Rosatom Corruption Case in US: Uncovered

The subsidiary of the Russian state-owned company came under investigation, and it’s not for the first time.
24.10.2017
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On October 23, the Committee on Oversight of the House of Representatives of the US Congress began to study the deal concluded during President Obama between Rosatom's subsidiary Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) and Canadian Uranium One. In 2009, the subsidiary received a 16.6% stake in the Canadian company entitled to extract uranium in the United States.

The deal was concluded when Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State. In 2013, Atomredmetzoloto consolidated Uranium One. In the US, it is suspected that the relationship was facilitated by links between Russian investors and the Clinton family: the American family could help Rosatom for donating to their fund.

Last week, the Senate’s Judiciary Committee also began to audit this deal. Member of the House of Representatives Republican Ron Desantis told Fox News that he was communicating with a classified FBI informant. This man pointed out the special services that the nature of the deal was corrupt. The Congressman hopes that the informant will be able to testify in Congress.

Senator Charles Grassley has already asked the US Justice Department to lift the ban on this informant to divulge information.

“The sale of Uranium One led to the fact that the Russian government has seized a significant portion of the uranium mining capacity in the United States,” the US National Security Department reported, calling this situation a threat.

ROSATOM’S CASE

The scandal began with an article in The Hill. It reported that the FBI had evidence of involvement of Russian officials in corruption activities aimed at getting Rosatom to the US market in 2009. The publication refers to documents of FBI, government structures and judicial materials.

According to The Hill, Russian representatives of the nuclear industry were caught in the United States in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.

Also, the FBI had eyewitness testimony. He stated that the officials of the Russian nuclear industry listed millions of dollars in favor of Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation. At this point, Hillary Clinton was heading the State Department, which participated in the approval of the transaction.

In 2010, instead of bringing charges, the US Justice Department continued the investigation. In total, it lasted four years. The Ministry of Justice did not inform Congress and the public when the Obama administration “took two major decisions in favor of Putin's commercial ambitions in the nuclear industry,” writes The Hill.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal carried out their own investigations to find out if the Clintons could help Rosatom gain access to 20% of US uranium mines through a deal to buy Uranium One for a contribution to their fund.

The New York Times confirmed that Hillary Clinton, as head of the State Department, approved the acquisition of Uranium One by the Russian company. As the newspaper wrote, the fund owned by Ian Telffer, the Chairman of Uranium One’s Board of Directors, transferred to the Clinton family four tranches in the amount of $ 2.35 million, and the data about them were not published by Hillary Clinton contrary to the agreement with Barack Obama. Donations were made also by other managers of Uranium One, the newspaper said in 2015.

THE CASE OF THE PRESIDENT OF ROSATOM’S LOW-TIER SUBSIDIARY

At the end of October 2014, the president of Tenam Corporation, Vadim Mikerin, was detained in the US on suspicion of receiving kickbacks in exchange for contracts for transporting uranium.

Tenam is the lower-tier subsidiary of state corporation Rosatom. It was established in 2010 by Rosatmo’s foreign trade company Tekhsnabexport for the direct access to the US uranium products market. Mikerin has been in charge of Tenam since May 2010. An important detail: Vadim is the son of Evgeny Mikerin, who in the 1980-1990's, held key positions in Russia’s Ministry of Nuclear Energy.

Tekhsnabexport is a subsidiary of OJSC Atomenergoprom, which is part of the structure of SC Rosatom. It exports nuclear materials and services for uranium enrichment. In the world market it is known under the brand Tenex.

In addition to Mikerin, charges are brought against American citizens: the spouses Darren and Carol Condrey, as well as entrepreneur Boris Rubizhevsky. The Condrey head the American transport company Transport Logistic International (TLI). This company received contracts from Rosoboronexport for transportation of uranium from Russia to the USA since 1996. Rubizhevsky is the president of NEXGEN Security, which was a consultant to Mikerin and Tenam.

The investigation believes that the spouses contributed to the bribe: since 1996, the transport company TLI paid at least $ 1.69 million as kickbacks to Mikerin in order to get contracts with Tekhsnabexport for $ 33 million without a tender.

In 2011, Mikerin needed an intermediary to receive bribes. To do this, he used Rubizhesky’s company Nexgen, told employees of the US Justice Department. The bribes were formalized as fees for consultations.

If the accusations were proved, Mikerin and the other suspects were facing up to 20 years in prison. But the top manager made a deal with the investigation, and in 2015, was sentenced to four years in prison. The US government received $ 2.1 million as a compensation.

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