Roman Abramovich Invested $1.3 Billion With US Firms

An investigation conducted by BuzzFeed News has revealed that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich invested $1.3 billion in US firms through a complex offshore network. The investigation found that Abramovich utilized his offshore companies, including Netherfield and Concord Management, to make investments in various American investment funds such as Och-Ziff and BlackRock. In 2015, State Street bank, which carried out the investigation, reported Abramovich and his affiliated entities to the US Treasury for engaging in suspicious activities. Although there is no evidence of illegal activity involving the American investment funds, some of them have frozen Abramovich’s funds. Consequently, Abramovich’s assets in the UK, including Chelsea Football Club, have also been frozen.

The investigation further discovered that Abramovich’s offshore network utilized an Austrian bank called Kathrein to hold the funds. However, the bank did not disclose Abramovich as the ultimate owner of the money on any documentation due to Austrian bank secrecy laws.

Concord Management, an organization that appeared to oversee Abramovich’s investments, proved difficult for State Street investigators to comprehend. They struggled to find basic information about the company, including whether it even existed.

Responding to the investigation, a spokesperson for Concord Management clarified that the company solely provides research, diligence, and monitoring services for investments and does not invest in funds itself.

In light of the investigation, Abramovich restructured his investments into new companies owned by an offshore trust. This restructuring allows him to anonymously own and control the entities, thereby further distancing himself as the origin of wealth and beneficiary of the assets.

The future of Abramovich and his assets in the US remains uncertain, as there is increasing political pressure for the US government to take action. Three Democrats in Congress have urged President Joe Biden to impose sanctions on Abramovich. However, the specific actions and timing of any response from US authorities are unclear.

Meanwhile, Abramovich’s movable assets, such as his yachts and private jets, have been relocated from Western ports to other destinations, including Russia and Istanbul. As for Abramovich’s current whereabouts, the enigmatic oligarch was last spotted in the luxury lounge of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, with reports suggesting that he may have flown to Turkey or Moscow.

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Written by Western Reader

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