According to the business magazine, Barrons,
Yaakov Dov Bleich, a New York rabbi, was surprised to hear recently that for nearly a decade more than $100 million had been debited and credited to an account under his name via a company in the British Virgin Islands. He says he had never heard of the company or of the Lithuanian bank that handled the transfers. “I wish it was me,” he said when told by Barron’s of the transactions. “I wish I had $100 million.”
The records of a small Lithuanian bank that was closed by regulators in 2013 are drawing attention to a Russian investment bank, raising questions about the flow of money between the bank, the investment bank, and their clients. The transfers under the same name as Rabbi Bleich are just a small piece of the puzzle.
Though complicated, the story of how money moved around the globe offers a tantalizing peek into how Russia’s elite operated through various financial systems and entities. The investment bank, Troika Dialog, served as a private wealth manager for well-to-do Russians and others. Some of its transactions are coming to light after records and emails from the Lithuanian bank were obtained by an international group of journalists and the Lithuanian website 15min.It.
The data represent one of the largest-ever releases of secret banking records, encompassing more than 1.3 million transactions. A not-for-profit news organization called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) coordinated an investigation by two dozen media partners across the globe, including Barron’s, with additional records on offshore companies provided by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.