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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

U.S. Terminates Russian Money Laundering Case

New York (CNN)A major US investigation into Russian money laundering has come to an abrupt end.

The case aimed to expose how Russian mobsters allegedly stole $230 million and hid some of the cash in New York City real estate. Also sure to come up was the suspicious death of the Russian lawyer who exposed the alleged fraud, though US prosecutors weren't alleging that the defendants were behind it.

The trial was set to start on Monday, but late Friday night, federal prosecutors in New York announced they settled the case with Prevezon, the company accused of buying up "high-end commercial space and luxury apartments" with laundered money.

Now that the trial has been called off and the matter put to sleep, we will never hear testimony in open court explaining the money laundering connection with "high-end" New York real estate, or who was involved.


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How high-end?

"Some" of $230 million, I assume, means less that $230m. That might be equal to about 23 Brooklyn brownstones these days.

The story says Prevezon invested $1.9m (a fixer upper brownstone) but own $17m in Manhattan real estate (what does that get you? A food cart on the sidewalk? : ) ). Their settlement was $5.9m.

Seems like Standard Operating Procedure for a large entity to offer a settlement rather than air any dirty laundry. It appears most of that dirt was over in Russia, and the payoff was partially spent here.

Settling cases like this keeps all sorts of good public information away from the public. And it happens every day. Seems to be built-in as a cost of doing business for the wealthy.


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