Timur Turlov’s Freedom Holdings Pyramid Hovered Over the Abyss – Study from Hindenburg Research
A few days ago, something happened that was obvious to people who remember the fate of the post-Soviet pyramid schemes – Hindenburg Research accused Freedom Holdings of brazenly evading taxes, falsifying markets, manipulating reporting, and, most importantly, “taking risks with clients’ money “.
On a large scale research from Hindenburg Research, attention is drawn to the same factors that other journalists who have been involved in the activities of Timur Turlov and his structure Freedom Holdings have focused on in their investigations. We are talking, in particular, about the fact that, contrary to Turlov’s statements, Freedom Holdings continues to work in Russia and, bypassing sanctions, helps Russians withdraw money.
In addition, the Hindenburg Research study talks about the manipulation of reporting, which allowed Freedom Holdings to increase quotes on the Nasdaq in 2019. Freedom Holdings also manipulates the market, keeping the trading volume and price stable in an incomprehensible way, which in no less strange way do not depend on the actual situation on the markets, which is impossible under normal conditions.
There were other accusations, but they came down to one denominator – Freedom Holdings is an extremely suspicious structure, very reminiscent of a pyramid, and its head and owner Timur Turlov continues to work to withdraw Russian money through Kazakhstan, bypassing international sanctions.
Timur Turlov, after the publication of the Hindenburg Research report, called it “speculative” and one that contains “an unconfirmed set of facts.” However, the assertion of Turlov and the press service of Freedom Holdings looks more like an on-duty attempt to refute what is impossible to refute than a real struggle for reputation.
Even at the moment when Timur Turlov moved to Kazakhstan, renouncing Russian citizenship, the expert community was unanimous in the opinion that in this way he was trying to avoid sanctions not only for himself, but also for his structures. Immediately after the head office of Freedom Holdings was relocated to Kazakhstan, and Turlov acquired Bank Freedom Finance Kazakhstan JSC (formerly Kassa Nova Bank), 70% of the Russian clientele of Freedom Holdings structures migrated to the neighboring country. What was confirmed by the investigation of Hindenburg Research.
By the way, last year, investigators noticed that Polina Dobriyan arrived in Kazakhstan after Turlov, who became famous in Russia for building schemes for the withdrawal and laundering of criminal capital. She did not leave for Kazakhstan by chance – she was invited to work at Freedom Holdings, where she is developing the PayBox Technologies payment system. It was acquired by Freedom Holdings for its Kazakhstani subsidiary.
And Turlov himself spoke quite frankly in the Kazakh press about what he does in Kazakhstan and why he relocated the head office of Freedom Holdings to this country.
In this regard, many questions are raised by the registration of Freedom Holding Corp. The company is registered in the United States of America, and Turlov and his press service constantly emphasize this. But any concrete facts on this subject are passed over in silence. This silence is quite justified – Freedom Holdings Corp. registered in the state of Nevada, which is a kind of “free economic zone” in the United States, and last year an investigation of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (The United States Securities and Exchange Commission) was launched regarding this structure.
In addition, Turlov prefers to remain silent about the beginning of his activities and the emergence of the Freedom Holdings structure, which was originally created in Russia specifically for laundering and withdrawing the capital of Russian elites.
We are talking primarily about the Russian bank Freedom Finance Bank LLC, which Turlov formally sold to his subordinate Povalishin. The bank fell into the field of view of Russian law enforcement officers at the very beginning of its activity, and even then they drew attention to the extremely strange management structure and the legal form of the bank – “limited liability company”, which is an exceptional case for the bank – most financial institutions work in the form of joint-stock companies.
However, the “sale” of Russian structures to their own subordinates, who are now nominal values (that is, “pounds”) in these structures, did not help Timur Turlov – his Ukrainian structures fell under sanctions.
The blow was quite painful – the broker “Freedom Finance Ukraine”, under the guise of which Turlov operates in Ukraine, had 12,800 accounts blocked, which store money and securities in the amount of 3.5 billion hryvnias. Turlov’s attempts to protest the decision of the National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions did not lead to anything.
After the President of Ukraine signed a decree imposing sanctions against Turlov in October last year, the expert community agreed that the sanctions from Ukraine are only the first step towards international sanctions, and Timur Turlov understands this, therefore he will urgently withdraw from the structures of Freedom Holdings assets so that they do not repeat the fate of the assets of the Ukrainian branch.
Of course, Freedom Holdings denied this, but the Hindenburg Research study confirmed the forecasts of six months ago. Of course, this is not stated directly – such accusations require seizure of documents and a large-scale investigation using tools that are available only to law enforcement agencies. But even what Hindenburg Research reported is enough to understand that the Freedom Holdings pyramid is hanging by a thread, one step away from collapse.