Ebook excerpt: “Freezing Order,” on Putin, cash laundering and homicide 

 April 1, 2022

As a financier working in Russia starting within the Nineteen Nineties, American-born Invoice Browder quickly discovered that theft was rampant amongst oligarchs making the most of the privatization that adopted the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whereas investigating a $230 million tax fraud perpetrated in opposition to his firm, Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was imprisoned, tortured and killed by Russian authorities.

In response, Browder advocated for passage of the Magnitsky Act, aimed toward freezing the belongings of these concerned in human rights violations. The Magnitsky Act has expanded past the USA to different nations across the globe – and has made Browder a goal of the Kremlin.

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Browder has adopted his New York Occasions bestseller “Pink Discover” with a brand new guide, “Freezing Order: A True Story of Cash Laundering, Homicide, and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath” (each revealed by Simon & Schuster, a division of Paramount).

Learn an excerpt from “Freezing Order” beneath, and do not miss correspondent Seth Doane’s interview with Invoice Browder on “CBS Sunday Morning” April 10!

/ Credit: Simon & Schuster

/ Credit score: Simon & Schuster

After we began investigating the $230 million tax rebate fraud that my lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was killed over, we would had no concept that it could result in any of those world-shaping developments or these unthinkable Russian reactions. Why hadn’t Putin simply thrown a couple of of his low-level officers below the bus for murdering Sergei? Why would he put a useless man on trial for the primary time in Russian historical past? Why would he destroy his relationship with the West over the Magnitsky Act? Why would he hack Western elections? Why is he so dedicated to fomenting chaos?

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Now we knew. There weren’t simply tens of millions of {dollars} at stake. And even billions. There was possible greater than $1 trillion at stake. And Putin will do something to guard this.

This amount of cash additionally helped clarify why so many individuals had been murdered. Folks like Sergei Magnitsky, Boris Nemtsov, Alexander Perepilichnyy, and Andrei Kozlov. It additionally defined why the Kremlin had tried to kill Vladimir Kara-Murza and Nikolai Gorokhov.

As despicable as Putin and his regime’s conduct is, none of this could occur with out the cooperation of Western enablers. Attorneys like John Moscow and Mark Cymrot, spin medical doctors like Glenn Simpson, politicians like Dana Rohrabacher, and executives like these at Danske Financial institution — these folks, together with many others, lubricate the machine that permits Putin and his cronies to get away with their crimes.

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Nor can these crimes occur with out the acquiescence of timid and ineffective governments that refuse to comply with their very own legal guidelines and acknowledged values. Let’s take Britain, simply as one instance. The most important amount of cash related to the $230 million crime did not find yourself in New York or Spain or France or Switzerland, however proper in my adopted hometown: London. This cash has been used to buy property and luxurious items, and regardless of all of the proof I’ve offered to British regulation enforcement, Parliament, and the British press, to this present day not a single cash laundering investigation linked to the Magnitsky case has been initiated in the UK.

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As you have adopted me by means of this story, you may need questioned, “The chances are so impossibly lengthy, and there are such a lot of dangers. … Why does he do all of these items?”

At first, I did them as a result of I owed it to Sergei. He had been killed as a result of he labored for me, and I could not let his killers get away with it. As with the theft of my childhood flute, however on an infinitely grander and extra significant scale, I’ve been compelled to get justice. Because the theft of my flute confirmed, this inclination towards justice is a part of who I’m. It is in my nature. To reject it could have poisoned me from the within.

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Then, as issues escalated, it additionally turned a combat for survival. Not just for myself and my household, however for my pals and colleagues, and all of the individuals who had been serving to Sergei’s trigger within Russia.

However ultimately, I’ve achieved these items as a result of doing them is the correct factor to do. For higher or worse, I have been obsessive about this trigger for the reason that second of Sergei’s dying. This obsession has affected each side of my life, and all of my relationships, even these with my very own youngsters. These results have not all the time been for the higher.

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However this obsession has additionally launched me to outstanding individuals who haven’t solely modified my life, however the course of historical past.

Most vital, my obsession has created a legacy for Sergei in order that his homicide wasn’t meaningless, not like so many others.

On the time of writing, there are Magnitsky Acts in 34 completely different international locations: the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, the 27 international locations of the European Union, Norway, Montenegro, and Kosovo. This does not have in mind the British Abroad Territories and Crown Protectorates of Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey, the British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands. New Zealand and Japan are on deck.

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Greater than 500 people and entities have been sanctioned utilizing these legal guidelines. In Russia, these embody Dmitry Klyuev, Andrei Pavlov, Pavel Karpov, Artem Kuznetsov, and Olga Stepanova and her husband, together with 35 different Russians concerned in Sergei’s false arrest, torture, and homicide in addition to the $230 million tax rebate fraud.

However not solely Russians. Magnitsky sanctions have now been utilized to the Saudi assassins answerable for the homicide and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the Chinese language officers who arrange the Uighur focus camps in Xinjiang; the Myanmar generals answerable for the Rohingya genocide; the Gupta brothers, who stripped the South African authorities dry; and lots of of others for equally pernicious acts.

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For each particular person or group that has been sanctioned, there are literally thousands of human rights violators and kleptocrats who’re ready in terror to see if they are going to be sanctioned subsequent. There is no query that the Magnitsky Act has altered conduct and been a deterrent for would-be murderers and thieves.

I can not carry Sergei again. And for that, I carry a heavy burden that can by no means go away. However his sacrifice has not been meaningless. It has saved, and can proceed to save lots of, many, many lives.

If Russia ever has an actual democratic reckoning, future Russians will broaden on these authorized monuments by constructing bodily ones to a real hero: Sergei Magnitsky.

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For now, although, the combat goes on.

From “Freezing Order: A True Story of Cash Laundering, Homicide, and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath” by Invoice Browder. Copyright © 2022 by Invoice Browder. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

For more information:

“Freezing Order: A True Story of Cash Laundering, Homicide, and Surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath” by Invoice Browder (Simon & Schuster), in Hardcover and eBook codecs, out there through Amazon and Indieboundbillbrowder.com

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