Michael Caputo funnels FDA funds to Den Tolmor, friend of Russian spy family

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Sources linked at end of page.


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Department of Health & Human Services spokesperson (and Russian agent) Michael Caputo awards a contract worth $15 million to Atlas Research using funds from the Food & Drug Administration. There’s one condition, however.

Caputo insists that Atlas Research hires a company named DD&T Group as a subcontractor. DD&T is owned by Caputo’s longtime business partner and Russian-born filmmaker Den Tolmor.

Tolmor was Caputo’s client as recently as April 2020, compensating Caputo at least $5,000 per year to handle his public relations, according to a copy of Caputo’s ethics disclosure form obtained by POLITICO. The two men also went into business together to launch a video streaming platform and other services in 2017 and 2018.


Tolmor goes on to produce videos for the Trump administration’s COVID-19 propaganda campaign, which was arranged by Caputo at HHS with funding diverted from the CDC. It’s possible, even likely, that this $15 million contract is for that advertising campaign. That detail is blurry at the time of this writing.

At the time, the FDA is unaware that $15 million was taken from them for the contract.

Coincidence or Corruption?

The same day that Caputo awards the contract to Atlas Research, Den Tolmor registers a new company in Florida: President Next Door LLC.

Also listed on the filing is Joel Giambra, a former New York politician and friend of Michael Caputo. Giambra considered running for governor of New York in 2018. Caputo and Giambra met with other friends John Zagame and Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the president of Somalia, last September.

Russian Ties

Caputo previously led marketing for another Den Tolmor company, Bond.pm. At Bond.pm, Caputo and Tolmor worked with two interesting figures. Their names are Marc Vayn and Arkady Sandler.

Arkady Sandler is, as of 2019, a senior executive at Mobile TeleSystems, Russia’s largest mobile network.

Marc Vayn’s birth name is Marc Morgovsky. His parents, Naum and Irina Morgovsky, are Russian spies. They pled guilty in 2018 to exporting military equipment to Russia’s FSB. (The FSB and the SVR are 21st century successors to Soviet Russia’s KGB.) They owned a night-vision company that had military contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense. Mark Vayn also owns a night-vision company with defense contracts, American Technologies Network. ATN was once investigated by ICE because they believed it was being used to export materials to other countries illegally. Six years later, in 2012, the Morgovskys started using shell companies to purchase equipment from ATN and ship the equipment to Russia.

Tolmor is also co-director of a company called Happy Elf CBD Corp. with Lana Vayn, presumably Marc’s wife. Marc and Lana Vayn have another company, TheOpticGuru Corp, that’s registered at the same address as Tolmor’s Happy Elf. The location is in Doral, Florida, just an eight minute drive from the Trump International Doral Golf Resort. Based on a quick Google search, TOG appears to be a company used to sell Vayn’s ATN products on Amazon and eBay.

Another interesting Bond.pm associate is the young CTO Alex / Aleksei Smirnov. He currently lives in Spain, according to his Facebook, but was born in Russia and graduated from Moscow State. He runs a crypto company named Phenom.

The Russian ties to Den Tolmor and DD&T Group go deeper.

DD&T is listed as a the vice president of DSS Trading Group. Sergey Petrushin, the president of Michael Caputo Public Relations, is listed as a director / officer of DSS Trading.

Another officer of DSS Trading is Makemore Assets & Trading, a Florida company whose president is Stanislav Vasilchikov. Vasilchikov is also listed on the registration of a mystery company called STASCO Holdings.

That company could be part of Shell International Trading and Shipping Company (STASCO), which is a partner of Gazprom Neft.

Gazprom Neft is a subsidiary of Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy company that Michael Caputo used to work for.

Atlas Executives & Shell Companies

Atlas Research, the recipient of the $15 million contract, has existed for 12 years and appears to be a reputable organization. Two of its executive members have questionable ties outside of the company, though.

CEO Ryung Suh and Senior Vice President Marie Minier have registered four unknown companies in the past two years.

On August 6, 2018, Suh and Minier registered Anteris Technologies LLC and Anteris Ventures LLC in Washington, D.C. Ryung’s wife Yono Suh is also listed.

On September 5, 2018, Suh registered Anteris Partners LLC in Texas. The company’s address is Suh’s home address.

On May 8, 2019, the Suh couple and Minier registered a fourth company, Anteris Holdings LLC, also in Washington, D.C.

All three Washington, D.C. companies are registered to the address of a condo.

Many of these connections in this file were brought to our attention by Wendy Siegelman.


























Photo: Leigh Vogel

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