The founder of the Wagner mercenary group passed UK LAWERS KYC checks with his mother’s utility bill.
The Financial Times have reported that
- Yevgeny Prigozhin the sanctions-hit founder of the Wagner mercenary group
- Was able to pass a UK law firms [Discreet Law] anti-money laundering checks by submitting a utility bill in the name of his 81-year-old mother Violetta Prigozhina,
Violetta Prigozhina, now 83, was placed under sanctions by the EU last year  for her support of her son’s mercenary activities.
The KYC story.
Prigozhin hired Discreet Law in 2021 to sue the UK journalist Eliot Higgins for libel for suggesting the Russian was connected to Wagner.
the Financial Times have reported they have seen Leaked emails that show.
- London-based law firm Discreet Law in 2021 requested identification documents from Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary group, as part of anti-money laundering checks, before taking him on as a client.
In response to Discreet’s request for documents from Prigozhin, his Russian lawyers forwarded the law firm.
- A copy of his passport and a gas bill in the name of the Wagner boss’s then 81-year-old mother, Violetta, for an address in St Petersburg.
They Russian lawyers wrote:
- “The bill is issued in the name of the claimant’s mother (Violetta Prigozhina) who actually lives at the client’s residential address and pays the bills.”
In response, a solicitor at Discreet Law replied:
- “We are satisfied with the [anti-money laundering] documents.”
Discreet Law founder Roger Gherson DECLINED to respond to questions about
- Whether other steps were taken by the firm to vet Prigozhin before taking him on as a client, or
- Why it accepted his mother’s gas bill in its anti-money laundering checks.
He said Discreet Law
- “Cannot comment on confidential communications with their former clients”.
- “Discreet Law’s position is that in taking instructions and undertaking due diligence they have at all times complied fully with their legal and professional obligations,”
Read the full story here.
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