Catalogue of controversy
Over the years, IOS-created UK companies have featured in a string of complex money laundering schemes. A firm called Loginex Projects LLP was named in a civil fraud judgment in London against Mukhtar Ablyazov, the Kazakh dissident and businessman accused of embezzling $5 billion from BTA Bank in Kazakhstan in 2010, an allegation Ablyazov has denied.
Four other UK shell companies created by IOS — Castlefront LLP, Everfront Sales LLP, Jackwell LLP, and Unitronic LLP — played a key role in the laundering of proceeds connected to an alleged $230 million Russian tax rebate fraud exposed by a lawyer called Sergei Magnitsky.
When Magnitsky claimed the fraud had been carried out with the help of corrupt police officers, he was imprisoned for almost a year, without charges, and pressured to withdraw the accusations. Days before he was to be released, Magnitsky was found beaten and dead in his cell.