On Fault Lines: How Ziff Brothers participated in Browder’s illegal Russian Gazprom buys & tax evasion

Fault Lines with Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan. For the audio, go here.
Robert, Dirk and Daniel Ziff.
Konstantin Ponomarev.
Speedwagon shell companies.
Griggs shell company with Ziffs’ company officers.
Natalia Veselnitskaya diagram of how the illicit tax buysworked.
Giggs shell company owned by the Ziffs.

The investigators saw Dirk, Robert and Daniel Ziff of Ziff Brothers Investments as Browder’s accomplices.

That was a deceptive answer. The tax office ruling was based on papers Hermitage filed, not on an investigation into whether the filing was truthful. Corporate tax was paid, but then profit was paid as dividends to shareholders. And such transactions are taxable in Russia. The dispute is whether the dividend tax should be 5% for Cypriot investors according to a Russia-Cyprus treaty, as Browder asserted, or 15% if the treaty benefit could not be used.

His office had found Browder’s Hermitage Fund and his investors, including the Ziff Brothers, had evaded more than 1 billion rubles ($16 million) in Russian taxes, including transferring profits to Ziff-controlled companies overseas.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, photo Lucy Komisar.

On June 4, 2017, Russian general prosecutor Yuri Chaika said on national television that his agency “has presented serious evidence of violations of the law by Browder and the Ziff brothers” to U.S. officials. There was no indication of any U.S. response to that claim.

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