Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld this week notified Congress that two former U.S. House members are advocating in Washington for a Ukrainian financial and industrial company owned by that country's wealthiest individual.
Former Reps. Victor Fazio (D-Calif.) and Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), senior advisers at the firm, are among the Akin lobbyists representing Rinat Akhmetov's System Capital Management Ltd. (SCM) before the executive branch and Congress on issues related to international trade, energy and U.S.-Ukraine policy, a lobbying registration report shows. They also are talking with federal officials about the Barack Obama administration's 2010 goal to double U.S. exports before 2015 and other "matters of importance to the business interests of SCM," according to the filing.
Partners Sean D’Arcy, Stephen Kho and James Tucker Jr., as well as consultant Janine Smith, are the other lobbyists on the account. Smith didn’t have an immediate comment. The other lobbyists couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Akin is the only firm currently registered with Congress to lobby for SCM, according to congressional records. But Covington & Burling and First International Resources advocated for the company in 2008.
The company paid Akin $160,000 for its lobbying efforts. First international Resources received $90,000.
SCM has an ownership interest in more than 100 companies with operations in Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, Bulgaria and the United States. The businesses are involved in several industries, including mining, energy, finance and transportation. United Coal Co., which operates mines in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, is one of those companies.
Forbes magazine this year placed Akhmetov at No. 39 on its annual list of billionaires. His net worth is $16 billion.