A program on Russia’s state-controlled Channel One television has accused investor William Browder of committing tax fraud worth billions of rubles in Russia’s republic of Kalmykia.
The broadcast said Browder’s Hermitage Capital Investments set up 10 companies in the republic that hired disabled people for small salaries in order to reap tax benefits and to qualify to purchase shares in Russian companies, including Gazprom.
Last week, prosecutors opened an investigation into charges Browder illegally purchased Gazprom shares at a time when foreigners were not allowed to do so.
Browder is also a defendant in absentia in a tax-evasion case along with former Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
Magnitsky faces the charges despite the fact that he died while in pretrial custody in 2009.
On March 7, the NTV channel broadcast a program claiming Browder was a British agent.