Date of birth: 08.03.1972
Place of birth: Gomel, White Russia
Education: Moscow State University, faculty of physics, 1992,
Plekhanov Russian academy of economics, specialty “Finance and credit ", 1997
1992-1993 he was Deputy headman of Moscow joint-stock bank “Premier” currency exchange office. In 1993 filled a position of Deputy chairman of board in financial and credit company “Banking institution – Bureau MDM”. In the same year established Limited liability partnership “Private security company “Arktur” in Moscow.
In 1994 was cofounder of CJSC “Kalorstroytorg”; From 1993 to 1998 filled position of chairman of “MDM – bank” board. In 1998 he became member of board in Joint-stock bank “MDM-bank; In 1999-2000 - member of supervisory council in Joint-stock bank “Moscow business world”, and also member of board in CJSC “Aviakor – aviation plant” (Samara);
In 2000 and 2002 - chairman of OSAO “RESO-Garantiya” board;
In 2000-2001 – chairman of board in OJSC Joint-stock bank “Konversbank”;
From 2002 to 2005 – member of board in “MDM Group”, also member of board in Unified Energy System of the Russian Federation and CJSC “Piped metallurgical company”.
Since 2007 Melnichenko had been the chairman of board in “Eurokhim” and member of board in Siberian Coal Energy Company; also was elected to the board of administration of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Works in supervisory board of High school of state administration in Moscow state university;
He is married with Serbian model Alexandra Nikolich.
Melnichenko started his way to business as an ordinary currency trader. In the beginning of 90 he opened currency exchange office for shuttle traders, changing rubles for dollars. In times of banking boom he became the headman of MDM bank, which survived the default.
Source: Satcor.ru from 16.01.2003
In 1997 MDM-bank got involved in criminal story with the company “Sherkhan”. Moscow chief administration of internal affairs brought a charge against its employees for illegal banking. Drug dealing Afghans got to the field of view of the law enforcement authorities. One of them was a regular visitor in “Sherkhan”. The company, supposedly, didn’t operate with cash but almost every day money bags were delivered from there to MDM.
In August 1997 law enforcement authorities arrested about 60 people connected with “Sherkhan”. 1 billion rubles was confiscated from them. MDM employees were found among the arresred. During the questioning arrested Afghans told how they legalized shady incomes. Drug dealers told that they sent earnings to “Sherkhan”, part of money were changed in MDM-bank exchange office.
Melnichenko obviously was interested in that business. He made a complaint to Moscow city prosecutor’s office about the actions of law enforcement authorities stating that police officers went beyond their power.
In 1997 Anatoliy Rabinovich was recruited to work in MDM-bank at the position of dealer. According to him, his salary calculated as percent from bank’s profit, but when he was supposed to get 7 million dollars for financial operations, Melnichenko dismissed him without payment. In 1998 Rabinovich brought an action with claim to reinstate him in a job and to charge the unpaid amount of money. At first the court refused him, but after next consideration of claim in Moscow city court Rabinovich was reinstated of employment. However, he didn’t get 7 million: MDM-bank lawyers submitted the court document, in accordance with that Rabinovich’s salary was 500 rubles.
Source: «Kommersant» № 75 (2205) from 26.04.2001
In 2000 Melnichenko was appointed headman of “Konversbank”, owned by Ministry of Nuclear Energy enterprises, being at the same time the headman of MDM-bank, that strengthened the position of MDM-bank in nuclear industry. Earlier the money of that area were distributed between “Konversbank”, “MDM”, “Alfa-bank” and “Eurofinance”. And now Melnichenko announced his plans to merge”Konversbank” with MDM-bank, which was disliked by competitors. Melnichenko was under patronage of those times Head of Ministry of Nuclear Energy, Eugeniy Adamov, therefore the businessman counted in his plans not only for self capabilities but also for administrative resources. Adamov was also closely associated with the chairman of MDM-bank board Alexander Mamut.
Source: «Kommersant» № 116 (2246) from 05.07.2001
“Konversbank” was one of the biggest in the area, served Ministry of Nuclear Energy enterprises. Filling the post of “Konversbank” board chairman, Melnichenko began to control flows of strategic industry. In a fact minister of Nuclear Energy, Evgeny Adamov, granted industry state bank to MDM-bank.
