Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ Abdulaziz named in money-laundering trial

November 24, 2019 04:14pm
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Photo: Courtesy of the NYRA

Upon its founding in 2017, Amer Abdulaziz Salman’s Phoenix Thoroughbreds made a swift and far-reaching impact on global racing. Self-proclaimed as the “world’s first regulated thoroughbred fund,” Phoenix -- whose investors Abdulaziz has never identified -- paid out vast sums to acquire high-end bloodstock, resulting in major wins around the world.

This week as part of the trial of Mark Scott, a U.S.-based lawyer who was found guilty of money laundering as part of the international OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, the Racing Post reports Abdulaziz was named as having stolen $110 million as part of the fraud and using those funds to launch Phoenix Thoroughbreds.

Racing Post notes “the stunning claim” was made during the testimony of Konstantin Ignatov, who co-founded the fake cryptocurrency OneCoin. Ingatov, who pleaded guilty to the scam worth an estimated $4 billion, said Abdulaziz was one of the operation’s money launderers. 

“Amer Abdulaziz, after he stole 100 million euros from OneCoin, he started buying racehorses for, like, 25 million euros. [He was] one of the main money-launderers,” Ingatov testified. 

In a Racing Post profile published in September 2018, Abdulaziz said to that point Phoenix had spent $55 million building its global racing operation. 

Phoenix Thoroughbreds has tallied Grade 1 wins in the U.S. and Australia and also been in the winner’s circle at Royal Ascot. Among its notable U.S.-based runners are Gronkowski, who was second in this year’s Dubai World Cup, and Grade 1 winner Dream Tree. 

Abdulaziz has previously declined to reveal any investors in Phoenix, saying only that they are “non-racing people” who don’t wish to be identified.


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