Summary by JW WIlliams
Andrei Nekrasov’s film, The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes, is about the filmmaker’s journey as he set out to expose Russian police for murdering Sergei Magnitsky, a whistleblower against corruption, and for stealing $230-million from companies that were owned by American-born billionaire, Bill Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, the largest hedge-fund portfolio in Russian in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Instead, Nekrasov discovered discovered a convoluted financial crime that leads back to Bill Browder. Browder used the crime and the death of Sergei Magnitsky, his accountant, to establish a new law, the Magnitsky Act, to seize assets and impose sanctions on Russia! Critics blame the re-ignition of the cold war on Browder.
The film producer dug up facts that countered Browder’s claims that his companies were stolen by Russian police and were then used to steal $230 million in tax rebates from the Russian government, and that the police then beat Sergei Magnitsky to death. Instead, the evidence pointed toward Browder having control over the companies when the tax fraud took place, indicating that he engineered the tax fraud. In addition, the producer found evidence that Sergei Magnitsky was an accountant who worked for Browder for years, instead of a lawyer, as Browder claims, and that he died of a pre-existing heart condition while in prison, instead of being beaten to death by the police.
Nekrasov makes the case that Browder created a myth that Sergei Magnitsky was his lawyer and a whistleblower who was beaten to death by the police in gross violation of human rights, because the billionaire was trying to cover up the real crime wherein he used shell companies to fraudulently obtain a tax rebate while claiming that the companies had been stolen, and then he blamed the imaginary thieves for the tax fraud. Browder was convicted for tax fraud in a Russian court, in absentia, in 2013.
Browder’s company had ties to HSBC and reaped billions during the privatization period in Russia in the 1990s, after the communist government underwent cosmetic surgery to look like it was now in favor of free markets and private ownership.
Browder has access to all mainstream media outlets in America and Europe, and his version of the story is the only one presented to the public.
The second part of the story is that Browder used Magnitsky’s death, which Browder presented to the West as a case of a whistleblower being beaten to death in violation of human rights laws, to impose sanctions on Russian individuals through the Magnitsky Act. Obama signed the Magnitsky Act in 2012 which enabled the US to punish foreign governments for human rights abuses and to seize their assets. The Act, initially limited to Russia, now has been expanded by way of 2016’s Global Magnitsky Act, which enabled US sanctions worldwide.
Summary by JW WIlliams
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