On June 6, 2016, Bill Browder, a London-based billionaire, sent an email to Kyle Parker, a congressional staffer, with the subject line “Veselnitskaya house.” The email, which contained no text, included only a picture of the side of a house, framed with pink flowers. The house was believed to belong to Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who has been battling Browder for the past several years.
The correspondence, which was later revealed in the hack of a State Department official’s private email account (and which has not been publicly confirmed by the parties involved), was part of a series of informal exchanges among Russian experts who followed the battle between Browder and the Russian lawyer.
Veselnitskaya represented Denis Katsyv, the Russian owner of Prevezon Holdings, a real estate company accused of laundering proceeds in Manhattan real estate from a $230 million tax fraud allegedly committed after stealing Browder’s companies. The fraud, according to Browder, was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and accountant who was arrested and who died in 2009 under suspicious circumstances in pretrial detention.
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