On 26th July, a fascinating article on OCCRP told the tale of the Freestyle Music Park, a $400 million rock-themed amusement park in South Carolina. Foreign investors bought the park in February 2009. The article says that the purchase kicked off a scheme of fraudulent loans and shady financial transfers that put the park out of business, leaving dozens of American contractors and workers in the lurch after just one summer of operation. Meanwhile, the wealthy Russian investors vanished amidst a flurry of lawsuits before moving on to new projects unscathed. OCCRP claims that it has evidence of involvement of the so-called Troika Laundromat – a system of offshore shell companies built by the Russian investment bank Troika Dialog which moved billions of dollars around the world, mostly out of Russia, between 2006 and 2013. Documents are said to show that the parts of the network that were involved in the amusement park continued to transfer millions, long after its owner told US courts it could not afford to pay its debts.
This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y