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.