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Jersey superyacht and luxury villa builder under the US [$] kleptocrat scrutiny


At Imperial Yachts [the company], Based in Monaco, with a staff of about 100 — plus 1,200 to 1,500 crew members aboard yachts —

The company caters to oligarchs whose fortunes turn on the decisions of President Vladimir V. Putin. Imperial Yachts and its Moscow-born founder, Evgeniy Kochman, have prospered by fulfilling their clients’ desires to own massive luxury ships.

Also, there is BLD, a Jersey business operating in Russia, especially around the Moscow area, where it builds dachas for wealthy Russians, often with interior designs by Zuretti and carpentry by Yachtline 1618. BLD’s website lists a Moscow address and is in English and Russian.

Imperial Yachts and BLD are now under scrutiny by a US government task force called KleptoCapture, which tries to disrupt the Russian war machine by going after the assets of oligarchs tied to Mr Putin.

According to US investigators, Imperial Yachts brokered the sale of the superyacht AMADEA late last year to Suleiman Kerimov, a Russian government official and billionaire investor who has been on the US sanctions list since 2018.

The American officials said he was among seven oligarchs: who “benefit from the Putin regime and play a key role in advancing Russia’s malign activities.”

After some high-profile raids and seizures, the Americans focus on the network of enablers working outside of Russia. Investigators from the FBI, the Treasury, and several intelligence agencies gather evidence showing that businesses and individuals knowingly aided Russians under sanctions whose wealth came through corruption, making them vulnerable to US charges.

Company records in Monaco show that Imperial Yachts was set up in 2007. The business also registered that year in Jersey,  Channel Islands.

Company records indicate that Mr. Kochman got into the villa business years after his yacht business was flourishing. BLD Management was set up in Jersey in 2016 through Fiduchi Group, the same offshore corporate services firm that registered Imperial Yachts.

Mr. Kochman owns 5 per cent of each company; the rest owned by Fiduchi Trustees Limited. Both Mr. Kochman and Fiduchi declined to comment to the NYTIMES on the shareholding.