A Bermuda company has denied funneling Russian money to environmental groups after being named by two key US House Republicans in a letter calling for a probe into foreign funding of anti-fracking advocacy.
Roderick M. Forrest, attorney for Klein Ltd., described as “completely false and irresponsible” accusations that Klein has acted as a conduit to move tens of millions from Russia to liberal U.S. foundations that in turn fund opponents of hydraulic fracturing.
“Our firm has represented Klein since its inception, and we can state categorically that at no point did this philanthropic organization receive or expend funds from Russian sources or Russian-connected sources and Klein has no Russian connection whatsoever,” said Mr. Forrest in a Tuesday email to The Washington Times.
Klein was singled out in the representatives’ June 29 letter urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to investigate whether Russian oligarchs have used shell companies to fund environmental activism.
“Klein is a Bermuda based company apparently established to act only as a pass through for foreign funds,” said the letter, signed by House Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber.
Mr. Forrest rejected the suggestion of impropriety. “Attorneys, law firms, financial institutions and all other companies based in Bermuda operate under a regulatory and anti-money laundering regime which applies standards which are amongst the highest in the world,” he said.
“The illicit movement of funds, in the nature alleged, falls well below such standards and any informed party would understand that, not only is there no substance or truth to such allegations, but that they are an attempt to damage the reputation of the Bermuda-based individuals and businesses named,” Mr. Forrest said.
Source/The Washington Times