Source: Satcor.ru from 16.01.2003
In 2001 MDM group bought 8-th emission of “Konversbank” shares.
In the end of March 2001 minister of Nuclear Energy instead of Eugeniy Adamov was appointed Alexander Rumyantsev. As with the former minister Melnichenko was in good relations, after the new appointment it was rumoured that the merger of two banks could be disturbed.
At the annual “Konversbank” shareholders’ meeting on June 22nd 2001 the matter of merger should have been decided, after that 80% of nuclear industry money would have come under MDM control.
Shareholders came to a conflict at the meeting, part of them asked to replace anonymous inquiries with opened voting, but they didn’t come to an agreement and announced a break till July 12th. However Moscow Meschanskiy court issued determination, forbidding to execute decisions of the meeting. The determination was secured measure for the claim of “Konversbank” shareholder Nikolay Makarov, who asked to recognize the annual meeting unaccomplished – no decisions of the meeting could be implemented till the decision at the action is done. That determination made the merger of MDM and “Konversbank” impossible. Melnichenko’s plans to concentrate 80% of nuclear money in MDM-bank were disturbed.
Melnichenko passed an opinion that the conflict between shareholders of “Konversbank” – the result of influence from “Alfa-bank”, competing with MDM about nuclear industry money. Melnichenko stated that Alfa-bank was recently loosing clients at the nuclear market. Shortly after the court determination his text was anonymously distributed in mass media and information agencies. It was not ruled out that the useful information could be spread in Alfa-bank. The management of the bank denied that fact, but underlined, that supported principles of fair competition, mentioning most likely disagreement with the merger of MDM and “Konvers”.
Source: «Kommersant» № 116 (2246) from 05.07.2001
Soon after that occasions the Association of commercial banks of St Petersburg excluded MDM from it’s list. The executive director of the Association Victor Titov motivated that the bank had a membership dues debt and that it didn’t participate in organization’s activities.
Source: "Kommersant-SPb" № 121 (2251) from 12.07.2001
The deadlock situation with the merger of MDM and “Konversbank” Melnichenko wanted to solve by proposing Ministry of Nuclear Energy to sell “Konversbank” at an opened auction.
Source: «Kommersant» № 139 (2269) from 07.08.2001
In October 2001 Alexander Mamut left the post of MDM-bank supervisory board chairman. Before his appointment to the position in 1999 he was the board member of “Sobinbank”, connected with the scandal about Russian accounts in Bank of New York.
Source: «Kommersant» № 178/П (2308) from 01.10.2001
The scandal was attributed with the name of Melnichenko because of Mamut. The main point of the scandal was that the company “Benex” via Bank of New York transferred from Russia $7 billion. American law enforcement authorities named bank “DKB” the major client of “Benex”. According to court materials the owners of “DKB” were some bigger companies, participating in money laundering scheme. MDM-bank and “Sobinbank” were listed among them. As Mamut was the supervisory board chairman in MDM-bank, and before – the member of “Sobinbank” board, most journalists associated also Melnichenko with money laundering scandal. He denied his connection with scheme “DKB-Benex”.
Source: Wall Street Journal from 18.02.2000
New chairman of MDM-bank board was appointed Melnichenko. Journalists linked Mamut’s leaving with the cool down in relations between him and Melnichenko. Mamut openly criticized Central Bank approach to bank reform, but Melnichenko didn’t like that because no one from Russian bankers dared to conflict with Central Bank.
Source: «Kommersant» № 178/П (2308) from 01.10.2001
In November 2001 was supposedly killed well-known Russian criminal, leader of Izmailovo criminal group, Anton Malevskiy (he smashed in parachute jump). The messages in some mass media about his death were under heading “The real owner of MDM-bank is killed”. The real connection between Melnichenko and Malevskiy nobody could define, but conjectures occurred most likely because MDM-bank didn’t disclose for a long time names of it’s shareholders. It made the information area nervous. Nevertheless, MDM press service didn’t have any reaction to such headings.
