Earlier today on twitter, some reports came about about Evgeni Malkin and his involvement in a company that deals in crypto-currency that may be in some hot water.
As former guest of the PensBurgh pod Isabelle Khurshudyan noted:
Interesting sports news in Russia today: Evgeni Malkin is apparently an American citizen. https://t.co/P0oDzraGCr— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 28, 2019
Isabelle tweeted in a follow-up that the sports.ru article also included more news. “Adjacent to the news about Makin’s U.S. citizenship, this story says he lost a $4 million investment in a blockchain (crypto) startup that could present legal issues for him.”
Then a bit further detail filtered into English:
Malkin has not been involved in day-to-day activites of the company. HOWEVER: His signatures are on some pretty significant documents and technically would face jail time if found guilty.— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) October 28, 2019
It's believed that Malkin wasn't informed or knew about the scam.
A lawyer has explained that ''Malkin never once visited our [law companies] office. All the decisions were made by two other people.''— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) October 28, 2019
Lawyer also claims that he HAS seen and held Malkin's American passport.
Today in the lockeroom as soon as a reporter started with a question, “Geno there was something on the internet” Malkin cut her off right there and knew exactly what the question was going to be and was ready to address the situation head-on.
“No, forget it,” he interrupted. “It’s garbage.”
Malkin did confirm the part of the report stating he has a second passport and is a dual Russian-American citizen now, citing “rules” they have in Russia and it being fairly normal for someone in his position to seek a second passport for his “second home”.
Malkin then circled back seemingly to talking about his involvement in the company saying, “I knew I’m [a] good guy. I don’t know what to say about that. A little bit crazy this morning for me. I know it’s nothing bad for me.”
Josh Yohe at The Athletic shed a bit more light on the situation:
Two sources close to Malkin said several details of the [sports.ru] report are not factual. The sources confirmed to The Athletic Malkin’s involvement in a “business matter that won’t impact Evgeni playing for the Penguins” or “prevent Evgeni from traveling outside the United States.” Also, the sources said, Malkin had already pulled from the startup most of his investment, which the sources stressed was “much less significant than $4 million.”
The sources said Malkin was seeking legal counsel to resolve any lingering issues related to that specific business and that he would not be commenting publicly on the matter.
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said in a text message he did not have “enough information to comment.”
We’ll see if anything else comes of this development. If your eyes still glaze over at the mention of international business operations and terms like blockchain and crypto (and I don’t blame you) reading between the lines it seems like Malkin perhaps made an unwise investment with someone he knew personally, had little to do with the operations of a company that may/may not have allegedly been doing shady things* and now he may have lost some money because of it. Though his people have denied the $4m amount floated out there and have indicated it looks like he either is or has made plans to divest from this operation.
It wouldn’t be the first time or the last time an athlete has trusted someone close to him with a money-making idea that turned out to not work out, but beyond that it looks like neither Malkin nor the Pens seem as concerned as some Russian reports make the involvement out to be. All things considered, it’s probably best case for everyone if there is nothing further to this story and it fades out as an odd note.
(*That’s some world class hedging and CYA right there, no lawsuits for me, tyvm)