Born on January 16, 1952 in Uman’, Cherkasky region of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1981, Mikhail Chernoy graduated from the department "organization of production" of the mechanical faculty of the Polytechnic Tashkent Institute.
From 1981 Chernoy worked in the football team of the first league "Start", was an administrator, the head of the team, even though Chernoy himself told that after graduation he began working at one of the factories in the local industry: he was a foreman, the head of the workshop, the deputy head of production.
In the early 1980's, Chernoy got acquainted and became friends with the chief coach of the USSR's tennis team Shamil Tarpischev.
In 1985, Mikhail’s brother, Lev, who worked as the head of product quality board in a branch of the Tashkent excavator plant, created one of the first production cooperatives in Uzbekistan. He got Mikhail Chernoy involved in the work there. Money for promotion of their business the brothers Chernoy got due to their links with the Uzbek criminal community, primarily with Gafur Rakhimov and Tofik Arifov. Mass media reported that the cooperative of Chernoy brothers was used by the criminal gangs to launder the proceeds from racketeering, prostitution, trafficking of arms and drugs. In the future, Chernoy often used his acquaintances in the criminal circles.
In 1987 in Uzbekistan Chernoy met the future head of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) – the businessman Iskander Makhmudov, which he later called the most reliable partner.
In 1988, Chernoy moved to Moscow, and next year he got acquainted with the former head of the central grocery store in Odessa, who went to live in America - Sam (Semen) Kislin, the owner of Trans Commodities, together with him the brothers Chernoy began exporting iron, charred coal and coal from the USSR. The part of the raw products were sold in Russia and the Ukraine, mainly, these were barters - the exchange of cars Lada, sugar and food.
The Russian media also named another partner of Kislin and the brothers Chernoy - the former deputy CEO of the Karaganda Metallurgical Complex, now the de facto owner of the Novolipetsk metallurgical complex Vladimir Lisin.
Chernoy started a more serious business in 1990, when the first major contract for the supply of charred coal was signed with the Austrian-Yugoslav company “Metal Antstalt”.
Among the more recent large-scale business projects of the entrepreneur was mentioned the organization of the production of charred coal from purchased coal at Avdeevsky, Kemerovsky and Lisichansky coke-chemical plants, as well as in the various coal mines of Russia and the Ukraine.
The expansion of Trans Commodities operations grew in the first half of 1992, Mikhail and Lev Chernoy registered the company “Trans CIS Commodities Ltd.” in Monaco. The business of Trans Commodities actually moved to this company - but without Sam Kislin, who unsuccessfully tried to get the civilized division of business - he never received his smart money. When the alliance was broken, Mikhail Chernoy took his manager Iskander Makhmudov on as a partner. Simultaneously, he set up companies in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Cyprus and other countries which were managed by the lawyers from “Prasidal Anstalt” in Liechtenstein, and later – its “subsidiary company” Syndikus.
In 1992, the brothers Chernoy got other new partners – the British businessmen David and Simon Ruben. It was reported that Lev Chernoy got acquainted with them in 1991: the Ruben company Trans World Metal Ltd. rendered intermediary services at that time in the delivery of small quantities of tin to the London Metal Exchange and cooperated with the foreign trade association "Raznoimport”, which specialized in supplies of the Soviet aluminum. The Rubens and Lev Chernoy established a joint offshore company Trans World Group (TWG), which soon received the permission from the Russian government for duty-free exports of aluminum and imports of alumina. Some sources reported that Mikhail Chernoy was also among the co-owners of TWG, but he himself told about the establishment of a joint venture on a par with the TWG.
After the start of privatization in Russia the brothers Chernoy started buying privatization vouchers in Russia and then began to establish control over the plants through the acquisition of the substantial parcel of their shares. By the middle of 1990s TWG became the owner of the large parcels of shares of Bratsk (Bratsk Aluminum Smelter), Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter) and Sayan (Sayanogorsk Aluminum Smelter) aluminum smelters and began to control the financial flows of Novokuznetsk (Novokuznetsk Aluminum Smelter) and Bogoslovsk aluminum smelters. It was confirmed that the company controlled 73 percent of aluminum production in Russia. In addition, the brothers Chernoy and TWG became the owners of large parcels of shares of the Russia's largest steel producers - Novolipetsk and Magnitogorsk metallurgical complexes.
