William Browder (Bill Browder)
Opalesque BACKSTAGE Video - Bill Browder: Sergey Magnitsky case reveals Russia's ugliest face
William (Bill) Browder co-founded Hermitage Capital Management in 1996 together with the eminent banker Edmond Safra. The Hermitage Fund has been extremely successful, gaining 2,697% through December 2007. It was ranked the World's Best Performing Emerging Markets Fund over the 1996-2001 five-year period by Nelsons.
In this Opalesque BACKSTAGE video, which includes updated video material provided by Hermitage Capital exclusively to Opalesque, Bill Browder recalls how his life changed radically after November 2005, when he was suddenly refused entry into Russia. At the time the largest foreign investor in the Russian stock market, Browder was declared a "threat to national security."
With Browder banned from the country, organized criminals - apparently backed by high-ranking officials from the Russian police and security services - tried to raid the then $4 billion Hermitage Fund. The fraud began when 25 officers from the Moscow Interior Ministry stormed into Hermitage's Moscow office in June 2007 and seized all of the corporate seals and documents necessary to transfer ownership of the Hermitage Fund's Russian companies to the criminal group.
What every Emerging Market investor should know
Hear from Browder how after failing to raid the Hermitage Fund, the criminals still managed to steal US$230 million from the Russian government through fraudulent refunds of taxes - refunds that were awarded in a mere two days - that Hermitage had paid two years earlier.This culminated a fraud that relied on sham court judgments, unknown shell companies, fake lawyers and convicted criminals masquerading as corporate directors.
When Hermitage Capital's tax lawyer Sergey Magnitsky testified that Russian police, members of the judiciary, tax officials, bankers and the Russian mafia were involved in what was Russia's largest tax fraud, he was arrested and held for 11 months in prison without trial. Magnitsky died in prison in November 2009, eight days before he was scheduled to be released if he were not brought to trial.
Is Solzhenitsyn's GULAG still alive?
This Opalesque BACKSTAGE reveals the ugly face of Russia and the painful details of the brutality of the system that can still kill innocent citizens.