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Putin's ex-wife's company sees a $1.7 million profit boost during year of war

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In 2022, CarMoney, a company linked to Lyudmila Ochertnaya, the ex-wife of Vladimir Putin, made 391.3 million rubles ($4.8 million), with a 66% rise in net profit compared to pre-war levels, as reported by the We Can Explain Telegram channel citing the company's financial records.

CarMoney, which provides car-secured loans, paid 58 million rubles ($700,000) directly to Lyudmila Ochertnaya in 2022, as per the auditor's report on the financial statements. The payments were facilitated via Carmoney CY LTD, a Cypriot microfinance offshore owned by Meridian, of which Putin's ex-wife controls 99%.

However, We Can Explain reports that Lyudmila Ochertnaya's offshore company ceased to be the owner of CarMoney just two days before 2023. The company transferred to Russian jurisdiction and is now owned by Smarttehgroup LLC, which was a strategic move to evade economic sanctions imposed by the European Union.

Anton Zinoviev, Lyudmila Ochertnaya's long-time financial associate, is the general director of Smarttehgroup LLC, the new owner of CarMoney. According to SKRIN records, Zinoviev co-owns with Ochertnaya a smartphone rental company named Zaprosto. Furthermore, CarMoney's office remains situated in the Volkonsky House on Vozdvizhenka Street, a property owned by Ochertnaya and her husband Arthur Ocheretny.

We Can Explain points out that CarMoney was established in 2010, but only came under Ocherenaya's offshore ownership in 2017, and made little progress before that. However, in the first half of 2022, CarMoney was among the top five MFIs in terms of disclosed profit. Besides, the company affiliated with Ocheretnaya ranks eighth in terms of the overall microloan portfolio size.

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