William Felix Browder (born 23 April 1964), known as “Bill” Browder, is an American-British financier, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management (“Hermitage”), an investment firm that at one time was the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia. He gave up his US citizenship in 1998 to avoid paying taxes related to foreign investment. After having business in Russia for 10 years, Browder was refused entry to Russia in 2006 as a threat to national security; he has said it was because he exposed corruption.
After the death in prison in 2009 of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor who had represented his company and conducted an investigation into massive tax fraud related to it, Browder lobbied for Congress to pass the “Magnitsky Act”, a law to punish Russian human rights violators, which was signed into law in 2012 by President Barack Obama.In 2013, Browder was tried in absentia in Russia for tax fraud, jointly in a posthumous prosecution of Magnitsky. He was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison. Interpol rejected Russian requests to arrest Browder, saying the case was political. In 2014, the European Parliament voted for sanctions against 30 Russians believed complicit in the Magnitsky case; this was the first time it had taken such action.
In July 2017, Browder testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election through use of persons in Washington, DC.
On October 19, 2017, Canada enacted its own Magnitsky Act, the Russian-sanctions bill that Browder had first sponsored in the U.S.On October 21,
Putin placed Browder on Interpol’s arrest list That same day, Browder’s U.S. visa was revoked, effectively banning him from the United States.After a protest by U.S. Congressional leaders, his visa was restored the following day.