Article: US Attorney General Warns Ransomware ‘Getting Worse and Worse’

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US Attorney General Warns Ransomware ‘Getting Worse and Worse’/strong>

Masood Farivar, 09 June 2021

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland warned Wednesday that ransom-motivated cyberattacks are “getting worse and worse,” echoing other top Biden administration officials who have sounded the alarm about the problem in recent weeks.

“We have to do everything we possibly can here,” Garland told lawmakers. “This is a very, very serious threat.” Continue reading “Article: US Attorney General Warns Ransomware ‘Getting Worse and Worse’”

Article: Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets

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Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets

TYLER DURDEN, 03 June 2021

Following a series of corporate cyberattacks that American intelligence agencies have blamed on Russian actors, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund (officially the National Wellbeing Fund) has decided to dump all of its dollars and dollar-denominated assets in favor of those denominated in euros, yuan – or simply buying precious metals like gold, which Russia’s central bank has increasingly favored for its own reserves.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made the announcement Thursday morning at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Continue reading “Article: Russia’s $186 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund Dumps All Dollar Assets”

Article: Will ‘Global Britain’ clamp down on money laundering?

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Will ‘Global Britain’ clamp down on money laundering?

Tom Burgis, 28 April 2021

In March 2014, a few days after Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Crimea, a British official arriving for a meeting of the UK’s National Security Council failed to shield his notes from the Downing Street photographers. Any response to the Kremlin’s aggression should not, the notes read, “close London’s financial centre to Russians”. The government subsequently explained that it “wanted to target action against Moscow and not damage British interests”.

Seven years on, the assessment is very different. Last year’s report on Russia by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee — eventually published after a contentious delay — found that the warm British welcome for Russian money “offered ideal mechanisms by which illicit finance could be recycled through what has been referred to as the London ‘laundromat’”. Continue reading “Article: Will ‘Global Britain’ clamp down on money laundering?”

Article: The Fall Of Turkey, The Rise Of Bitcoin

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The Fall Of Turkey, The Rise Of Bitcoin

TYLER DURDEN, 26 April 2021

It never ceases to amaze me how tone deaf those with power are.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in serious trouble for the first time in his political career. He’s a man staring at a massive electoral problem coming this fall.

Erdogan is currently presiding over an economy in complete freefall. With recent reports of food riots over government handouts of potatoes and onions the news only seems to be getting worse there on the eve of national elections. Continue reading “Article: The Fall Of Turkey, The Rise Of Bitcoin”

Article: Top official implicated in corruption scam with FSB links

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Top official implicated in corruption scam with FSB links

The Bell, 08 March 2021

The Russian banking sector was rocked by the arrest of several high-ranking FSB officers last year who covered up a bribery scandal (as reported by The Bell and investigative outlet Proekt). This week, we learned of yet another player in the scam — the deputy head of state-owned Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) that manages failing banks. An investigation by Meduza, VTimes and Proekt found that one of the agency’s senior managers set up a system that diverted funds to rescue struggling banks into the pockets of contractors (who paid kickbacks). Continue reading “Article: Top official implicated in corruption scam with FSB links”

Article: Dirty Money, Criminal Cash: Bank Leaks Allege Vast Scale of Global Fraud

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Dirty Money, Criminal Cash: Bank Leaks Allege Vast Scale of Global Fraud

Henry Ridgwell, 20 September 2020

Leaked documents allege that some of the world’s largest banks have allowed $2 trillion worth of suspicious or fraudulent activity to take place, including money laundering for criminal gangs and terrorists.

The so-called “FinCEN Files” consist of more than 2,000 Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, sent by banks to the U.S. Treasury, alerting the authorities to possible criminal activity, from 1999 and 2017. The files were leaked to Buzzfeed and shared with a global network of investigative journalists. Continue reading “Article: Dirty Money, Criminal Cash: Bank Leaks Allege Vast Scale of Global Fraud”

Article: Russian Cybercriminal Gets 9 Years for Online Fraud Website

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Russian Cybercriminal Gets 9 Years for Online Fraud Website

Associated Press, 27 June 2020

A Russian computer hacker who facilitated $20 million in credit card fraud and ran a sophisticated clearinghouse for international cybercriminals was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison.

Prosecutors say Aleksei Burkov of St. Petersburg, Russia, filled a unique niche in the world of cybercrime, describing his Direct Connection website as “the most exclusive criminal forum on the web.” Would-be participants had to put up a $5,000 bond and have three existing members vouch for them. Once inside, members could buy and sell stolen credit-card numbers, hacking services and malware, and criminals with different skill sets could join forces to launch schemes.

“You’ve made it as a criminal once you get on Direct Connection because you have access to the best criminals in the world,” prosecutor Kellen Dwyer said at Friday’s sentencing hearing. Continue reading “Article: Russian Cybercriminal Gets 9 Years for Online Fraud Website”

Article: Collusion with Trump over Russia inquiry ‘did not happen’, says Raab

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Collusion with Trump over Russia inquiry ‘did not happen’, says Raab

Patrick Wintour, 02 October 2019

No member of the British government, including the prime minister, would ever collude with Donald Trump to try to discredit the work of intelligence agencies uncovering Russian interference in the 2016 US election, the UK foreign secretary said.

Dominic Raab told the Commons that “any such collusion is entirely unacceptable, would never happen, and did not happen”.

The foreign secretary refused to say at prime minister’s questions whether Boris Johnson, or his predecessor, Theresa May, had spoken to the US president about any request to cooperate with the inquiry he had ordered into how the US intelligence agencies handled claims that Russia colluded with the Trump presidential campaign in 2016.

