Beginning in 2008, Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and auditor, investigated Russia’s treatment of investment advisory firm Hermitage Capital Management. Magnitsky alleged substantial misconduct and corruption, including a complex scheme that used false claims of tax evasion to justify police raids that seized Hermitage documents and gave them to organized criminals, who used them to take over Hermitage operations and obtain $230 million via tax fraud. When Magnitsky’s investigation report was given to the Russian government, they opened a criminal case against Magnitsky and arrested him in 2008. Magnitsky died in jail under suspicious circumstances about a year later.
International attention to the matter eventually resulted in the US passing The Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, imposing visa and banking restrictions on Russian officials implicated in related human rights abuses. In retaliation, Russia passed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children. Wiki