Alex van der Zwaan

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Alex van der Zwaan
BornSeptember 1984 (age 34)[1]
ResidenceLondon, England[3]
NationalityDutch[4]
EducationKing’s College London (LLB)[5]
BPP University (LPC)[5]
OccupationAttorney
EmployerSkadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (2007–2017)[6]
Criminal chargeMaking false statements[7]
Criminal penalty
Criminal statusServed sentence at FCI Allenwood Low, #35255-016;[8] subsequently deported
Spouse(s)
Eva Khan (m. 2017)
RelativesGerman Khan (father-in-law)

Alex Rolf van der Zwaan[9][10] (Dutch: [ˈaːlɛks fɑn dɛr ˈzʋaːn] (About this soundlisten);[11] born September 1984)[1] is a Belgian-born Dutch attorney[2][1][12][13] formerly with the London branch of New York-based international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.[2]

In February 2018, Van der Zwaan was charged with lying to the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections about his interactions with political consultant and lobbyist Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian-based long-term associate of Paul Manafort.[14][6][15] On February 20, 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to investigators.[6][2][16][7] On April 3, 2018, he was sentenced to 30 days in prison and fined $20,000.[17][18] After serving a 30-day sentence at FCI Allenwood, in Pennsylvania,[19] Van der Zwaan was deported to the Netherlands.[20]

The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice was his firm's client and central to the indictment.[6][14][21] In 2017, Skadden Arps refunded $567,000 billed by the firm to the Government of Ukraine.[22]

Education and career[edit]

Van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen,[12][2][1] was born in Brussels, Belgium,[2] in 1984. He was educated in London, receiving his LL.B. at King’s College London in 2006,[5] and completing his Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in 2007.[5][23] He was admitted to practice law as a solicitor in England and Wales in September 2009.[9][5]

He began working at the London office of the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2007.[6] At the firm, he worked on complex matters, including the freezing of assets of the rich, a legal tactic attempted by companies and billionaires in disputes with business partners.[23] He repeatedly assisted Ukrainian oligarch Gennadiy Bogolyubov, whose assets were at risk of being frozen by the London High Court several times.[23][5][24]

His work at the firm also included representing corporations, individuals and sovereign entities in various matters, including high-value and complex commercial litigation and arbitration, and government agency investigations.[10][5] He assisted Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's businesses in relation to mining assets in Ukraine.[24]

Work on Skadden Arps' Ukrainian report, and subsequent charges[edit]

Van der Zwaan, who speaks Russian, was one of the eight attorneys[25] who worked on Skadden Arps's 2012 report, commissioned by the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych via Paul Manafort, that defended the prosecution, conviction and imprisonment of Yanukovych's rival, the country's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.[26][14][27][28][6] Van der Zwaan traveled to Ukraine to work on the report,[22] and served as rule-of-law consultant to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.[5] Former United States ambassador to Ukraine John E. Herbst said in a 2017 interview that Skadden Arps "should have been ashamed" of the report, calling it "a nasty piece of work".[29]

Special Counsel investigation prosecutor Andrew Weissmann stated in February 2018 that, as part of Manafort's and Rick Gates's lobbying effort to improve Yanukovych's reputation in the United States, Van der Zwaan took an advance copy of the report in late July or early August 2012, without authorization, and provided it to a public-relations firm working for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice—with one aim being to get the report published in The New York Times—and in September 2012 provided Gates with talking points about the report.[3][6][26] Prosecutors also said Van der Zwaan deleted emails sought by the special counsel's office—such as emails between him and Manafort associate "Person A", including one requesting that Van der Zwaan use encrypted communications and one from September 2016—rather than turning them over to Skadden Arps, which was gathering documents for the special counsel.[2][6][30][31][32]

In February 2018 Van der Zwaan was accused of having lied during an interview with special counsel prosecutors and FBI agents on November 3, 2017. He was charged with having lied about the timing and nature of his last communications with Gates and an unidentified Ukrainian-based long-term associate of Manafort described as "Person A", later identified by the New York Times as Konstantin Kilimnik.[33] In the interview Van der Zwaan had said that his last communication with Gates was an innocuous text in mid-August 2016 and that his last contact with Person A was a 2014 discussion of Person A's family; prosecutors determined instead that he had discussed the 2012 Skadden Arps report with Gates and Person A in September 2016 during phone calls that he surreptitiously recorded.[26][31][26][7] Prosecutor Weissmann stated that the charges against Van der Zwaan are part of an investigation into "FARA violations by Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and others".[32] Van der Zwaan acknowledged to special counsel investigators in an interview that Gates had told him of Person A's ties to the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a Russian military intelligence agency.[34]