Source: "Novaya gazeta" from 26.11.2001
On August 31st “Konversbank” shareholders’ meeting took place in Moscow, where the structures of MDM group under direction of Melnichenko elected subsidiary supervisory board. At the response their rivals under command of JSC “TWEL” Vice-president Vitaliy Konovalov (former chairman of “Konversbank” supervisory board before the meeting on August 31st , leader of nuclear industry enterprises – shareholders of “Konversbank”) decided to organize alternative shareholders’ meeting in Sverdlovsk region Lesnoy city, which was underground control-access object. Thereby, MDM representatives couldn’t get there. Konovalov told that meeting was the only legitimate.
Such alternative meetings were held a lot by MDM opponents and the bank itself to show all absurdity of the situation. After each meeting some physical person brought an action to recognize the meeting illegal. Numerous courts first accepted and than cancelled their decisions. The purpose of that was not to allow the 8-th emission of bank’s shares.
Source: «Kommersant» № 186 (2316) from 11.10.2001
Finally, in the end of 2001 appeals instance of Moscow arbitrage court cancelled the decision of Moscow arbitration court about recognition of “Konversbank” extra shareholders’ meeting from August 31st , during which they succeeded in electing loyal supervisory board and bank management, invalid, that was a recognition of “Konversbank” merger by MDM-bank. Thereby, Melnichenko had a win which later turned out to be incomplete.
Source: «Kommersant» № 220 (2350) from 30.11.2001
Central Bank, however, refused to register report about eighth bank emission, and MDM didn’t get 62% of “Konversbank” shares. After that Central Bank made an audit in “Konversbank”.
By the results of audit many violations were found. Bank violated some Central Bank regulations, and also some credits for the same clients in “Konversbank” and MDM-bank were revealed, which made-up MDM activity results. The Commission came to a conclusion about low management level in “Konversbank” and recommended to replace its headman Melnichenko for someone else.
Sources: Magazine «Money» № 4 (359) from 06.02.2002, «Kommersant» № 8/П (2377) from 21.01.2002
In the end of 2001 came up information about MDM-bank function system, which clarified that Melnichenko intended to transfer by 8-th emission 62% of “Konversbank” to MDM affiliate companies. It became clear that all 9 companies from “Konversbank” new shareholders were closed up to off-shore companies via front companies. “Energy Invest & Trade Corporation”, accused of mediation between Russian and western structures, intending to bring nuclear waste in the country, was among them.
Source: Compromat.ru from 05.12.2001
In January 2002 after audit, that revealed numerous violations, Central Bank stroke Melnichenko a blow by approving with opposition shareholders the candidacy of Vladimir Scheglov to the position of new headman of “Konversbank”. Scheglov was acceptable by Central Bank and he wouldn’t act on behalf of MDM.
In the beginning of 2003 “Konversbank” was sold to “Akademhimbank” shareholders.
Source: Magazine «Money» № 4 (359) from 06.02.2002, "Vedomosti" from 11.01.2005
From February 2001 MDM was buying up shares of country’s big coalers, merging them under Siberian Coal Energy Company “Baykal-ugol” management. The major competitor of Siberian Coal Energy Company was Krasnoyarsk Coal Company; MDM was not satisfied with its pricing policy. Merger of Krasnoyarsk Coal Company would let MDM become coal monopolist at the Far East.
Source: Satcor.ru from 16.01.2003
In spring 2001 Melnichenko launched coal business capturing. First Krasnoyarsk administration entrusted “Krasugol” holding of stock to the structures of MDM. Owned by the region holding of stock of “KATEK-invest” was not taken to balance in time by local committee for the administration of state property, and it came to Siberian Coal Energy Company “Baykal-ugol”, which got also in disposal of MDM. MDM passed 76 % of “Krasugol” shares to OJSC “Federal investment chamber”. Anti-monopoly officials instituted legal proceeding but by that time it became clear that there were no such OJSC registered at the address in Petrozavodsk, it acted on behalf of off-shore companies. Thereby, MDM transferred to off-shores former assets of state company.
After that MDM became a price-leader at the local market. Doubling prices, it offered Krasnoyarsk region administration to take credit in MDM as a way out of coal crisis. However the governor Alexander Khloponin refused to put the region in economical dependence from MDM.
In November 2002 «Rosuglesbit», a part of MDM group Siberian Coal Energy Company “Baykal-ugol” holding , temporarily stopped coal deliveries to “Krasnoyarskenergo”, which had lead to suspension of boilers’ functioning, and citizens of Krasnoyarsk region left without heating in cold time.
