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WASHINGTON — An American stockbroker who made his fortune in the Russian market in the 1990s and 2000s and later co-founded a posh nightclub in Moscow before leaving the country has died of blunt injuries sustained in the aftermath of a a fall from a Washington, DC building.
The findings, released November 16 by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), confirm that Dan Rapoport died on August 14 after falling from a height, but do not conclusively explain the circumstances that led to his death. his death.
Washington police told RFE/RL an investigation into his death was complete and declined further comment. Earlier this year, a police spokeswoman told RFE/RL that no foul play was suspected, but final findings were pending the autopsy.
Rapoport’s untimely death has sparked widespread speculation because he had expressed support for ardent Kremlin enemy Aleksei Navalny before leaving Russia and, while living in Kyiv for the past few years, had been a staunch supporter of Ukraine and a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Washington Metropolitan Police found Rapoport’s body on August 14 on the sidewalk in front of 2400 M Street, a nine-story building in the northwest part of the city.
The medical examiner’s report said Rapoport, 52, died of “multiple blunt injuries from a fall from a height” and described the death as “sudden/unexplained”. The report also says the manner in which he died is “undetermined”.
The OCME said no further information would be released immediately.
A preliminary police report said officers responded to a report of a ‘rider’ on the evening of August 14 and the man, later identified as Rapoport, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The building has an open roof with a swimming pool, running track and lounge area for residents.
The police report says officers found $2,620 in cash in Rapoport when they discovered his body on the sidewalk, along with headphones, a cracked cell phone, a Florida driver’s license and other items.
He was wearing flip flops, possibly indicating he had been at the rooftop pool before he fell.
Brianna Burch, a police spokeswoman, told RFE/RL in August that there appeared to be no one with Rapoport at the time and there were no witnesses listed. In follow-up correspondence with RFE/RL through early November, police continued to say they did not suspect foul play.
Rapoport had recently returned to Washington after spending several years working in finance in Ukraine. He told RFE/RL in an interview in Washington in June that business had been difficult due to the country’s high political risk and the war with Russia.
While some friends said they didn’t think he would have killed himself, others said he seemed depressed.
Place of destination
Originally from Latvia and fluent in Russian, Rapoport emigrated with his family to the United States in 1980. After graduating from an American university, he moved to Russia in the early 1990s as a wave of privatization swept the country.
The sale of old state-owned companies created a booming stock market, creating a new generation of millionaires, Russian and foreign.
Rapoport was respected in Russian financial circles, where he worked for more than a decade at a local brokerage called CenterInvest, before becoming a managing partner. He claimed his clients included some of the country’s wealthiest tycoons.
In 2007, he opened a swanky nightclub in downtown Moscow called Soho Rooms, which became the hangout of Moscow’s elite.
In 2012, he left Russia and returned to the United States, saying the stock brokerage industry that had made him rich “died” as commission fees fell with improvements in technology.
But in a media interview before he left, he also criticized the direction Russia had taken under Putin and voiced support for Navalny, who was jailed last year on what Western governments say are trumped up charges. .
“It really became unbearable to live in Russia,” Rapoport told news outlet FinParty in June of that year. “We are all now dependent on one leader. If this person decides that you will give birth to his child, then you will give birth, and if he decides to put you in prison, then you will serve a sentence.
He told FinParty he would give up his US citizenship and return to Russia if Navalny becomes president, saying the opposition leader was sincere in his desire to fight corruption.
“He’s a true hero of our time and he deserves respect,” Rapoport said of Navalny.
Rapoport’s frustration with Russia and his decision to leave may have been triggered by pressure on his businessfriends and family said.
Under Putin, the looting of profitable businesses by – or with the help of – the country’s security services flourished. Report would have lost his bet in Soho Rooms when its partners teamed up with security officials.
“Our flight to Washington is in 12 hours. It’s sad to leave Russia, but for thoughtful people living here has become unbearable and disgusting,” Rapoport wrote on his Facebook page on June 13, 2012.
When Rapoport moved to Washington, where he said his parents lived, he started a company called Rapoport Capital to advise and help tech startups as well as venture capital funds on fundraising options.
In 2016, four years after leaving Russia, Rapoport set up an office in Kyiv and opened a private equity fund. It was hard. Ukraine’s economy has struggled amid an ongoing war with Russian-backed separatists in two eastern regions and the slow implementation of Western-backed reforms.
In social media posts in the years that followed, he was an outspoken supporter of Ukraine and an outspoken critic of Putin.
Rapoport gained some publicity in January 2017 after the New York Times reported that newly elected President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law purchased a mansion owned by him and his first wife. The mansion was located in an exclusive area of the American capital.
In 2018, open-source investigative organization Bellingcat reported that Rapoport, who was Jewish, was the creator of a fictional character named David Jewberg, who was frequently quoted in Ukrainian media as a senior Pentagon analyst. .