Radio Free Europe

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American Investor Known For Russian Nightclub, Pro-Ukrainian Stances, Found Dead In Washington, D.

Dan Rapoport opened a swanky nightclub in downtown Moscow called Soho Rooms, which became the go-to location for Moscow’s elite, Russian and foreign alike. (file photo)

Dan Rapoport opened a swanky nightclub in downtown Moscow called Soho Rooms, which became the go-to location for Moscow’s elite, Russian and foreign alike. (file photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An American stockbroker, who made a fortune in the Russian market in the 1990s and 2000s and later co-founded a posh Moscow nightclub before leaving the country, died after being being found lying on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C., police said.
Police said they were investigating the death of Dan Rapoport, 52, who was found outside an apartment building in a northwestern district of the U.S. capital, but there were no immediate indications of foul play. A preliminary police report said officers responded to a report of a “jumper” on the evening of August 14, and the man, later identified as Rapoport, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead. The police report said officers found $2,620 in cash on Rapoport when they discovered his body on the sidewalk, along with headphones, a cracked cell phone, a Florida driver’s license, and other items. He was wearing flip-flops. Police said there were no witnesses. It wasn’t clear whether Rapoport was living in the apartment building. He had recently moved back to Washington after spending several years working in finance in Ukraine. A police spokeswoman referred further questions from RFE/RL to the city’s medical examiner’s offices. An official with that office confirmed that an autopsy was pending, but had no other information. The FBI did not immediately respond to queries about whether it was involved in the investigation. Rapoport's wife, Alonya, a native of Ukraine, did not immediately respond to a Facebook message, but she confirmed his death on her Facebook page.

Go-To Location
A native of Latvia and a fluent Russian speaker, Rapoport emigrated with his family to the United States in 1980. After graduation from a U.S. university, he moved to Russia in the early 1990s as a wave of privatizations swept across the country. The privatizations created a booming stock market, minting a new generation of millionaires, Russian and foreign. Rapoport was respected within Russian financial circles, where he worked for a local brokerage called CenterInvest. He claimed his clients included some of the nation's wealthiest tycoons. In 2007, he opened a swanky nightclub in downtown Moscow called Soho Rooms, which became the go-to location for Moscow’s elite, Russian and foreign alike. In 2012, he left Russia and returned to the United States, and set up a company called Rapoport Capital, which described him as "an experienced investor involved in deal flow valued at over $8 billion including start-ups, private placements, IPO’s, buybacks, and other finance transactions.”
The company’s website said it was registered in Washington, D.C., though public records say the company was registered in St. Petersburg, Florida, in February 2022. An e-mail sent to the company’s website was not immediately responded to. In 2016, four years after leaving Russia, Rapaport set up an office in Kyiv and opened a private equity fund . In social media posts, he was a vocal supporter of Ukraine, and an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Rapoport gained a degree of publicity in January 2017, after The New York Times reported that the daughter and son-in-law of newly elected President Donald Trump had purchased a mansion owned by him and his first wife. The mansion was located in an exclusive neighborhood of the U.S capital. Later that same month, Raporport's co-founder of the Soho Rooms nightclub, Sergei Tkachenko, was found dead outside a Moscow building. Investigators said Tkachenko's body was found on a building awning “with injuries typical of a fall from a great height.”
In 2018, the open-source investigative organization Bellingcat reported that Rapoport had been the creator of a fictional persona named David Jewberg, who was frequently quoted in Ukrainian media as a senior Pentagon analyst.

Todd Prince reported from Washington, D.C. Mike Eckel reported from Prague.

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