Kleptocracy Daily: July 14, 2017

In his latest piece, “The U.S. Is a Good Place for Bad People to Stash Their Money,” Casey Michel discusses how America vows to promote financial transparency, yet it will let just about anyone register an anonymous shell company.

The German Marshall Fund of the U.S. just launched its new program, “The Alliance for Securing Democracy”, a new bipartisan, transatlantic initiative that will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions.

The Helsinki Commission will hold a briefing, “Kleptocrats of the Kremlin: Ties Between Business and Power in Russia”, next Thursday, July 20.

News

The Russian lawyer who met with the eldest son of Trump and other officials of his presidential campaign was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who is a former Soviet counterintelligence officer.

EU officials flip-flopped on corruption and fumbled their political communique at a summit in Kiev.

Peru’s ex-president jailed pending money laundering trial.

Features

Trump’s Russian Laundromat: The story of Trump Tower, the infamous Russian mobster Mogilevich, and shell companies.

The Ayatollah’s billion-dollar Alaskan bag man: Did an elderly Korean-American salmon exporter become a money launderer for Iran?

“Experts who estimate Russian billionaires’ assets usually use ‘civilized’ parameters, such as the value of shares in a company or a corporation’s cash holdings. However, the situation in Russia is different from common practices, because the wealth of the ruling class has been and still is made not through country’s prosperity but its impoverishment. The usual calculations don’t work here.”
-Vladislav Inozemtsev on why the Kremlin has gotten interested in cryptocurrencies.