William “Bill” Browder, the co-founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management has been ordered by a federal court in Manhattan to comply with a subpoena in connection with the information he provided to prosecutors in a money laundering case.
Browder tried to resist subpoena
Browder received the subpoena after his guesting on “The Daily Show” hosted by Jon Stewart last month. He promoted his new book on the show. Browder tried to refuse to accept the subpoena.
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On Monday, United States Federal Judge, Thomas Griesa of the Southern District of New York issued a ruling that compels Browder to travel to New York for a deposition on April 15.
Randy Mastro, a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP said Browder said the hedge fund manager “does not have to consent to a deposition.” Mastro is representing the hedge fund manager. He explained that Browder is living and working in England and is currently carrying a British passport. Browder is a former U.S. citizen.
In his ruling, Judge Griesa said emphasized that Browder must comply with the subpoena in New York because he conducts his business in the city on a “reasonably regular basis.”
Judge Griesa also ruled that the hedge fund manager is not required to comply with another subpoena, which was served in Aspen, Colorado. He explained that Browder does not live or conduct regular business transactions in Aspen.
Browder’s lawyer argued that the hedge fund manager is unable to attend in a deposition because there are “credible threats” to his personal safety. In response, the judge pointed out that the threats did not prevent Browder from going to different cable news networks to promote his book.
Defense lawyer calls Browder “irresponsible”
The federal court’s order for Browder was connected to the civil case filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan against Russian businessman Denis Katsyv for allegedly using proceeds from a tax fraud in Russia to acquire real estate in New York.
Browder’s Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky exposed the tax fraud. The Russian officials accused of tax fraud arrested Magnitsky in 2008 and he died in prison the following year.
Since then, Browder launched a campaign to bring to justice those responsible in Magnitsky’s death. He also urged prosecutors to file lawsuits against people related to the tax fraud including the case against Katsyv, who denied the allegations against him.
The lawyer representing Katsyv repeatedly tried to serve subpoenas to Browder as the primary source of information in the complaint against the Russian businessman.
Mark Cymrot, the legal counsel representing Katsyv said Browder opted to run away instead of complying with the subpoena. He said Browder is “being irresponsible. Cymrot is a partner at BakerHosterler.