Oleg Tinkov to pay $500m after pleading guilty to US tax fraud

The Russian billionaire and former team owner pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return

Oleg Tinkov
(Image credit: Getty)

Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of WorldTour team Team Tinkoff-Saxo, has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in a 2013 US tax fraud case.

The 53-year-old Russian billionaire has agreed to pay more than £500 million, having hid $1 billion in assets and income after renouncing his US citizenship three days on from Tinkoff Credit Systems going public on the London Stock Exchange.

Tinkov was originally arrested in February 2020 in London while he was fighting extradition to the United States of America, undergoing treatment for leukemia at the same time.

The half a billion sum Tinkov has agreed to pay includes unpaid taxes from 2013, the penalty for civil fraud, as well as interest. Tinkov's estimated fortune is around $8 billion.

>>> Peter Sagan to ride Paris-Roubaix on a Specialized S-Works Roubaix with mechanical gears

In 2013, Tinkov's wealth tipped over the billion mark after he sold $192 million worth of TCS shares following his bank's initial public offering on the stock exchange. Yet he only declared $206,000 in tax.

He will be sentenced on October 29 in Oakland, California.

“Per the terms of the plea agreement, the parties have agreed to recommend a custodial sentence of time served, followed by one year of supervised release, and an additional fine of $250,000," the Department of Justice said.

“Oleg Tinkov brazenly violated United States tax law. No one who enjoys the immense benefits of United States citizenship, as Tinkov did, may avoid the corresponding obligation to support the country he chose," added acting US Attorney Stephanie Hinds. "Tax evaders should take notice of the long reach of US law enforcement.”

After being arrested in 2020, Tinkov's bail had been set at £20 million, with a strict curfew meaning he had to stay within the M25 motorway and remain in his £7 million Kensington flat from 7pm to 7am every night.

This hasn't stopped him from apparently building his first megayacht, according to Forbes, a 252-foot ship named La Datcha, costing more than £100 million.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.