The state corporation Rosnano, headed by Anatoly Chubais, suffers serious problems in the formation of the first international investment fund of nanotechnology in a volume of 1 billion dollars. The problems appeared after some appointments in the subsidiary structure of Rosnano Capital AG. Board member of the subsidiary with the signature authorization was Hans Bodmer, a Swiss lawyer. Since 2003 he has been "under prosecution" in the U.S.. The past of Mr. Bodmer prevented the American partners of Rosnano from putting money in the fund of nanotechnology. In the state corporation they say they have already fired compromising top manager.
In 2003, according to the U.S. District Southern Court of New York, Mr. Bodmer was imprisoned in South Korea on suspicion of giving multimillion-dollar bribes to officials in Azerbaijan in the process of privatization of the oil industry of the republic. According to investigators, Mr. Bodmer was seeking for consent for the company Oily Rock participation in privatization of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan. In January 2004, Hans Bodmer agreed to extradition to the U.S., where he was released on bail during investigation. Also, Mr. Bodmer was suspected of laundering money through the accounts of various commercial banks, which was transmitted to officials from Azerbaijan in the form of bribes.
Senior associate of the international consulting company Roche & Duffay, Sergei Budylin explained to RBC daily, that Mr. Bodmer was acquitted on formal grounds (not a U.S. Resident) in a case of bribery in Azerbaijan, and he pleaded guilty on charges of laundering funds: the verdict is expected in August 2010 (details of the District Court of Southern District of New York).
First, the state corporation officially denied the presence of foreign staff in the state of the Swiss subsidiaries. But last night the press office of Rusnano told RBC daily, that Mr. Bodmer was hired at a very short period of time for purely technical functions of registration of the company. "His candidacy was presented for these purposes by PricewaterhouseCoopers. He had not taken any important decisions", spokesman of Rosnano said.
According to Sergei Budylin, the establishment of foreign company, the Swiss one in the case, for the legal formalization of relations with foreign investors is a common practice. "The appointment of the Swiss lawyer to the post of Director in such a company also is nothing particular, Mr. Budylin.told RBC daily. However, the fact of appointment of a person who has acknowledged his guilt in money-laundering trial in the country from which the potential investor comes, namely the U.S., can raise serious doubts about the project participants' competency from the Russian side." Unless the assumption is that this is the same person, and there is no some kind of strange coincidence, Sergei Budylin says ironically. "Of course, American investors will run for their life from such partners", he concluded.