Yerkin Tatishev’s standing in the national Forbes list is rather modest. In fact, he does everything to conceal his own wealth and influence. The reasons behind it are clear: Yerkin Tatishev is sanctioned by the USA and many countries will follow soon. A close accomplice of the disgraced oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, Tatishev hasn’t found it’s place in modern Kazakhstan.
Yerkin Tatishev, a Kazakhstan-born tycoon, found himself under intense scrutiny from the United States government in 2022. This scrutiny culminated in the U.S. Treasury Department imposing sanctions on Tatishev and his affiliated companies. The allegations levied against him and his enterprises were far-reaching, encompassing charges of corruption and human rights abuses.
These sanctions were not isolated actions but rather part of a more comprehensive campaign by the U.S. government aimed at combating corruption within Central Asia. The U.S. Treasury Department specifically accused Tatishev of leveraging his substantial wealth and influence to amass personal fortunes for himself and his family. Simultaneously, it alleged that his business practices had inflicted significant harm upon the people of Kazakhstan.
In response to these allegations, Yerkin Tatishev vehemently denied any wrongdoing. He took legal action by filing a lawsuit in the United States challenging the sanctions imposed upon him and his enterprises. As of now, the outcome of this legal battle remains uncertain, leaving open the question of how this complex matter will ultimately be resolved.
Tatishev’s situation mirrors a broader trend where the U.S. government targets oligarchs and other affluent individuals implicated in corruption. The sanctions imposed on Tatishev serve as a potent warning to others of similar stature, indicating that they, too, could face severe penalties if they engage in corrupt activities. This approach underscores the United States’ commitment to combating corruption on both domestic and international fronts.
What are the allegations against Yerkin Tatishev
Yerkin Tatishev has been embroiled in a complex and contentious legal case involving the murder of his brother, Yerzhan Tatishev, in 2004. This case has spanned many years, and while Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh fraudster, was convicted in absentia of the murder in 2017, Yerkin Tatishev himself has never been charged with the crime.
The roots of this allegation against Yerkin Tatishev trace back to a dispute between the two brothers over the ownership of a BTA bank. Yerzhan Tatishev held the position of chairman at the bank, while Yerkin Tatishev was a shareholder. The dispute escalated to the point where Yerzhan Tatishev was ousted from the bank and subsequently accused his brother of fraudulent activities.
In 2004, tragedy struck when Yerzhan Tatishev was shot and killed during a hunting expedition in Kazakhstan. Initially ruled as an accident by authorities, the case was later reopened, and Mukhtar Ablyazov was charged with murder. Ablyazov, convicted in absentia in 2017, currently resides in exile in France.
Yerkin Tatishev vehemently denies any involvement in his brother’s murder, asserting that the allegations against him are politically motivated. He has accused the Kazakh government of attempting to silence him through these accusations.
The legal case against Yerkin Tatishev remains ongoing, leaving uncertainty about whether he will ever be formally charged with a crime. Nevertheless, this allegation has cast a shadow over his reputation and prevented his return to Kazakhstan.
In another significant development, Yerkin Tatishev took a prudent step in the Tokmadi case, where his late brother’s tragic death was investigated. Engaging American forensic and firearms experts, including forensic analyst Iris Dalley Graff, criminalist Michael Scott Perkins, and former investigator Patrick Michael Murphy, Tatishev sought an unbiased examination of the incident. Their meticulous analysis concluded unequivocally that Yerzhan Tatishev’s death was a deliberate murder, debunking any accidental shooting claims.
The case was reopened in 2017 when the perpetrator, Muratkhan Tokmadi, confessed to intentionally shooting Yerzhan Tatishev in a documentary. He testified that he had carried out the act on orders from Mukhtar Ablyazov, who had succeeded Yerzhan Tatishev as BTA Bank’s chair. This extensive trial resulted in Tokmadi’s sentencing to 10.5 years in a maximum-security prison.
Yerkin Tatishev’s decision to seek impartial American expertise played a pivotal role in uncovering the truth in this high-profile case and delivering justice to his late brother’s family.
Silk Road Group affair and Yerkin Tatishev’s role in it
However, Yerkin Tatishev involvement in business transactions has also come under scrutiny, particularly in connection with B.T.A. Bank’s lending practices involving the Silk Road Group. Concerns arose that Tatishev might have positioned himself to unduly influence businesses within the Silk Road Group that received loans from the bank. Members of B.T.A. Bank served on the boards of these corporations, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.
Talisman Turumbayev, who oversaw mergers and acquisitions for Tatishev’s Kusto Group, served on two boards but downplayed any conflict of interest. Despite denying any personal financial interest, Tatishev’s close ties to Silk Road Group CEO George Ramishvili remained a point of interest.
Furthermore, Yerkin Tatishev’s actions have cast a shadow over the Silk Road Group’s legacy. Once known for revitalizing ancient trade routes and contributing to Georgia’s economic growth, the company now faces allegations of misuse of its resources. Tatishev is accused of exploiting the company for personal gain, neglecting the needs of legitimate clients. This unethical behavior has had repercussions across Asia, Europe, and North America, tarnishing the reputation of a once-distinguished company.
