Today an article appeared at Chess24.com entitled, World Rapid & Blitz begins on 26th as Carlsen faces dilemma. The opening paragraph: “World Champion Magnus Carlsen and US teenager Hans Moke Niemann will be in the same venue for the first time since the scandal that rocked the chess world in Saint Louis three months ago. The Norwegian faces a dilemma if he is paired against the teenager, who launched a $100 million lawsuit over cheating allegations.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/world-rapid-blitz-begins-as-carlsen-faces-dilemma)
The following paragraph caught my attention: “The main sponsor of the event is investment company Freedom Finance, founded and owned by the Russian-born Kazakh financier Timur Turlov, who according to Forbes magazine has a net worth of $2.5 billion. He is among the many Russians who have been placed on the Ukrainian sanctions list. The total prize fund is $1 million.” (https://chess24.com/en/read/news/world-rapid-blitz-begins-as-carlsen-faces-dilemma)
That sent me to the Duck,Duck,Go search engine to learn more about Timur Turlov in order to ascertain why FIDE would accept funds from someone on the sanctions list. An extremely long article was found. Brief excerpts follow:
Swindler Timur Turlov may be arrested soon
Swindlers of all stripes love flattery and praise. This is not a reproach, but a simple statement of fact – ask any psychologist or, even better, an experienced policeman: what is the most important feature of a swindler? And the answer will surprise you, because it will not be a desire to deceive as many people as possible and earn as much money as possible. No, this goal, of course, is there, but it is the goal. But the most important feature is narcissism and outright narcissism.
And it is on this that the majority of the most successful swindlers “burn”, and it is precisely the understanding of this important psychological feature that makes it possible to understand who is in front of you – a businessman corny “sniffing” his product to you, or an outright fraudster, after “cooperation” with whom you will remain naked and barefoot.
Because some headlines directly contradict each other. Judging by them, it turns out that Timur Turlov is a Russian, Kazakh, Estonian, Ukrainian businessman and leader. On the one hand, in the age of globalization, it seems like nothing surprising. But on the other hand, how does he manage to do it all and how does it all fit together?
Well, you will have to delve a little into the topic and try to understand who is “a successful businessman, billionaire, banker, investor, hero of the project” Russian Norms! ” “How to do nothing and earn a lot.” That in itself is already nonsense – the word “earn” means “work”.
Here is an excerpt from the official biography of our hero:
Incomprehensible, of course, for an ordinary person, but beautiful. The main thing that can be learned from this is that Timur Turlov is the owner of several companies. And a very wealthy person. And it works in several countries – in Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Germany and Cyprus.
This is all well and good, the reader will say, but what is the fraud? Yes, earning capital in the field of finance is not a very high moral activity, but there is nothing criminal in it. We are forced to agree, but with one caveat – not in this case.
As follows from everything that has been written about Turlov, his main brainchild is the Freedom Finance bank, which “gave access to private investors from Russia and Kazakhstan to American IPOs.” Limited Liability Company Bank “Freedom Finance” (LLC “FFIN Bank”) was registered at the address Moscow, Karetny Ryad street, 5/10, building 2.
As can be seen from the ownership structure, Turlov controls his bank through the “gasket” of Freedom Holding Corp., registered in Belize.
And for a person who is even superficially interested in finance, this is already a rather alarming factor. The fact is that Belize has a very, very liberal financial system, which is also protected from the interest of both the financial authorities of other countries and their own. In other words – an excellent offshore, in comparison with which the notorious Cypriot rest.
But that’s not all. The fact is that Freedom Holding Corp processes transactions in the United States for Turlov’s Kazakh and Russian clients. She contributed as much as 70% of Freedom Finance’s stock trading fees for the first half of fiscal 2021. This is not the data of anyone, but Forbes, so they can be completely trusted.
But that’s not all. The most important question concerns the so-called lock-up period (the time when shares cannot be sold) during the IPO – in Freedom Holding it is 93 days. This differs from brokerage services in the United States, which allow clients to place and cancel orders until an IPO takes place, Forbes writes. Freedom Holding’s practice described as “unusual” in an article by the Financial Journalism Foundation
This mild formulation actually means the following. An investor who has invested money in Freedom Finance is deprived of the right to dispose of it for 93 days. Without his knowledge or consent, bank employees can do whatever they want with them, and without not only any control on the part of the depositor, and without even informing him about all the operations performed with his money.