The collusion claim led to the lengthy report by Robert Mueller, which showed that Russia was attempting to swing the presidential election in favour of Trump but did not say whether there had been collusion between Russia and Trump.

Raab was asked whether, as reported in the Times, Trump had personally contacted Johnson to ask him to cooperate with the US inquiry.

The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw implied that the purpose of any Trump request might be “to undermine or smear British intelligence services, as well as damage cooperation with their US colleagues”.

Raab, deputising for Johnson at prime minister’s questions, said: “Neither the prime minister or, as then, the foreign secretary, would collude in the way that he described. That is entirely unacceptable and would never happen and did not happen.”

It is noticeable that the British government has been less willing than either the Australian or Italian governments to give details of help given to Trump’s inquiry into the role of the US intelligence services.

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Article: Factbox: European banks hit by Russian money laundering scandal

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Factbox: European banks hit by Russian money laundering scandal

Reuters Staff, 08 March 2019

Several European banks are facing allegations of being involved in a Baltic money laundering scandal and failing to prevent tainted Russian money from flowing through their branches across the world. Continue reading “Article: Factbox: European banks hit by Russian money laundering scandal”

Article: Russian Whistleblower Assassinated After Uncovering $200 Billion Dirty-Money Scandal

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Russian Whistleblower Assassinated After Uncovering $200 Billion Dirty-Money Scandal

Nico Hines, 10 October 2018

A crusading Russian official traveled to Estonia in the summer of 2006 to warn the authorities that an unprecedented money-laundering scheme had been established in the tiny Baltic financial sector. The scam he had uncovered would go on to become the biggest dirty-money operation in history: the $200 billion Danske Bank scandal.

Three months after Andrei Kozlov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, tried to raise the alarm, he was dead. Continue reading “Article: Russian Whistleblower Assassinated After Uncovering $200 Billion Dirty-Money Scandal”

Article: Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime

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Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe Are Experts in Organized Crime

Some of President Trump’s favorite targets in the Russia probe have spent their careers in the Justice Department and the FBI investigating organized crime and money laundering, particularly as they pertain to Russia.

Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissmann. Andrew McCabe. President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked these FBI and Justice Department officials as dishonest “Democrats” engaged in a partisan “witch hunt” led by the special counsel determined to tie his campaign to Russia.

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Article: Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal

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Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal

Ed Caesar, 22 August 2016

Almost every weekday between the fall of 2011 and early 2015, a Russian broker named Igor Volkov called the equities desk of Deutsche Bank’s Moscow headquarters. Volkov would speak to a sales trader—often, a young woman named Dina Maksutova—and ask her to place two trades simultaneously. In one, he would use Russian rubles to buy a blue-chip Russian stock, such as Lukoil, for a Russian company that he represented. Usually, the order was for about ten million dollars’ worth of the stock. In the second trade, Volkov—acting on behalf of a different company, which typically was registered in an offshore territory, such as the British Virgin Islands—would sell the same Russian stock, in the same quantity, in London, in exchange for dollars, pounds, or euros. Both the Russian company and the offshore company had the same owner. Deutsche Bank was helping the client to buy and sell to himself. Continue reading “Article: Deutsche Bank’s $10-Billion Scandal”

Article: Russian activist Alexei Navalny faces 10 years for “fraud”

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Russian activist Alexei Navalny faces 10 years for “fraud”

Deutsche Welle, 19 December 2014

A Russian activist is facing a total of 10 years in prison on fraud charges. Prosecutors asked a Moscow court to convict Alexei Navalny who had already been handed a suspended sentence on embezzlement charges. Wrapping up their closing arguments in a Moscow courthouse on Friday, prosecutors called on the presiding judge to convict Alexei Navalny, and his brother, Oleg, (photo) for fraud.

“The guilt of the defendant has been fully proven,” prosecutor Nadezhda Ignatova told the court.

She called on the judge to sentence Alexei Navalny to 10 years in prison for stealing 30 million rubles (414,000 euros, $500,000) from an affiliate of French cosmetics company Yves Rocher and another firm between 2008 and 2012. Continue reading “Article: Russian activist Alexei Navalny faces 10 years for “fraud””

Article: How Putin Uses Money Laundering Charges to Control His Opponents

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How Putin Uses Money Laundering Charges to Control His Opponents

ANDREW S. BOWEN, 18 July 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) speaks with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (right) and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov during a flight to watch military exercises in Russia’s Zabaykalsky region July 17, 2013 (Reuters/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Last Thursday, Sergei Magnitsky was convicted of tax evasion. The only problem was he was not there to hear the verdict read. Magnitsky was killed in Moscow’s Butyrka prison in 2009, likely as a result of beatings and a lack of medical treatment. His crime was uncovering a $230 million tax fraud involving members of the government while working as a lawyer for William Browder (an American investor who was also convicted in absentia). Continue reading “Article: How Putin Uses Money Laundering Charges to Control His Opponents”

Article: Sergei Magnitsky verdict ‘most shameful moment since Stalin’

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Sergei Magnitsky verdict ‘most shameful moment since Stalin’

Miriam Elder, 11 July 2013

The courtroom cage in Moscow stood empty on Thursday as a judge found the late whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky and his London-based employer guilty of tax evasion in a move likened to Stalin-era justice.

The case against the two defendants – Magnitsky, allowed to die an excruciating death in prison in 2009, and William Browder, banned from entering Russia since 2005 – has come to symbolise the brutality of Russia’s system and the penalties incurred by those who uncovering official wrongdoing. Continue reading “Article: Sergei Magnitsky verdict ‘most shameful moment since Stalin’”