Where Did the Money Go?

With reporting by: Bill Alpert, Georg Eckelsberger, Elena Loginova, Wojciech Cieśla, Luke Harding, Pavla Holcova, Steffi Cerna, Yongjin Kim, Minna Knus, Anuška Delić, Eva Jung

For years, the financial fraud scheme that came to be known as the Russian Laundromat pumped billions of dollars out of Russia, churning the money through dozens of banks, shell companies, and offshore corporations into accounts all over the world.

Where, exactly, did this money end up? Who got it? And why?

The profiles below describe some of the hundreds of people and companies around the world who spent, channeled, or ended up with the Laundromat money, according to financial data obtained by reporters at OCCRP and Novaya Gazeta.

Many couldn’t be found or were reluctant to talk. In some cases, their exact connection to the scheme remains a mystery.

Are you interested in investigating the Laundromat yourself, or improving your institution’s due diligence? Download a list of all involved parties in Excel format. Companies marked “Latvia core” are the main financial vehicles mentioned in our reporting, other companies are listed in the context of specific financial transactions.

The country indicated is for the bank account used, not the jurisdiction in which the company is registered. Please note that many of these companies acted as parties in legitimate purchases of goods and services - it is the origin of the funds that is questionable. Accepting this money in itself does not constitute wrong-doing.

Others were legitimate merchants or people genuinely perplexed to find themselves caught up in a global scheme being investigated for money laundering, tax evasion and more. They had no idea that the companies sending them money were shell firms under investigation by Moldovan and Russian authorities. (There is nothing in itself illegal about receiving payment from a mysterious shell company).

Still others should have known - or did - about the shady origins of the money they received.

Read on to learn more.

The American International School - Vienna

The American International School is a private school in Vienna with 775 students from over 50 countries. According to the school's website, Russian students are the third largest nationality after Americans and Austrians.

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Sergey Magin and a Japanese electronics manufacturer

The Austrian branch of a Japanese electronics manufacturer received €576,076 through the Laundromat in June 2012. The company specializes in the import and export of electric tools.

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Rudolf and Anna J.

Anna and Rudolf J., a married couple in their seventies, received a total of €52,716 through the Laundromat in just over a dozen small tranches ranging from €1,959 to €3,600 in 2013.

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VA Intertrading

VA Intertrading (VAIT) is a commodity trader with an annual revenue of almost €1 billion in 2015. In late 2013, the company received €406,000 through the Laundromat from Westburn Enterprises.

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Frivent GmbH

Frivent GmbH, an Austrian manufacturer of ventilation systems, received a total of €1,585,180 from various Laundromat companies throughout 2013, most of which came from Crystalord.

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Handelsgericht Wien

The smallest Laundromat payment in Austria may also be the most mysterious: On Oct. 25, 2013, Kedassia Ltd. transferred €1,792 from an Austrian bank account supposedly owned by “Handelsgericht Wien”.

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SG Group

SG Group, an exporter/importer focused on Central Asia, Russia, and Belarus, received a total of $5,652,143 from Laundromat companies Alaro Business, Caldon Holdings Ltd., and Drayscott Overseas over several months in early 2014.

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Harold Invest

Harold Invest is an Austrian company with a Czech bank account which is in the business of purchasing old apartments in Vienna, renovating and upgrading them, and then selling them. It has bought at least nine apartments for this purpose in recent years.

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Petrof

Petrof is a Czech piano manufacturer. The company received a single payment of $81,500 from a Laundromat company, Caldon Holdings, in October 2013, with “equipment electric tools” listed as the reason for the transaction.

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Smart Company

Smart Company, a Czech firm with Ukrainian and Latvian shareholders, appears to exist only on paper. Reporters visiting its listed address found no trace of the company, and office workers employed there have never heard of it.

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Valeria spol. s.r.o.

Valeria spol. s r.o., a company in Znojmo, received one payment of $1,000 for “electrical equipment” from Laundromat shell company Crystalord Ltd. in November 2013. The company does indeed trade in electronic equipment.

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Danske Bank

Danske Bank is a Danish bank with branches in 16 countries, primarily in the Nordic countries. A total of 1,567 Laundromat transfers worth about $1.2 billion were made between June 2011 and May 2014 to accounts at the bank’s branches in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, and Estonia.

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Kopenhagen Fur

Kopenhagen Fur is a cooperative owned by more than 1,500 Danish fur farmers, and is the world's largest auction house for furs.