Another moment in the actions of Turlov’s structures painfully resembles a pyramid. Nothing in Freedom Holding’s filing explains how clients can benefit from a 93-day lockdown of their capital. This agreement, however, gives Timur Turlov’s Belize-based FFIN (Belize again!) Access to a large amount of cash for three months, with the sole obligation to deliver the newly issued shares at the end of the period. Sound familiar?
By the way, it is worth mentioning the “IPO syndication”. The English abbreviation is incomprehensible to the common man. But in reality, this means the initial mechanism for buying shares off the exchange before the enterprise goes public, that is, before the shares actually go to the exchange.
And the most interesting thing is that Timur Turlov’s firm does not have the right to operate with Western IPOs, but actively offers this service in the CIS and Europe. In doing so, Freedom Finance cites the extreme success of the average IPO sample. The conditionality of this criterion of success is obvious, but blocking money for three months is part of this very success.
But how does Timur Turlov collect and invest clients’ money in an IPO without having an appropriate license in the United States? The answer to this question lies in the configuration of the flow of money from small investors in the CIS to an IPO in the United States. These trades are carried out in an intricate maneuver: Freedom Holding clients send money to FFIN Brokerage Services Inc., a Belize-based broker-dealer whose website promises “direct access to the American market.” However, FFIN Brokerage Services is not a subsidiary of Freedom Holding. Instead, it is owned by Freedom Holding CEO Turlov, as clearly stated in a July 2018 statement from Freedom Holding itself. This is the answer to the question why such a huge part of the business is registered in Belize.
However, to all appearances, Turlov will soon end as well. Because the scandal has reached the international level: the already mentioned Foundation for Financial Journalism has released an investigation into the activities of Timur Turlov with a very eloquent title:
For those who do not know English, we give the translation: “Freedom Holding: the dumbest product of Kazakhstan after Borat.” In his article, Roddy Boyd examines Turlov’s activities and comes to the same conclusion that we are a classical pyramid. By the way, Timur Turlov and his structures repeatedly tried to remove Boyd’s investigation, but their appeals to the courts did not lead to anything: the article “Freedom Holding: the dumbest product of Kazakhstan after Borat” is still in the public domain. We recommend that you familiarize yourself.
By the way, Boyd also comes to the conclusion that the main mechanism of protection against collapse for the Freedom Holding pyramid is the same blocking of money for 93 days. This makes it possible to accumulate the amounts required for current payments.
After the publication of the above-mentioned investigation and a number of similar materials in the Western media, Turlov’s pyramid became agitated and began to actively “clog” the issue on the Internet with laudatory materials. However, we wrote about this at the beginning. Their goal, however, was not only and not so much to praise Timur Turlov, but to omit the journalists in search of an investigation who could not be removed by court decisions.
But the main question remains – why is Timur Turlov still continuing his activities and there are no claims to him in the countries of the former USSR, where he “cuts” the main “loot”?
And the small chest opens simply here. The point is, “cutting the little suckers” (sorry – investors) with the help of the Freedom Finance pyramid is more of a side activity for him. The main thing is that Freedom Finance LLC is an ordinary “laundry” for money that officials have stolen from the budgets of Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and those countries of the former USSR where Turlov works. According to the well-known economic expert Alexey Kushch, over the past year and a half, Freedom Finance Bank LLC has legalized several hundred million dollars for such odious persons as Bulat Utemuratov, Sergey Katsuba, Pavel Fuks, Margulan Seisembayev, Sauat Mynbayev, Andrey Birzhin, Askar Mamin and the whole a number of others. Nationality is very different: the entire spectrum of the former USSR.
But this is already the subject of another investigation and another big story. In the meantime, Timur Turlov frantically tries to disown comparisons with “MMM” and other pyramids. In the vastness of our former country, it turns out. But as a result of publications in the press, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission took over the activities of Timur Ruslanovich Turlov. And these are by no means the corrupt fiscal and supervisory bodies of the countries of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, whose top officials are served by Timur Turlov.