Ill-gotten Russian money is being washed through American real estate. Everyone knows it’s being done through New York real estate. It being done in plain sight of South Dakota’s conservative Gov. Kristi Noem. Delaware has been a shady money haven for so long that few really pay attention any longer.
One US congressman has had enough. But he is choosing to go after targets in Great Britain rather than in his own country. In an article in The New Republic titled “Representative Steve Cohen Wants to Build a New Weapon to Fight Kleptocrats,” we learn about how “British lawyers have long helped corrupt oligarchs protect their ill-gotten loot. The Tennessee Democrat wants to hold these enablers to account.”
Over the past few months, a new range of sanctions have begun rippling across the West, targeting a motley crew of Russian oligarchs, all of whom have profited from their relationship with the Kremlin and pushed Moscow’s interests abroad. But last week, in a little-noticed salvo out of Washington, a new class of scofflaws are suddenly feeling the heat of potential sanctions: the British lawyers who’ve spent years acting as handmaidens to pro-Kremlin billionaires.
In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Representative Steve Cohen called for the United States finally to “hold to account those enablers” behind the “unscrupulous work” benefiting oligarchs. Specifically, the Tennessee Democrat singled out the British barristers who’ve spent years helping Russian oligarchs smother the journalists poking into their illicit wealth—and helping turn the United Kingdom into the go-to jurisdiction in which to file frivolous lawsuits against anyone looking into their financing.
Ah, well, I suppose it’s a start that any politician from Tennessee wants to go after rapacious capitalists of any kind.
It’s an interesting story.