Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. seeks
return to U.S. to defend money laundering settlement
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[November 01, 2017]
By Karen Freifeld and Joel Schectman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian lawyer
Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016
U.S. presidential campaign, wants permission to return to the United
States to defend a claim by prosecutors that her client's company has
failed to pay a $6 million settlement in an international money
Veselnitskaya represented Prevezon Holdings Ltd, a Russian-controlled
company, which in May this year agreed to pay nearly $6 million to the
U.S. government to settle a $230 million Russian tax fraud case related
to Hermitage Capital, an American fund that invested in Russia.
In a court filing in federal court in Manhattan on Monday U.S.
prosecutors said the settlement payment was due on Oct. 31, but in a
letter on Tuesday filed in federal court in Manhattan lawyers for
About half of the settlement money was supposed to come from 3 million
euros owed to Prevezon that the U.S. government had asked the
Netherlands to freeze.
The Netherlands lifted the hold on the money on October 10, but the same
day imposed a new freeze on the account based on a complaint by William
Browder, chief executive of Hermitage Capital Management, the Prevezon
In Monday's court filing, U.S. prosecutors said the $6 million payment
was due regardless of the new freeze on the funds and they intended to
file a motion to enforce the settlement.
In its letter, Prevezon asked the court to help obtain temporary U.S.
immigration status for Veselnitskaya and its owner, Denis Katsyv, so she
could attend upcoming hearings about the dispute.
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Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya speaks during an interview in
Moscow, Russia November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kommersant Photo/Yury
Veselnitskaya met Donald Trump Jr in New York last year while she
was in the United States to represent Prevezon in the money
Trump Jr. said in a statement at the time that he and Veselnitskaya
"primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian
children" after Russia in 2012 banned adoptions of Russian children
by Americans in retaliation for sanctions imposed under the U.S.
The Magnitsky Act was passed by Congress after Hermitage Capital's
Browder claimed that the tax fraud scheme involving Prevezon was
uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor for Hermitage Capital, who
died in a Russian prison.
Trump Jr. has released emails related to the meeting during last
year's election that described Veselnitskaya as a Russian government
attorney who could provide information that would "incriminate
Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to
(Reporting By Karen Freifeld; Editing by Clive McKeef)
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