Talk for Article "US freezes assets of 24 Russian officials and oligarchs"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    BS
    Bradley Secor

    Apologies it is late, I will return to polish the document.

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    BS
    Bradley Secor

    I would argue that it is Browder who decided whether or not it is a politically motivated case. The question should be, how would things be different if it was not a politically motivated case? It was Browder that refused to face the court in Russia, perhaps he knew the evidence was very strong. Browder uses his power and influence to actually create laws in the West to punish the very Russian officials who investigated his activities. Does he get an automatic get-out-jail free, just because he can lobby politicians and human rights groups? He has told his story word for word, perhaps 100’s of times, yet when the one time he is put under oath, and cross examined, that’s the entire point to poke holes in his story.

    Does it sound plausible the this confident public speaker who has told the audience countless times about

    “The young lawyer I hired in 2006 to investigate the tax fraud”

    turns out to be his slightly less young accountant, who worked for him as early as 2001, and participating in acknowledged tax minimisation schemes, for which court orders were coming out as early as 2005, demanding $US19 million in unpaid taxes for the schemes involving disabled Afghan war veterans in the region of Kalmyrka.

    From the Deposition

    P106
    So this is an English translation
    WILLIAM F. BROWDER (4/15/15)
    along with the Russian in the back, a judgment
    in the name of the Russian Federation. And if
    you go to the end of it, it convicts you of
    tax evasion, correct?
    Q. ..a judgment in the name of the Russian Federation. And if you go to the end of it, it convicts you of
    tax evasion, correct?
    A. Yes **

    Magnistky “lawyer” claim.

    P111
    When you told people Mr. Magnitsky’s a lawyer, did you also tell them he never went to law school and never had a law license?
    A. I’m sorry?
    Q. When you tell — how many times
    have you said, “Mr. .Magnitsky is a lawyer”?
    A. I don‘t know.
    Q, 50? 100? 200?
    A. I don‘t know.
    Q. Many, many times, right?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Have you ever told anybody that he didn’t go to law school and didn’t have a law degree?
    A. No. **
    Q. Did you tell them that he was
    working for you for many years and he was working capa- — in capacities other than legal?
    Q. Did you tell these gentlemen over here that?
    A. Yes ** Reference to Mr. Monteleoni for the DOJ citing privilege.

    Claims about the $230 million tax fraud.
    P153
    Q. They lost no value, the net worth
    of Parfenion, Rilend and Makhaon was zero, they had no assets, correct?
    A. No.
    Q. They had assets?
    A. Correct.
    Q. What assets did they have?
    A. They had bank accounts
    Q. Which had no money in them?
    A. Is that a question?
    Q. Yes.
    A. No, they did have money in them.
    Q. How much money did they have?
    A. I can’t be sure, but I think
    10-$15000.
    Q. Do you have bank records that show that?
    A. I‘m not sure.

    Q. What? Am I wrong or am I right?
    A. You’re wrong
    Q. You just told me you don‘t know?
    A. I don’t know
    Q. Okay. So the answer is you don’t
    know?
    A. I don‘t know
    Q. All right. So the money might very
    well have been — still been there, correct?
    A. “Very well” suggests that it’s
    still there. I don’t — I don’t know.
    Q. You don‘t know either way?
    A. I don’t know either way
    Q. As far as you know, that money
    wasn’t stolen? You don‘t know?
    A. I don‘t know
    Q. Okay. So we’ve established that;
    as far as you know, the money wasn’t stolen. In which case The Cyprus Companies didn‘t lose anything of value?
    MR. KIM: Objection to form.
    A. I don’t know

    *** This is what I mean by unsubstantiated claims.

    Any reasonable person would conclude that Browder has been telling falsehoods about Magnitsky in public to somehow make his story more believable. If anyone doesn’t think this is a lie please tell me and I will change my assessment. While this seems a trivial matter, it goes to credibility when such a part of his story is a bald lie. However when it comes to alleged $230 million in stolen money, that he is so absolutely sure about in public, 100’s of times, yet his story of a conspiracy in Cyprus turns into some Russians who happen to fly on the same commercial airliner, and anonymous sources that can never be named. Top that with the state of the companies, which were shown to never have lost any money, with which he is forced to agree.

    No sign of “I may have got it wrong” or “I could be mistaken” he was caught either lying hundreds of times in public, unethical but not illegal, or lying under oath, not necessarily here, but in Congressional Testimony where he repeat the “Lawyer” lie, and he appears dead sure that the $230 million fraud occurred, never having to justify a word.

    So if calling out obvious lies is labeled “bias”, I would strongly object, and expect a good reasoned argument to back up such as suggestion.

    All the above is found in Part 2 of the Deposition
    youtube com / watch?v=OBjO0TIb7pw&t=690s

    which came after he was finally cornered with a third subpoena after evading the two previous attempts

    youtube com / watch?v=ryVavTF6hR0

    At the very least, such an individual should not have dictated an entire law to the US Congress, despite adverse material being brought by Rep. Dana Rohenbacher, who Browder’s publicity machine conveniently labeled a Kremlin stooge, and Sen Ben Cardin had the hearing shut down.