On February 20, 2018, Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to investigators.[6][2][16][7] In his plea he also admitted his email deletions, and that he had lied when he had told investigators that he had only a "passive role in the rollout of the report".[26] The guilty plea did not include an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.[35]

Also on February 20, 2018, Skadden Arps released a statement that Van der Zwaan had been fired from the law firm in 2017.[3]

On March 27, 2018, Robert Mueller's office asked a judge to consider jail time for Van der Zwaan.[36] His sentencing hearing was held on April 3, 2018, and he was sentenced to 30 days in prison followed by two months of supervised release, and fined $20,000.[37] Judge Amy Berman Jackson stated that Van der Zwaan, whose pregnant wife was due to give birth in August,[32] could have his passport back after his 30-day sentence, at which point he could self-deport back to Europe if Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allowed it.[38][39]

On May 8, 2018, Van der Zwaan reported to prison at FCI Allenwood Low.[40][19] He was released on June 4 to ICE custody,[41] and subsequently deported to the Netherlands on June 5, 2018.[42][43]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2018, Van der Zwaan lives in London.[3] In June 2017 he married Eva Khan, daughter of the Russian billionaire German Khan, co-founder and co-owner of Alfa Group.[4][44][12][45] German Khan is suing BuzzFeed and the private investigation firm Fusion GPS over BuzzFeed's publication of the Trump–Russia dossier containing information about Trump's ties to Russia.[46] Van der Zwaan has Russian roots[44][12] and has worked with a number of Russian oligarchs.[47][44][12] In addition to Dutch, he speaks fluent English, Russian, and French.[26][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "16 St Stephen's Gardens Limited". Companies House. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Dilanian, Ken; Williams, Pete; Winter, Tom; Connors, Tracy (February 20, 2018). "Russia probe: Lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, oligarch's son-in-law, pleads guilty". NBC News. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Day, Chad; Tucker, Eric (February 20, 2018). "Attorney admits he lied to Mueller's federal agents". Chicago Sun-Times. Associated Press. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Cukier, Eva; Valk, Guus (February 20, 2018). "Nederlandse advocaat bekent schuld over liegen in Ruslandonderzoek". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Alex van der Zwaan". Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Archived from the original on August 10, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hsu, Spencer S.; Helderman, Rosalind S. (February 20, 2018). "In Mueller probe, son-in-law of Russian businessman pleads guilty to false statements". Washington Post. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d "United States of America v. Alex van der Zwaan". Apps.WashingtonPost.com. United States District Court for the District of Columbia. February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "Inmate Locator". Federal Bureau of Prisons. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "Alex Rolf Van Der Zwaan". The Law Society. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Alex R. van der Zwaan". Newton Arbitration. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  11. ^ In isolation, van is pronounced Dutch pronunciation: [vɑn].
  12. ^ a b c d e "Trump-Russia inquiry: Lawyer Alex van der Zwaan pleads guilty". BBC News. February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Elster, Kristian (February 20, 2018). "Mueller sikter advokat for løgn i Russland-granskingen". NRK. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Voreacos, David; Baker, Stephanie (February 20, 2018). "Lawyer Charged With Lying in Mueller's Russia Probe". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  15. ^ Viswanatha, Aruna; Quentin Wilber, Del (February 20, 2018). "Associate of Gates Pleads Guilty to Lying to Mueller Team". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "The Latest: Attorney Pleads Guilty to Lying". US News & World Report. Associated Press. February 20, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  17. ^ Johnson, Kevin (April 3, 2018). "Lawyer connected to Russia election interference investigation receives 30-day sentence". USA TODAY. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  18. ^ LaFraniere, Sharon (April 3, 2018). "Ex-Skadden Lawyer Is Sentenced to 30 Days in Russia Inquiry". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Gerstein, Josh (May 8, 2018). "First Mueller convict reports to prison". Politico. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  20. ^ CNN, Katelyn Polantz and Tal Kopan,. "Only person to serve time in Mueller investigation deported". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  21. ^ Mangan, Dan; Breuninger, Kevin (February 20, 2018). "Mueller charges attorney with lying to the FBI over contacts with former Trump campaign official". CNBC. