24 May 2011

Moscow Tax Official Illegally Wires up to $39 Million

Olga Stepanova, a former tax official who ran Moscow’s district tax office No. 28, wired money worth $39 million through her husband’s bank account after having fraudulently approved a $239 million tax return in 2007. All of this was done on an average monthly income equivalent of $38,000, according to William Browder (pictured here), who is an American-born investor who has since been barred from entering Russia.

The money was supposedly used to purchase property in Moscow, Montenegro, and Dubai, with the transactions occurring a few weeks after the fraudulent 2007 tax return was processed, according to documents held by James Firestone, who was the head of the law firm that employed Mr. Bowder’s now-deceased lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who died in 2009 in a Russian prison after being accused by the authorities of tax evasion after he discovered fraud in the Interior Ministry.

The original story from the Miami Herald can be found here.