In the US, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was charged with preventing Prevezon Holdings from interfering with the money laundering investigation, according to the US Justice Department website.
According to the indictment, Veselnitskaya, during the consideration of the US lawsuit against Prevezon Holdings, presented the deliberately false results of the investigation, allegedly carried out by the Russian authorities and justifying the defendant. She was on the defense team and hid from the court that “in cooperation with a high-ranking Russian prosecutor” participated in the preparation of this document, the US Justice Department said.
On this charge Veselnitskaya faces up to 10 years in prison in the United States.
The Prevezon case began in September 2013 in the Southern District Court in New York. This was the first case under the “Magnitsky law”, named after the Russian lawyer Sergey Magnitsky. He claimed that the criminal group, which allegedly included Russian officials, stole from the Russian budget about 5.4 billion rubles. Magnitsky himself in Russia was accused of tax evasion of the same amount. The lawyer was arrested and died in Matrosskaya Tishina on November 16, 2009.
The US Department of Justice believed that the money that Magnitsky had claimed was theft was illegally diverted through structures affiliated with Prevezon, including by buying real estate in New York in 2009–2013.
In May 2017, Prevezon Holdings, which at that time was owned by Russian Denis Katsyv (son of Russian Railways Vice President Petr Katsyv), concluded an agreement with the US authorities. The company agreed to pay a US $ 5.9 million fine without admission of guilt. This amount is less than 3% of what was originally requested by the US authorities. Under the terms of the deal, the government acknowledged that the Cypriot company was not part of the criminal group for money laundering in Russia. After concluding the agreement, the US authorities also removed the arrest from Prevezon accounts.
Veselnitskaya is known as one of the participants in the meeting with the son of Donald Trump, which took place in the Trump Tower in June 2016, a few months before Trump's victory in the US presidential election. The meeting was also attended by the adviser and Trump Sr.'s son-in-law - Jared Kouchner and the head of the election headquarters of the current president, Paul Manafort.
This meeting is one of the key reasons to investigate the alleged “Russian interference” in the course of the election campaign, which is headed by US special prosecutor Robert Muller, previously noted by CNN. The New York Times wrote that Trump Jr., through intermediaries, was offered to meet with Veselnitskaya, who allegedly had dirt on the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. According to Trump Jr., the meeting discussed the problem of prohibiting the adoption of Russian orphans in the United States, and there was no talk about getting dirt on Clinton. According to him, Trump Sr. did not know about this meeting.
In April 2018, Veselnitskaya gave testimony behind closed doors to investigators of the US Senate Commission on the case of Russia's intervention in the election of the American president. “Investigators were interested in questions related to my contacts with representatives from the United States,” she explained. Investigators were also interested in “the analytical calculations that I willingly shared with them about the connections between the people who were behind the Trump file and the team of William Browder,” she said, noting that she “willingly shared” this information.
Veselnitskaya claimed that she had not met and had no contact with people from Trump's entourage. “I only had a meeting with a friend of the son of one of my clients, Donald Trump Jr.,” she said. This meeting was private and had no relation to the presidential elections, the lawyer emphasized.
Donald Trump himself has repeatedly denied that Russia in any way helped in the elections. According to him, he has no assets, no business interests, no connections in Russia.