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  22. ^ a b Kovensky, Josh (November 17, 2017). "Justice Ministry investigation nets unexpected $567,000 windfall for state budget". Kyiv Post. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  23. ^ a b c Garschagen, Melle (February 21, 2018). "Nederlandse advocaat raakte verstrikt in Rusland-dossier". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Shubber, Kadhim; Massoudi, Arash; Thompson, Barney (February 23, 2018). "Skadden's oligarch work comes into focus after Mueller charges". Financial Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  25. ^ "Skadden Arps Could be Subject to USDoJ Complaint over Ukrainian Deal". Law Fuel. January 13, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  26. ^ a b c d e f LaFraniere, Sharon; Vogel, Kenneth P. (February 20, 2018). "Former Skadden Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia Investigation". New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  27. ^ Eckel, Mike (February 20, 2018). "Lawyer Pleads Guilty In Latest Move In Mueller Investigation". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  28. ^ Baker, Stephanie; Krasnolutska, Daryna (November 10, 2017). "Manafort Charges Renew Questions About Skadden's Work in Ukraine". Bloomberg News. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  29. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P.; Kramer, Andrew E. (September 21, 2017). "Skadden, Big New York Law Firm, Faces Questions on Work With Manafort". New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  30. ^ Day, Chad; Tucker, Eric (February 20, 2018). "Attorney admits he lied to Mueller's federal agents". San Francisco Chronicle. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2018-02-20. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Day, Chad; Tucker, Eric (February 20, 2018). "Associate of ex-Trump adviser pleads guilty to making false statements in Russia investigation". Star Tribune. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2018-02-20. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  32. ^ a b c Friedman, Dan (February 20, 2018). "What This Lawyer's Guilty Plea Tells Us About Mueller's Investigation". Mother Jones. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  33. ^ Mazzetti, Mark (March 28, 2018). "Trump Aide Spoke During Campaign to Associate Tied to Russian Intelligence". New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  34. ^ Greenwood, Max (March 28, 2018). "Mueller team reveals Manafort business associate's connection to Russian intel service". The Hill. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  35. ^ Voreacos, David; Larson, Erik; Harris, Andrew M.; Dennis, Steven T. (February 20, 2018). "Mueller Gets Plea, No Cooperation, as Skadden Lawyer Admits Lies". Bloomberg News. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  36. ^ Tillman, Zoe (March 27, 2018). "Robert Mueller's Office Wants A Judge To Consider Jail Time For A Lawyer Who Pleaded Guilty To Lying". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  37. ^ Voreacos, David; Larson, Erik (April 3, 2018). "Lawyer Who Lied to Mueller About Russian Spy Gets 30 Days". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  38. ^ Turner, Trish; Bruggeman, Lucien (April 3, 2018). "Dutch lawyer sentenced in Mueller probe". ABC News. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  39. ^ Milibank, Dana (April 3, 2018). "It's Mueller time". Washington Post. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  40. ^ Greenwood, Max (May 8, 2018). "Lawyer sentenced in Mueller probe reports to prison: report". The Hill. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  41. ^ Re, Gregg (June 4, 2018). "Lawyer linked to Trump campaign who pleaded guilty in Russia probe released from prison, turned over to ICE". Fox News. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  42. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (June 5, 2018). "Alex van der Zwaan, only person to serve time in Mueller investigation, deported". CNN. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  43. ^ Murdock, Jeff (June 5, 2018). "Alexander van der Zwaan, Dutch lawyer indicted by Mueller, deported". The Washington Times. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  44. ^ a b c "Семь главных свадеб лета 2017 по версии Tatler". Tatler (in Russian). August 13, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  45. ^ Day, Chad; Tucker, Eric (February 20, 2018). "Mueller Charges Son-in-Law of Russian Oligarch for Allegedly Lying About Communications With Gates". WNBC. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  46. ^ Gerstein, Josh; Cheney, Kyle (February 20, 2018). "Mueller charges latest target in Russia probe". Politico. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  47. ^ Sheth, Sonam (February 20, 2018). "Mueller launches another salvo in his quest to flip Paul Manafort in the Russia investigation". Business Insider. Retrieved February 22, 2018.

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