Source: "Sobesednik" from 14.11.2002
Criminal story of deputy CEO of OJSC “Risuglesbit” Ivan Kartashev murder was connected with the coal conflict. In autumn 2002 parliamentarians addressed an inquiry to Prosecutor’s General office, linking the murder with establishing by MDM vertically integrated company. Kartashev started to work for MDM in May 2002 at the position of “Rosuglesbit” CEO, structural unit of Siberian Coal Energy Company owned by MDM. Kartashev got down to “Krasugol” problems right after 60% of company’s shares went to MDM. Soon after that the shares were re-registered for MDM affiliate companies that had led to a common dissatisfaction in the region. Kartashev had to somehow reassure everybody. But later he got to a conflict with the owner of Siberian Coal Energy Company Oleg Miserva.
First Miserva reduced Kartashev and he decided to leave his position. Miserva persuaded him to use terminal leave, Kartashev agreed. He gad no time already to dismiss. Approximately at the same time former “Rosuglesbit” manager Ostrovlyanchik died. Coal industry representatives assumed that they both knew too much about MDM operations, however, there were other versions.
Source: Compromat.ru from 04.11.2002
Melnichenko’s financial interests concerned also mass media. He joined the group of “Sixth channel” founders, led by Oleg Kiselev, together with Unified Energy System of the Russian Federation headman Anatoliy Chubais, Alexander Mamut and head of “Bazoviy element” supervisory board Oleg Deripaska. That group of founders joined the founders of non-commercial partnership “Media-socium”, new owner of “Sixth button”, head of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Arkadiy Volskiy and Chamber of Commerce chairman Evgeniy Primakov.
Sourec: "Nezavisimaya gazeta" from 08.08.2002
In May 2003 the report “Oligarchic revolution is expected in Russia” of National strategy council was published. The oligarch’s tax pressing started at the same time with proceeding against “Yukos”. It the list of harmful for economic activity persons were mentioned Melnichenko, Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Fridman, Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Potanin.
Source: «Rossiyskie vesti» from 12.11.2003
It was also announced in that report that in December 2002 exchange analytics stated in mass media that they suspected affiliate structures of Oleg Deripaska, Roman Abramovich and Melnichenko of buying out shares of led by Anatoliy Chubais Unified Energy System of the Russian Federation.
In 2004 MDM group announced of self dissolution, it was replaced by two holdings: Siberian Coal Energy Company and “Eurokhim”.
Source: "Vedomosti" from 08.04.2004
In summer 2004 investigators confiscated documents in MDM-bank Moscow office as part of criminal case against Siberian Coal Energy Company, suspected of tax evasions of a deal when Krasnoyarsk coal company sold opencast colliery shares to Siberian Coal Energy Company affiliate companies. Siberian Coal Energy Company and MDM-bank had common shareholders including Melnichenko, that became the reason for search in MDM-bank.
Source: "Vremya novostei" from 17.06.2004
In 2005 Chamber of Accounts revealed violations done in process of “Konversbank” privatization. Auditors considered that state owned organizations should have passed “Konversbank” holdings of stock to Property Ministery, but they passed them to private companies. Thereby MDM group got them illegally.
Source: "Vedomosti" from 11.01.2005
In 2008 Melnichenko started to plan cooperation between “Eurokhim” and Gomel chemical plant. Melnichenko planned construction of a new plant department in his native town. It should have been a joint project on production of complex mineral fertilizers. More that 99% of Gomel chemical plant stock was White Russia state owned. According to a plan "Eurokhim" should have provided the enterprise with raw materials – apatite concentrates, which was not available in White Russia. In exchange "Eurokhim" according to a plan should have got part of finished products. Journalists emphasized White Russia President Alexander Lukashenko’s friendly attitude to Melnichenko.
Source: «Kommersant» № 24 (3841) from 14.02.2008
In 2009 Melnichenko offered White Russia President Alexander Lukashenko to sell Gomel chemical plant for $111 million. Lukashenko told it was a giveaway price and state enterprise would not be sold for it. It was extremely disadvantageous for White Russia that Melnichenko invested to chemical industry, delivered missing raw materials, however, the price he gave, according to analytics, was not adequate even for crisis.
Source: «Kommersant» № 101/П (4156) from 08.06.2009