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From the "Russian Laundromat" to Riga Port City: Emmanuil Grinshpun and His Business Partners

10:00 10 июл 2024.  585Читайте на: УКРРУС

Emmanuil Grinshpun, known for his shady financial schemes and criminal connections, is actively involved in the new Riga Port City project in Latvia. As a recipient of dirty Russian money from the "Laundromat," he continues his dubious activities in Europe.

Grinshpun's Involvement in the Russian Laundromat

Moldova continues to investigate corruption schemes related to the "Russian Laundromat." As reported by the portal, the Moldovan Ministry of Justice is requesting the dismissal of claims by 14 Moldovan judges, who were under investigation for their alleged involvement in money laundering from Russia, as unfounded.

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The investigation into the "Laundromat" case began in 2016 and became the largest operation for laundering dirty Russian money through Moldovan banks between 2010 and 2014. Investigators cite a sum of $20 billion, but experts who have followed the case estimate it to be over $70 billion.

One of the main figures in the case is Emmanuil Grinshpun's business partner, businessman and former Moldovan deputy, Veaceslav Platon. According to the investigation, he "created and led a criminal organization from 2010 to 2014," consisting of several groups operating in Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia.

Source: Veaceslav Platon

In 2016, he was extradited from Ukraine to Moldova and sentenced to 18 years in prison for embezzlement and money laundering related to the "Russian Laundromat" fraud case. In 2023, Platon was included in Canada's sanctions list for his collaboration with Russia.

The partnership between Emmanuil Grinshpun and Veaceslav Platon received extensive coverage in the investigation by the OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project). In 2013, Platon provided Grinshpun with a loan of $6.3 million, allegedly from the laundered money of the "Russian Laundromat."

In 2015, media also reported on the audio recording of a conversation between Emmanuil Grinshpun and Veaceslav Platon, where Grinshpun warned his business partner about the visit of high-ranking American officials to investigate his involvement in the "Russian Laundromat" and to block the flow of illicit funds from Moldova to Europe.

Emmanuil Grinshpun and the Stati Case

Source: Emmanuil Grinshpun

The 53-year-old American businessman of Moldovan origin, Emmanuil Grinshpun, who resides in Miami (with properties in Sunny Isles Beach and North Miami Beach), is known in certain circles as an investor, philanthropist, honorary consul of Kazakhstan in the USA, and first vice president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. Grinshpun, along with Moldovan businessman Alexander Bilinkis, owns the company Eco Estate LLC, which holds real estate in Moldova. He is also a co-owner (including through nominal shareholders) of investment companies in Scotland, Panama, Romania, Georgia, and Kazakhstan.

Despite such impressive achievements, Grinshpun's name is often associated with criminal activity and has a long-standing dubious reputation. In the United States, Grinshpun regularly receives notifications from the U.S. District Court in Florida and is accused of financial fraud.

Arbitration and criminal cases have been initiated against him in various jurisdictions. In particular, Moldovan businessmen Anatolie and Gabriel Stati, who have been in legal battles with the Kazakh government in several countries, have requested information about Emmanuil Grinshpun in American courts due to his close ties with the Kazakh business and political elite.

The case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida involves the seizure of evidence from Emmanuil Grinshpun for use in legal proceedings in Moldova against several individuals (including Grinshpun himself) accused of abuse of office, extortion, and attempted blackmail. In the filing, Grinshpun is accused, among other things, of involvement in extortion and ultimately obtaining improper correspondence, which was passed from Moldovan President Voronin to Kazakh President Nazarbayev on October 6, 2008. Subsequently, Grinshpun actively participated in various meetings with the Statis, which were accompanied by threats from high-ranking officials of the Republic of Kazakhstan to expropriate the Statis' assets in the country if the claimant did not voluntarily cede 50% of his oil interests in Kazakhstan.

Fearing the possible confiscation of his property, Grinshpun began selling his assets in the United States. In particular, he sold a penthouse in New Jersey worth more than $500 million, which he co-owned with his cousin and business partner Izya Grinshpun.

Emmanuil Grinshpun and Another OCCRP Investigation

Emmanuil Grinshpun was involved in another OCCRP investigation in 2020. According to a photo report published by international journalists, he is closely acquainted with figures of dubious business reputations.

Source: Mübariz Mansimov (second from left) at the inauguration of President Donald Trump with (from left) Moldovan businessman Emmanuil Grinshpun, Kazakh oligarch Alexander Mashkevich and Lev Parnas.

One of them is Lev Parnas, a Florida businessman who was involved in the infamous case that led to Trump's impeachment in 2020. In the same year, Lev Parnas was arrested and charged with fraud. He later pleaded guilty to providing investors with false information about the Florida-based company, Fraud Guarantee, that he and his business partner operated. In 2022, the U.S. District Court sentenced Lev Parnas, a native of Ukraine and a U.S. citizen, to twenty months in prison.

Another is the Turkish-Azerbaijani shipping magnate Mubariz Mansimov, who was given a five-year suspended sentence in 2021 for his connection to an organization deemed terrorist in Turkey. In 2023, a court in Istanbul ruled that Mubariz Mansimov, the owner of the Palmali Group of Companies, must pay $68 million to the Azerbaijani state-owned company SOCAR.

Grinshpun and Riga Port City

Emmanuil Grinshpun held the position of Vice President at the Latvian bank Rietumu Banka for an extended period. His primary role involved seeking significant investors abroad and managing international investment projects, for which he bore personal responsibility. However, there is no information about Grinshpun on the bank's website. Mentions of his work at the Latvian bank only appear on his LinkedIn profile and in media-published photographs with Rietumu Banka's top management.

Source:  Emmanuil Grinshpun and Leonid Esterkin

From a recent interview with Emmanuil Grinshpun, it can be inferred that his new "business project" is connected to Latvia. According to him, he has a particular interest in the development of Riga Port City, with notable Arab businessmen mentioned as investors. Could the reputation of Emmanuil Grinshpun, who is regularly involved in fraudulent schemes worldwide with his accomplices, potentially harm this promising new project?

Иван Сергиенко

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