“Kremlin” oligarchs and intelligence officers have a new “window to Europe”
07.07.2024 18:28

Rucriminal.info continues to introduce readers to a criminal group controlled by Russian intelligence services, called the Investment Company LLC IC Freedom Finance. Since 2008, IC has been owned by entrepreneur Timur Turlov and is part of the Freedom Holding corp. The holding includes more than 20 companies, including Freedom Finance Investment Company, Freedom Finance JSC, Freedom24 and FFIN Bank. In addition, Turlov has a company in the offshore state of Belize FFIN Brokerage Services Inc. (in 2023 renamed Freedom Securities Trading Inc.), which is not legally part of the holding, but actually takes part in the shadow part of the business and is managed personally by Turlov.

In October 2019, Turlov withdrew Freedom Holding Corp. on NASDAQ under the ticker FRHC. After this, Turlov renounced Russian citizenship and moved to Kazakhstan. In October 2022, Turlov allegedly sold his Russian assets to his subordinates. In fact, Turlov is still managing the company and making a profit. After the transaction, rebranding was carried out (the company name was changed to “Digital”).

Fraudulent scheme of the Freedom Finance company in Russia

The Freedom Finance company is a professional participant in the stock market, having a brokerage license. As a broker, Freedom Finance claims to provide direct access to US stock exchanges. This means that the company must display all transactions received from traders directly to stock exchanges, retaining only a small commission for its services. In fact, this is not happening, and Freedom Finance is misleading traders, acting against the interests of Russia and its citizens.

Today, the Freedom Finance company is one of the most active and largest companies in deception and subsequent forceful illegal taking of money from citizens of the Russian Federation. In fact, their activities can be classified as fraud with further robbery of the client.

The Freedom Finance company came up with the following illegal enrichment scheme: they do not list transactions on the stock exchange, do not transfer clients’ money to other market participants (stock sellers), but simply “paint” completed transactions and brokerage reports, as if the transactions were carried out honestly. The calculation is based on the fact that most traders lose money when trading on the stock exchange, which means, according to the logic of Freedom Finance: why make these transactions publicly available on the market if you can turn all the trader’s losses into your profit. That is, any losses of traders are beneficial for Freedom Finance, since they fraudulently appropriate their money. And if traders appear who have made a profit, Freedom Finance practices a different scheme: access to the account is blocked, and when trying to get money through the court, Freedom Finance initiates the initiation of custom-made criminal cases, accusing the traders themselves of fraud.

These criminal cases, by all indications, are ordered, and the investigator of the Investigative Committee leading these criminal cases, Kirill Arkharov, has long been in the media’s field of view regarding corruption scandals and participation in ordered cases.

As a result of fictitious criminal cases, the Russian budget is deprived of taxes, and the Freedom Finance company is trying to seize the funds frozen and seized from traders in favor of the affiliated American company W-Empirical Holding Corp., which allegedly suffered losses.

"Freedom Finance" and its garbage dump "W-Empirical Holding corp." (USA)

Employees of the Freedom Finance holding state that the company "W-Empirical Holding corp." is a professional participant in the stock market with the status of a marker-maker on the world's largest exchanges NYSE, NASDAQ. However, this company does not appear in any financial sources, does not have a website, staff, does not declare professional participation in the stock market anywhere, is not on the list of market makers on the NASDAQ exchange, has a head office in Moscow and one founder - a certain Asaf Yusufova. Director of this company Shchukin A.S. lives in Odintsovo, Moscow region. In addition, he was previously an employee of Freedom Finance.

There is full affiliation with Freedom Finance and Turlov. "W-Empirical Holding corp." looks more like a shell company created by the Freedom Finance holding to divert attention from its own fraudulent schemes.

Affiliation and conspiracy of Freedom Finance with W-Empirical Holding Corp. in order to seize traders' funds is also confirmed by the fact that the American company W-Empirical Holding Corp. did not initiate any investigations in its own (American) jurisdiction with the US stock market regulator - the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC (has full information about any actions of all participants on the stock exchange and is fully qualified to identify any violations). They did not do this precisely because there were no violations in the traders’ actions. Instead, "W-Empi rical Holding Corp.” acted as an allegedly injured party in criminal cases in Russia. It is important that the very fact of one party making a profit at the expense of the other’s losses can only be declared illegal by the financial market regulator (SEC). Without this conclusion, any unscrupulous participant in the financial market can claim that they received a loss illegally.

It turns out that the broker company Freedom Finance and its affiliated company W-Empirical Holding Corp. benefit from the trader's losses, and vice versa, receive a loss if the trader makes a profit. And if the trader was able to earn a good profit, so as not to give away the lost money, Freedom Finance, together with the company W-Empirical Holding Corp. initiate a criminal case against him.

