Russia and the U.S. Environmental Movement

Our report begins where the Senate report ended, with Klein Ltd. Klein Ltd., a corporation that “only exists on paper” and is based out of a Bermuda law firm called Wakefield Quin, gave $23 million dollars to environmental bundler Sea Change Foundation from 2010 to 2011, which has given tens of millions to other U.S. environmental groups. While it is unclear who is funding Klein, the law firm controlling this shady offshore funder of the U.S. environmental movement has ties to Russian money laundering, a friend and advisor of Vladimir Putin, Russian oil production, and more.

According to its Articles of Incorporation, Klein was formed by two employees of Wakefield Quin (WQ), a Bermuda law firm. A Klein director and WQ senior counsel, along with another WQ senior counsel, have pasts that should be considered questionable at best. Both held directorship positions in a group, owned by Russian minister of telecommunications and longtime Putin friend Leonid Reiman, which was the subject of a 2008 money laundering case. The group was ultimately convicted in British Virgin Islands court.

WQ’s Russian involvement doesn’t stop there. Marcuard Spectrum, a Moscow-based investment firm, operates a hedge fund in Bermuda based out of WQ’s office. Both of the aforementioned WQ lawyers are listed in leadership positions. Further, one of the founders of Marcuard is also the chair of Russian-owned oil giant Rosneft.

There have been significant questions about whether foreign interests—particularly Russian—are funding attacks on U.S. natural gas because it would hurt the Kremlin. Here we have a major foreign funder of the U.S. environmental movement tied through its Bermuda office to Russian money laundering and the Russian government.