Russian businessman Alexander Perepilichnyy wanted to make peace with officials he implicated in money laundering scheme

Mr Perepilichnyy was found dead outside his home in Weybridge, Surrey, two weeks ago

Russian businessman Alexander Perepilichnyy wanted to make peace with the group of officials he had accused of being behind a Swiss money laundering scheme in the run up to his death, a Moscow based lawyer claimed today.

Andrei Pavlov told Kommersant newspaper that he had met with the 44-year-old businessman twice in the last year and said that he appeared “stressed” but wanted a rapprochement with the people he had fled from two years earlier.

Mr Perepilichnyy was found dead outside his home in Weybridge, Surrey, two weeks ago. The results of his first post mortem proved inconclusive but police are running further tests including toxicology.

This week The Independent revealed that he had been helping Swiss prosecutors investigate a series of Credit Suisse bank accounts thought to have been used by Moscow tax officials and their families who became incredibly wealthy in the immediate aftermath of a tax fraud they signed off on.

The fraud was originally uncovered in 2008 by Sergei Magntisky, a lawyer who had been hired by the British investment fund Hermitage Capital Management. Mr Magnitsky named a string of Russian interior ministry officials and underworld figures as being behind the scam.

Instead of investigating his leads, Russian police arrested him and handed him over to the very people he had accused. He died in prison nine months later in a case that has become a domestic scandal for Russia and a major source of international embarrassment.

One of Mr Perepilichny’s acquaintances told Kommersant today that the Russian businessman had been involved in offering semi-legal banking services. “He was given money, he put it into shares and eventually legalised it,” the paper’s source was quoted as saying.

The source added that Mr Perepilichny had businessmen and corrupt Russian officials as his clients, and was handling hundreds of millions of dollars. However, during the financial crisis, he lost a huge amount of money and begun receiving threats from those whom he owed, deciding to flee to London in January 2010.

In London, he is believed to have passed documents to Hermitage Capital implicating a number of officials in the expropriation of $230m from the Russian state budget, notably tax official Olga Stepanova and her husband Vladlen Stepanov. Mr Stepanov has claimed previously that Mr Perepilichny was a business partner who had managed his finances and caused him losses, with investments in Dubai that dropped in value during the financial crisis.

Later, Mr Perepilichny wanted to patch things up with Mr Stepanov, according to Mr Pavlov, a lawyer whom Hermitage Capital have named as another of the key figures involved in the disappearance of the money that Mr Magnitsky was tracking, and who apparently met Mr Perepilichny twice last year. “He wanted to make peace with Stepanov,” the lawyer told Kommersant.

Mr Pavlov says Mr Perepilichny was worried about his security, and he advised him to deal with Mr Stepanov directly. Subsequently Mr Stepanov and Mr Perepilichny “apparently came to an agreement on everything,” according to Mr Pavlov.

The new details came as Russia’s prosecutor office officially forwarded their own criminal case against William Browder, the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage, and Mr Magnitsky. The move is part of an extraordinary posthumous prosecution of the man who brought Russia’s largest declared tax fraud to light and the British businessman who has spent years campaigning against the Russian government following the death of his lawyer.

Hermitage denies the charges against both Browder and Magnitsky and says they are politically motivated.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
New Articles
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all