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Bill Browder: ‘I do not feel safe’

The man behind the Magnitsky Act denounced the White House for considering swapping him in exchange for U.S. access to a dozen Russians indicted for hacking America’s 2016 presidential election.

Bill Browder called the idea “appalling and atrocious.”

Vladimir Putin proposed the exchange at Monday’s Helsinki summit. The White House said President Trump was considering the offer.

“Putin wants to torture me to death,” Browder said. “He hates me because I found his Achilles heel.”

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said the proposed swap is a “ridiculous request from Putin.”

Browder is the CEO of London-based Hermitage Capital Management, once the biggest foreign investor in Russia.

He was born in the United States but is now a UK citizen.

In 2009, his lawyer in Moscow, 36-year-old Sergei Magnitsky, died in police custody after uncovering a $230 million tax fraud against the Russian treasury.  

Through Browder’s efforts, the United States enacted the Magnitsky Act in 2012. It imposes sanctions on kleptocrats and human-rights abusers.

OFAC has publicly listed 49 people subject to travel bans and asset freezes under the Magnitsky Act. Several Putin cronies are on the list.

Here’s what Browder said Wednesday:


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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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3 Comments

  1. If I did not know better I would swear this Trumpian story had to be fake news, but even Fox News was shocked by it that it reported the Story itself.

    The idea that Trump would even entertain the notion that he would permit Putin to interrogate a former US Ambassador and one of the world’s most courageous anti-corruption crusaders should scare all human rights & anti-corruption advocates everywhere – not to mention the business community. It also means the international community at large should not trust the USG to do or even say the right thing anymore – at least as long as Trump is President. In short, be brave but be very careful. We are going thru a very dangerous and very sad time indeed.

  2. surreal

  3. It used to be fraud investigators worked quietly in offices and on-site at stricken companies without a thought of danger to themselves.
    Magnitsky was a brave attorney who was beaten to death in Putin's jail after he and Bill Browder uncovered Putin's fraud.
    Now fraud investigators must indeed be careful but if I know fraud investigators, they will do their jobs professionally and with courage regardless of who threatens them.

    I admire you who are out there doing the investigative work in the private sector as well as the public sector. I honor your courage and your steadfastness. For rampant fraud cripples Democracies as much as hacking voting machines imperils the foundation of our republic.

    Thank you!


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