Russian Oligarchs

How Vadim Wolfson Managed Elite $13.5 Million Worth Mansion of Andrei Kostin

On Facebook, Vadim Wolfson expresses his political stance openly. His profile picture features him wearing a baseball cap with the phrase “Puck Futin,” and his banner image displays a Russian anti-war flag.

Mansion of Andrei Kostin

Through words and memes, Wolfson openly critiques Russian President Vladimir Putin, high-ranking Russian officials, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, despite his apparent opposition to Putin’s regime, Wolfson, formerly known as Vadim Belyaev and the founder of Otkritie Financial Group, once Russia’s largest private bank, now faces accusations that seem to contradict his stated political beliefs.

According to U.S. federal prosecutors, in 2018 and 2019, Wolfson, now a resident of Austin, Texas, allegedly aided Andrei Kostin, an oligarch and the head of Russia’s state VTB Bank, in acquiring and managing a luxurious mansion in Colorado. This action would have violated U.S. sanctions imposed on Kostin.

Wolfson Arrested in Austin on February 22

Wolfson was apprehended in Austin on February 22 but was subsequently released on his own recognizance. He faces charges of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the foundation of the sanctions regime, and conspiracy to violate it. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Similarly, Kostin, accused of sanctions violations, conspiracy to violate sanctions, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison for each count. He remains at large, believed to be in Russia.

These charges, disclosed in a press release by the U.S. Justice Department last month, provide insight into the alleged assets of Kostin, whose bank is colloquially referred to as “Putin’s piggy bank,” and his purported attempts to evade sanctions.

$13.5 Million Worth Mansion of Andrei Kostin

The indictment outlines that in 2010, Kostin acquired a lavish residence in Aspen, Colorado, for $13.5 million. The property was formally owned by the Colorado-based company 40 North Star LLC, allegedly controlled by Kostin through a network of offshore entities.

$13.5 Million Worth Mansion of Andrei Kostin
$13.5 Million Worth Mansion of Andrei Kostin

Subsequently, in 2012, he purportedly purchased three artworks valued at $1 million for the residence. These included paintings by renowned artists William Robinson Leigh (“Combing the Ridges”) and Wilhelm Heinrich Detlev Koerner (“Long in the Saddle” and “Arapaho Attack”), known for their depictions of the American West’s people and landscapes.

According to prosecutors, from 2010 to 2017, Kostin and his family typically spent approximately two weeks annually at the Aspen residence, often during the winter holidays. Wolfson and his family were also reportedly frequent visitors to the property.

Mansion As Per Real Estate Website Zillow

The Aspen mansion, situated southeast of downtown Aspen, boasts impressive amenities according to real estate listings. Spanning 1,027 square meters (11,054 square feet), the property features seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and luxurious facilities such as a swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool spa, home cinema, and billiard room.

Currently listed on real estate platform Zillow, the residence commands a monthly rent of $600,000. Interestingly, its ownership has undergone significant changes over time.

Prosecutors reveal that in 2014, Altamonte Holding Limited, a newly registered company in the British Virgin Islands, acquired 40 North Star LLC for $10 million. Investigations suggest that the beneficial owner of a BVI firm with a strikingly similar name, Altamonte Holdings Limited, is Vadim Belyaev (also known as Wolfson).

Furthermore, it is noted that Capital Business Finance, an entity ultimately owned by Kostin, facilitated the purchase by providing financing. However, complications arose when the United States imposed sanctions on Kostin in April 2018.

Subsequently, in contravention of the sanctions, Wolfson purportedly acquired 40 North Star for $12 million in transactions involving a subsidiary of Capital Business Finance. This led to Wolfson predominantly utilizing the Aspen residence from 2018 to 2020.

Records indicate that in 2020, the property changed hands again, with a sale price of $12.5 million to an unrelated company, signaling a disconnection from both Kostin and Wolfson.

Two Yachts Of Andrei Kostin : Sea Rhapsody and Sea & Us.

The legal proceedings also shed light on Kostin’s purported control of two yachts through offshore entities: Sea Rhapsody and Sea & Us.

Sea Rhapsody and Sea & Us
Sea Rhapsody and Sea & Us

According to the indictment, Kostin primarily utilized Sea Rhapsody, often with his wife and family, while he reportedly spent time aboard Sea & Us with his mistress.

Sea Rhapsody, a 66-meter (217-foot) luxury vessel, was allegedly custom-built for Kostin between 2008 and 2012, costing approximately $65 million. Featuring six opulent cabins, an infinity pool, a whirlpool spa, and a cinema, it was constructed to his specifications.

On the other hand, Sea & Us, spanning 62 meters (203 feet), was supposedly tailored for the banker between 2016 and 2018, with a price tag of at least $70 million.

The indictment suggests that from 2018 to 2022, Kostin and unnamed associates orchestrated a scheme involving financing, goods, and services to operate, maintain, and enhance the yachts. Allegations of money laundering also surface, implicating the transport of funds in and out of the United States, although specific details remain undisclosed.

Presently, Sea Rhapsody is reportedly docked in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, as per maritime tracking data from

Meanwhile, Sea & Us has undergone a name change to Serenity and Unity. Tracking data indicates its current location off the coast of Turkey.

Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of assets and funds purportedly acquired through the alleged criminal activities outlined in the indictment, involving Kostin, Wolfson, and others.

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