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Nordea

Nordea is a Swedish bank with more than 10.5 million customers in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia.

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Martin Professional A/S

Martin Professional is a Danish manufacturer and distributor of stage and architectural lighting. It is owned by Harman International Industries, which in turn is a subsidiary of Samsung.

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Saga Furs

Saga Furs is an auction house for fur, the only publicly listed company of its kind in Finland. The company received $659,811 in 10 transactions from Kedassia, a Laundromat company, in late 2013.

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Makita Oy

Makita Oy is a Finnish subsidiary of Makita, a Japanese power tool manufacturing company.

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Intradecom

Registered in 2007, Intradecom has an office in a block of flats in Sluzew, a Warsaw business center. The company has no advertisements or signs on its doors and only a rudimentary website.

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Polish fruit traders

Several recipients of Laundromat money in Poland appear to be distributors of fruits and vegetables in Eastern Europe, including Belarus and Russia.

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European Center for Geopolitical Analysis (ECAG)

The European Center for Geopolitical Analysis (ECAG) is a Warsaw-based think tank founded in 2007 by Mateusz Piskorski, leader of the pro-Russian Zmiana political party.

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Vajati-Logistika

Vajati-Logistika is a Serbian shipping company that exports fruits and vegetables to Russia. It received $18,438 from Laundromat shell company Ronida Invest in April 2012.

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Montinvest AD

Montinvest AD is a Serbian construction company whose biggest projects are in Russia.

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Dorville Ltd.

Founded in 1994, Dorville Ltd. holds a Slovenian bank account but is owned by two Cypriot companies - Intertrea Nominees Ltd. and Trea Secretarial Ltd. - which are in turned owned by Fiduserve Management Ltd., a fiduciary services provider also located in Cyprus.

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Omnia Arhing

Omnia Arhing is a Slovenian architecture, planning, and interior design company founded in 1997. The company received a total of €5,243,864 through Laundromat firms Drayscott Overseas and Ronida Invest in 2012 and 2014.

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Jillava Shipping Ltd.

Jillava Shipping, which claims to offer shipping services, was founded in 2010 in Cyprus. It is owned by another Cypriot company, Totalserve Consultants Ltd., which offers tax planning and fiduciary services.

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Kerissaco Management Ltd.

Kerissaco Management Ltd., founded in Cyprus in 2008, markets itself as a provider of film production services and equipment. The company received a total of $3,624,571 through Laundromat to its Slovenian bank account in 2014.

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M3Mobile

M3Mobile is a South Korean industrial PDA manufacturer. Through Laundromat, the company received over $3.5 million through 37 transactions.

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Smaller Korean recipients

Smaller South Korean recipients of Laundromat money revealed that their transactions are genuine trade deals, explaining that money paid by counterparts from Russia or Middle Eastern countries tend to come from a third party companies.

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Samsung

Samsung Electronics Overseas (SEO), founded in 1997, is the Netherlands subsidiary of the South Korean multinational electronics company.

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Pavel Flider and Trident International

Trident International, a company belonging to Pavel Flider, an American citizen of Russian origin, received $249,997 from Kenovetco Ltd., a company active in the Laundromat, in June 2012.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a Hungarian-born psychologist living in the United States. He is best known for popularizing the concept of "flow," that psychological state of intense focus experienced when immersed in a task or activity.

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Total Golf Construction

Total Golf Construction is a Florida company that specializes in the construction of golf courses.

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ED Capital Management

ED Capital Management, a New York-based investment and asset management firm, received $179,999 in transfers from Crystalord Ltd., a company active in the Laundromat, in 2013.

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Parason Inc.

Parason Inc. is a Delaware corporation whose shareholders, directors, and officers aren’t on the public record.

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Arben International

Arben International was the US payee with the most Laundromat payments, receiving just over $1.8 million in 12 transactions from Kedassia Ltd. throughout 2013.

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Slovyanski Shpaleri

In 2013-2014, a Ukrainian wallpaper factory called Slovyanski Shpaleri (Slavic Wallpapers), located in the country’s northeast, received $1.87 million from the Laundromat.

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RF Procurement

RF Procurement is a mysterious firm with opaque ownership. It received about $110 million through the Laundromat, the largest amount of any entity in the UK.

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Millfield Prep School

Millfield Prep is one of Britain’s most expensive and prestigious preparatory schools. Some families who send their children here work in London; others are wealthy foreigners attracted by the lure of a first-class UK education.

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