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Russian billionaire faces US extradition

A Russian banking billionaire who owns the world’s first private ice-breaking super yacht has been banned from travelling outside the M25 ahead of an extradition hearing. 

Oleg Tinkov, 52, is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court next month on foot of an extradition request made by US authorities who wish to question him over an alleged multi million-pound tax fraud. 

Tinkov, who relinquished his US citizenship in October 2013, was released on £20m bail while the extradition is decided. 

US authorities accuse Tinkov of hiding $1bn in income and assets when he renounced his US citizenship to avoid paying tax.  

According to the US Department of Justice, Tinkov allegedly filed paperwork claiming he was worth $300,000. 

They began their investigation after discovering he owned a 2018 Dassault 8X private jet registered in the Isle of Man.  

US authorities said: ‘Oleg Tinkov was the indirect majority shareholder of a branchless online bank that provided its customers with financial and bank services. 

‘The indictment alleges as a result of an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange in 2013, Tinkov beneficially owned more than $1 billion worth of the bank’s shares. 

‘The indictment further alleges that three days after the IPO, Tinkov renounced his U.S. citizenship – a taxable event requiring Tinkov to report to the IRS the constructive sale of his worldwide assets, report the gain on the constructive sale of those assets to the IRS, and pay tax on such gain to the IRS.’

Federal authorities alleged Tinkov routed more than $1bn through the British Virgin Islands to avoid US tax. 

According to the indictment, Tinkov said his income was less than $206,000 in 2013 while his net worth was $300,000. 

According to the Feds: ‘If convicted, Tinkov faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.’

As well as his superyacht, Tinkov owns a Dassault 8x jet worth around £50 million.  

According to an investigation by The Times, Tinkov is on the US government’s ‘Putin list’.  

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