IStories has revealed the Rotenberg Files, a leak of 30 thousand emails and 12 thousand documents that demonstrated how oligarchs Boris and Arkady Rotenberg hid their assets and the assets of Vladimir Putin’s family from Western sanctions using “frontmen”.
The archive was handed over to IStories by a source that wished to remain anonymous due to security reasons.
The journalist says “frontmen” is a term the Kremlin uses to refer to people who handle financial matters of Putin’s close circle without revealing who’s the beneficiary of their affairs.
A man named Maxim Viktorov, a former security officer and now a lawyer who owns businesses in the UK, is the “frontman” for the Rotenberg brothers. His documents have now also been accessed by the journalists.
Photo: Maxim Viktorov on Instagram
IStories have found out that after the Rotenbergs faced sanctions in March 2014, their shares in various Russian enterprises became property of closed-end investment funds managed by Evocorp, headed by Maxim Viktorov. The Rotenberg brothers were the shareholders of most of these funds, journalists say.
In late 2014, Viktorov negotiated the purchase of a villa in an elite Spanish resort near Valencia for €9 million. The deal was arranged in such a way so as to hide the real owner: first, a Malta-registered company owned the house, followed by a Cypriot company. However, with the help of leaks, it was possible to confirm that the real owner is Boris’s wife, Karina Rotenberg. In addition, the photos of the house show a monogram with the initials KRB, also found on Karina Rotenberg’s photos on Instagram.
The villa in Valencia. Photo: Google
Thus, the leak helped the journalists find several more assets of the Rotenbergs: a villa in Austria worth €10.8 million, two apartments in Riga worth €200,000, a Bombardier aircraft worth $42 million, a villa in France worth €4.25 million euros, an apartment in Monaco, as well as an equestrian club and several houses in France worth €15.8 million euros.
Also, Arkady Rotenberg registered some of his real estate in Russia and Monaco with his unofficial wife Maria Borodunova using closed-end mutual funds, as per IStories. Previously, nothing was known about her and their two children.
In addition, the Rotenberg files revealed that Vladimir Putin’s family owns a chalet in Austria’s Kitzbühel ski resort worth €10.8 million. According to the documents, the house is owned by Cypriot company Wayblue Investments, which received a large loan from one of Arkady Rotenberg’s companies. Local residents told the journalists they had seen Putin’s eldest daughter, Maria Vorontsova, and her former partner Dutchman Jorrit Faassen, at this location.
The chalet in Kitzbühel. Photo: Henri-Kristian Kirsip / DELFI ESTONIA