Bank of Utah has a famous clientele that includes wealthy Russian oligarch, Leonid Mikhelson, an ally of President Vladimir Putin. As it became known to the media, Mr. Michelson could secretly register private aircraft in the United States that requires U.S. citizenship or residence.
Activities on behalf of Mr. Michelson, whose gas company is under sanctions of the United States, is part of a low-key niche activities for the Bank of Utah, which allows wealthy foreigners to legally obtain a U.S. registration of its aircraft, while protecting their identity from the public. The Bank does this through a trust account on your behalf, which replace the owners on the registration records of the aircraft.
Bank of Utah operates more than 1,390 customer accounts, most of which is intended for foreigners who receive millions of dollars in fees and make it the second largest holder of such accounts in the country. Plexus records, leaked from an offshore law firm Appleby, shows that the services offered by Bank of Utah, Wells Fargo and other American companies, looking for wealthy plane owners in Russia, Africa and the middle East.
These files were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the International consortium of investigative journalists and other news organizations, including The New York Times. Among other things, the records show how often the Bank signed a confidentiality agreement with the scheme of evasion from payment of taxes in the Isle of man that serves as a refuge for aircraft owners to evade taxes in the European Union. Together, companies like Bank of Utah and Appleby, offer a set of tools for saving money for rich elites worldwide.