainer, The Killing of Bill Browder, 130, 154.

[30] Browder, Red Notice, 8-12

[31] Guy Mettan, Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria (Atlanta: Clarity Press, 2017), 21.

[32] See for example, Marshall I. Goldman, Petro-State: Putin, Power and the New Russia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010); Marshall I. Goldman, The Piratization of Russia: Reform Goes Awry (New York: Routeledge, 2003).

[33] Personal Interview, Alex Krainer, November 2017.

[34] https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000624. $17,000 was given directly to Hillary Clinton.

[35] The report can be found at: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/ranking/release/cardin-releases-report-detailing-two-decades-of-putins-attacks-on-democracy. For critical analysis, see Jeremy Kuzmarov, “Senator Carden’s Report Repeats Russo-phobic Charges,” Huffington Post, January 12, 2018.

[36] John A. Hobson, Imperialism: A Study (London: James Nisbet & Co. Ltd., 1902 reprinted by Cambridge University Press, 2010), 83.

[37] On Ukraine escalation, see Max Blumenthal, “How Russia-Gate Helped Secure a Dangerous Arms Deal,” January 6, 2018, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/russiagate-helped-secure-dangerous-arms-deal/

[38] Krainer, The Killing of Bill Browder.