MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) – Dutch electronics maker Philips is the first company to face possible legal action under the United States’ Magnitsky Act, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
William Browder, founder of investment firm Hermitage Capital and the chief champion of the law, filed a complaint against Philips with the US Treasury and Justice Departments in October alleging Philips sold medical equipment to a firm headed by one of the eighteen individuals on the list, Artyom Kuznetsov, the paper says.
The sales, to the Russian medical company RT-Medintegrator, were reported to have taken place from September of last year until August this year, via German company Heinemann, the FT said. Kuznetsov served as chairman of the company until October 2012 and was afterward retained as legal counsel.
RT-Medintegrator says Kuznetsov is now no longer involved with the company, the FT reported.
The 18-person blacklist was enacted as part of the Magnitsky Act signed into law by President Barack Obama a year ago. The list seeks to punish individuals involved in a corruption conspiracy that ultimately led to the death of whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail. Magnitsky was working for Browder’s Hermitage Capital when he was arrested.
The first investigation under the new law was opened in September concerning property in New York owned by a Russian crime ring.
The list prohibits trading with the individuals named as well as legal entities they manage. Philips has begun an internal investigation into the matter, the Financial Times reported.