    This was worse than simple oversight, Sen McCain and Sen Cardin along with Browder actively ensured that contrary material like the above, was hidden from the majority of the Senate. This is actively being complicit in lying to the American People and creating an oppressive law, which is so open to abuse, that Browder himself got to choose the target of sanctions, the two prosecutors in his tax fraud case.

    This explains the virtual blackout, even that a large part of Simpson’s testimony was simply ignored by the media, and that’s after it was finally released by Sen Feinstein.

    Can anyone imagine what the media, Congress and Browder’s coterie felt after successfully keeping all this out of the media for years, President Vladimir Putin merely mentions his name at the Helsinki summit and there is a collective media insanity lasting almost a week.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
    BS
    Bradley Secor

    It is emerging that William Browder has been rather liberal with the truth about his time in Russia, and almost no-one ever checks his story. Recently ‘the Nation”s James Carden pointed out that the US media, both right and left, studiously omitted any mention of negative testimony against Browder by Glenn Simpson to both houses of congress. Further, there has been online discussion, that Browder’s 2015 deposition in the case US vs Prevezon holdings, shown by the publicly available transcript, that under cross examination, he could not substantiate his version of events, about the role of Magnitsky, his tax-exempt schemes in Russia, and most relevant here, his allegations of a $230 million fraud by Russian officials was without foundation, a mash-up of unrelated travel records, shell companies, and that not a single dollar was shown to have been removed from the near worthless Cypress shell companies he claimed were used to commit the crime.

    All these materials are in the public domain, a publication that was founded on strong journalistic ethics, to produce real news, can not ignore this information.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/why-is-the-media-ignoring-crucial-parts-of-the-simpson-testimony

    /https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4345522/Read-the-full-transcript-of-Glenn-Simpson-s.pdf

    P27-52 Prevezon case and research on Browder P38-52
    P95-132 More about FusionGPS and media role in Prevezon and Browder

    ———————————–

    The sworn deposition from Browder to US vs Prevezon Holdings 15 April 2015 New York.

    https://c1.100r.org/media/2017/10/Browder-Deposition-April-15-2015.pdfSee

    P106-174 about Magnitsky and the Browder’s Russian Tax fraud that landed him in jail.

    Footage of Browder’s attempted evasion of a third subpoena in New York, which finally forced him to give the deposition under oath.

    https://youtu.be/ryVavTF6hR0

    The Prevezon Case was eventually settled in Jan 2017 by the DOJ, after being bogged down in legal tangles by Browder’s council, and a token payment by the plaintiffs, effectively no case to answer.

    The Browder deposition received zero coverage in the media, despite its devastating implications for Browder’s Magnitsky story and the legislation passed in multiple jurisdictions based on Browder’s word. Indeed, the two Russian prosecutors Browder alleged to have stolen $230 million, were the first to be sanctioned under the grossly unfair, lacking any due process or right to a defence, anti-Constitutional Magnitsky Act.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thanks. We will look at this. He is an interesting figure and like others no one emerges from the aluminium wars unscathed.

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Bradley, thanks for raising this. I was aware of the Simpson testimony, but admit I didn’t look into it in detail. I had not read the Browder deposition but have now and it was very interesting. I disagree that it has devastating implications for Browder’s story, as the questioning was done by a lawyer whose purpose was to poke holes and discredit Browder. If the $230 million fraud was an invention that would have huge implications as you say, but I could not see the passages you refer to that show the allegations to be unsubstantiated.
      I am trying to establish exactly what evidence Browder cites when lobbying for the adoption of the Magnitsky Act. So far, the best resource is here http://russian-untouchables.com/eng/testimonies/.

      Browder was convicted of tax fraud by a Russian court, but it is generally accepted this was a politically-motivated case, to the degree that all of Russia’s Interpol notices for Browder’s arrest have been ignored by other governments.
      Russia’s court system appears to be used for political purposes, part of the Reidversto or ‘corporate raiding’ system. (https://rusi.org/publication/occasional-papers/corporate-raiding-russia-tackling-legal-semi-legal-and-illegal)
      That certainly does not prove Browder’s tax arrangements were legitimate, and Hermitage appears to have used sophisticated tax arrangements, but most companies do the same – legally (ethics aside).

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)
        BS
        Bradley Secor
  4. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    What is happening in London where many Russians have parked their money in banks and real estate? I have heard nothing about May freezing Russian assets in the UK.

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      We did this piece on Russians in London: https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/03/16/espionage/voices-of-russians-in-londongrad-speak-of-fear-and-propaganda/55758/
      And this ongoing story on Russian investment in London:
      https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/04/06/russia/new-oligarch-list-makes-life-harder-for-putin-allies/45323/
      We are planning to look at this again from today because of the new US sanctions and the British insistence at the time of the Skripal case starting that it would impose what are called unexplained wealth orders.

  5. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Where is the list?
    I think it should be published on WikiTribune, and the link put into this article.
    Thanks.
    Massimo

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Massimo,
      You’re absolutely right. The link went missing when we were rewriting part of the story. Apologies, it is there now, in the second paragraph.
      Thanks, Jack

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