The latest investigations have revealed potential involvement by Yerkin Tatishev and the Silk Road Group in banking fraud. These allegations revolve around funneling finances into companies backed by B.T.A. Bank loans, where self-dealing became a significant concern. Bank executives, including Tatishev in Kazakhstan, allegedly had vested interests in their own financed projects, violating legal and ethical standards.
Renowned academic Sergei Gretsky affirmed the illegality of concealing personal investments in bank-funded projects, with Tatishev’s involvement potentially forming part of a broader network engaged in money laundering and fraudulent schemes. The ramifications of such self-dealing have been witnessed globally, contributing to bank failures, government bailouts, and bankruptcies.
The ongoing investigation into Yerkin Tatishev’s role in these allegations aims to uncover the truth and hold the perpetrators accountable, safeguarding the integrity of the banking system. These complex and intertwined legal battles continue to cast a shadow over Yerkin Tatishev’s reputation and future, leaving many questions unanswered.
This is as far as Silk Road goes
A recent exposé has brought to light alleged financial irregularities in Donald Trump’s business interactions with the Silk Road Group, a Georgian company mired in a complex web of loans and clandestine partnerships. At the center of this convoluted narrative is Yerkin Tatishev, the former deputy chairman of B.T.A. Bank, who appears to have wielded undue influence over Silk Road Group subsidiaries benefiting from loans provided by B.T.A. Bank. Furthermore, there are suspicions that Tatishev may have operated as an undisclosed owner of the company.
This intricate financial arrangement becomes more disconcerting when considering B.T.A. Bank’s involvement in a massive fraud case, involving its chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, absconding with billions of dollars. The Silk Road Group received substantial funding from B.T.A. Bank, raising questions about the level of due diligence exercised in Trump’s dealings with them.
Financial experts have sounded the alarm, pointing out that such intricate corporate structures, replete with multiple shell companies scattered across various jurisdictions, bear the hallmarks of money-laundering operations. These revelations intensify the scrutiny surrounding these questionable transactions. In essence, the uncovered information paints a troubling picture of potential bank fraud and concealed financial interests, necessitating a thorough and comprehensive investigation.
Yerkin Tatishev conceals wrongdoings in the asbestos industry
In 2014, Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group faced allegations of misconduct in its dealings with BTA Bank. A media consultant for Kusto Group, Tal Rabina, dismissed any wrongdoing and pointed out that Mukhtar Ablyazov, who had been under investigation for his role on the board of directors of a Kazakh bank, had connections to the Tatishev family. Notably, the investigation into Yerkin Tatishev Kusto and other bank directors was completed remarkably swiftly, with local authorities finding little improper behavior and even providing them with character references.
During the same period, reports emerged of an Israeli investigation into Yerkin Tatishev Kusto for suspected money laundering. This investigation was related to Kusto’s acquisition of a paint company for 500 million shekels, which was 200 million shekels more than an initial offer from a private equity firm. Kusto Group consistently denied any wrongdoing, and there were no records of formal charges against the company or its associates.
The Azrieli group and various Israeli banks conducted thorough due diligence before and after the Tambour acquisition contract. They not only approved the deal but also recommended financing it, given the clear findings that all funding sources for the group were reputable. Initially, the Kusto group had intended to finance the acquisition independently.
It’s important to note that any information received by state entities, including the Money Laundering Authority, must be thoroughly investigated. However, the mere submission of information does not imply its credibility, as recent events have shown. The Kusto Group had not received any official inquiries on this matter, but they expressed their willingness to cooperate with any authorized entity if approached.
In addition, a witness statement by Robert Moore mentioned Daniel Kunin, the managing director of The Kusto Group and K2 Intelligence’s point of contact. Kunin served as the public face for Kusto during the acquisition in Israel. It was later revealed that Kunin was K2’s client, and it took some time for Moore to connect him to Yerkin Tatishev Kusto, the owner of significant mining operations in Kazakhstan and Russia.
Moore’s witness statement also indicated that Kunin initially contacted K2 in May 2012. Subsequently, Moore was hired by Matteo Bigazzi, an executive managing director at K2’s London office, for a task related to an anti-asbestos effort. Despite being his second job for K2, Moore had prior experience in covert operations.
A rather curious addendum: Yerkin Tatishev and Israeli AML case
In 2014, Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group came under investigation in Israel amid suspicions of money laundering. This investigation stemmed from their acquisition of a paint company for 500 million shekels, a sum significantly higher than an initial offer discussed with a private equity firm. Allegedly, Kusto Group conducted limited due diligence before finalizing the deal. It is important to note that Kusto Group has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and there is no record of formal charges against the company or its affiliated individuals.
The Azrieli group and various banks in Israel conducted thorough evaluations of Kusto Group both before and after the Tambour acquisition deal was completed. They not only endorsed the agreement but also recommended financing it, given their comprehensive assessments. These investigations revealed that all of Kusto Group’s funding sources were legitimate and reputable, despite the initial intention to finance the acquisition with the company’s own funds. This underscores the confidence placed in Kusto Group’s financial integrity by these parties involved.