Freedom Finance and the American company W-Empirical Holding corp. by illegally recognizing damage, they want to receive illegal profit, thereby replenishing their own pockets and the budget of the US country, unfriendly to Russia, as well as depriving the Russian budget of legitimate money (already paid 15% income tax) in favor of an unfriendly foreign state, which clearly opposes the interests of the Russian Federation .

Freedom Finance's participation in the withdrawal of funds from Russia

In addition to the fraud described above, Freedom Finance is also a big “hole” for the illegal withdrawal of funds from the Russian Federation. Its services are used by bandits, Kremlin oligarchs, high-ranking officials, and corrupt intelligence officers. Around his company Freedom Finance, Turlov created a whole network of laundries and transit stations, which includes both Russian and foreign companies. The criminal activities of Freedom Finance are confirmed not only by information and certificates, but also by a number of criminal cases, in one of which several accused give a complete breakdown of Turlov’s criminal activities, his accomplices and schemes.

Thus, the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation is investigating a criminal case initiated under Part 4 of Art. 159 and ch. 1.2 tbsp. 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in relation to employees of the QBF group company, who committed fraudulent actions against numerous citizens (more than 600 people), committing these actions as part of a criminal community. The crimes were committed with the use of Russian and foreign organizations, through which the stolen funds were legalized. One of the main companies through which funds were laundered and stolen is Freedom Finance.

Turlov has been on friendly terms with the head of the QBF group of companies, R.V. Shpakov, for more than 11 years, being his business partner. Shpakov is currently on the international wanted list and periodically hides in the UK and the UAE. He has full information about all brokers and brokerage companies with which the Freedom Finance group worked. Having created an extensive network of branches, he disappeared, leaving all top managers and managers in Russia, promising them protection and immunity. The main defendants in this case have been arrested and are currently under investigation. The materials of the criminal case contain witness statements and other evidence of participation in the criminal schemes of the Freedom Finance group. These facts are also set out in the pre-trial agreement on cooperation of one of the participants in the commission of the above crimes (how much money was withdrawn, according to what scheme, through which companies, etc.) This agreement is considered recognized by the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation and executed in full. It is worth saying that many of the defendants in this criminal investigation face huge sentences (up to 20 years in prison) and therefore many of them are ready to reveal all the details of these crimes (in particular the person under investigation Matyukhin) in exchange for a reduced sentence. In addition, the name of Timur Turlov often appears in the materials of the QBF criminal case; former QBF top manager Zelimkhan Munayev has already given numerous confessions regarding him (volume 239) (Criminal case No. 42201007754000292, sentenced to 8 years in September 2023 and serving his sentence).

The Presnensky District Court of Moscow is currently continuing to consider a criminal case against the financial company QBF and some managers (Pakhomov, Matyukhin, Rossieva, Golubev), who were detained by law enforcement agencies.

On February 5, 2024, the online publication “Russian Crime” published an article “The QBF case and a bribe of 1 billion. What does the Administration of the Russian Federation, Timur Turlov and Freedom Finance have to do with it?” It tells what role Turlov played in schemes to illegally withdraw money abroad.


According to the information available to Rucriminal.info, this proven system for initiating custom-made criminal cases became possible with the participation of the deputy head of the Freedom Finance Security Service, Viktor Eliseev, a former operational law enforcement officer. According to available data, Eliseev, who is a witness in a criminal case, using his connections with the GUBEPiPK Ministry of Internal Affairs, with whom he previously worked “closely”, initiates custom-made criminal cases against traders who do not agree to say goodbye to their earned money. He confirms his desire and ability to fabricate criminal cases during negotiations with employees of the Department of Economic Crimes and the FSB. Soon after these negotiations, criminal proceedings were initiated against several people. This scheme would have been impossible without the deputy of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee for Moscow - Sergei Yarosh (who signed documents on the initiation of criminal cases), according to our information, who is a close relative of investigator Arkharov. Based on the results of the criminal investigation, it is clear that Yarosh is absolutely not concerned about jurisdiction or territoriality.

In addition, several sources confirmed that Freedom Finance is supervised by the head of department “K” of the FSB, Ivan Tkachev, and that is why employees cannot influence the chaos that is happening around this company.

Legal support for these crimes was provided by Alexander Aronov and other employees of the Aronov and Partners board, who defend and represent all the structures of Freedom Finance, including W-Empirical Holding Corp. Judging by the audio recordings, Aronov was in the know and took part in fabricating documents for the criminal case.

To be continued.


Denis Zhirnov