In the end of 1996 – the beginning of 1997 because of the emerged disagreements, Mikhail Chernoy was offered to withdraw from the common business and sell the shares of the plants, which he co-owned with Lev Chernoy and TWG. After the sale of the part of the aluminum enterprises shares, the part of the shares of the plant in Sayanogorsk - Sayanogorsk Aluminum Smelter were left to Mikhail Chernoy, as well as the shares of copper and coal businesses.
The businessman Oleg Deripaska became the partner of Chernoy and soon they became the co-owners of a controlling parcel of Sayanogorsk Aluminum Smelter, which became the parent structure of the group "Siberian Aluminum”, which was headed by Deripaska. Mikhail Chernoy chose to stay in the shadow. In 1997 it was decided to merge the businesses of Chernoy and Deripaska into one structure. They established “Radom Foundation” where they intended to bring in their assets. Chernoy and Deripaska became the main owners, Makhmudov, Andrew Malevsky were also the company founders. The latter two were the leaders of the organized criminal groups.
In 1994, Chernoy emigrated to Israel. The information about his business after his departure to Israel is very random. In 2003 the media reported that Chernoy headed a number of companies, in particular, he was named as the owner of the Bulgarian Football Club “Levski”, the company "MobiTel", the only national GSM operator. Chernoy controlled the part of the business of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC), in 2000 he controlled about 45% of shares of the group "Siberian aluminum". Chernoy with the partners almost entirely controlled the Bulgarian oil trading group Naftex, a number of metallurgical enterprises in Bulgaria and the group Technology Industry (development and sales of innovative technologies for the industry, including aircraft and defense industry).
In 2002, mass media reported that Chernoy sold all Russian assets belonging to him. The shares of aluminum smelters passed into the ownership of Oleg Deripaska, and his stakes in copper and coal companies, as well as in the steel industry enterprises passed to the group of Iskander Makhmudov. Chernoy sold his shares in copper refineries, coal companies “Kuzbassrazrezugol”, "Altaykoks", etc.), in ferrous metallurgy enterprises (Kachkanarsky mining and concentration complex, Nizhnetagilsky metallurgical complex, Metallurgical Plant named after Serov and others) to the group of Maxmudov. It was reported that for the stakes of Chernoy and Maxmudov in the aluminum smelters, which were managed by “Siberian Aluminium” before its transfer to “Rusal”, Deripaska paid the shares of the coal and copper companies.
In 2005, the businessman Vadim Rabinovich acquired the newspaper “Moskovskie Novosti” ("Moscow News") – Mikhail Chernoy (who is according to some sources, is the de facto owner of the newspaper) gave money for the acquisition of this edition to Rabinovitch.
As for Mikhail Chernoy’s fortune, the publications in the Israeli press in 2009 gave information that Chernoy himself assessed his fortune at $ 5 billion.
Chernoy is married for the second time, he is the father of the four daughters. It was reported that Chernoy lives with his family near the capital of Israel Tel-Aviv. His brother, Lev Chernoy appeared in the press as the director of the Institute for Advanced Scientific Research, Ph.D., the member of the Academy of Social Sciences, as well as a businessman, developer, who is financing a range of projects on innovation economy and is leading scientific and social activities. The younger brother of Mikhail Chernoy, David, is rarely mentioned in the press – it was only reported that he lives in the U.S., and is not very well known in Russia. However, in one interview Mikhail Chernoy mentioned him as a partner of his middle brother, Lev.
Source: "Zerkalo Nedeli (“Mirror of the week”) № 15 (132) from 12.04.1997, “Novy Region” ("New Region") from 17.06.1999, www.aksnews.ru, «The Observer» from 03.06.2007, "Kommersant-Dengi» № 1 from 09.01.2006, "Finance» № 6 (192) from 18.02.2007, “Sobesednik” ("Interlocutor") from 28.05.2003
In the publications about the start of his business career, Mikhail Chernoy was said to earn his initial capital on the shady transactions with fake aviso - the largest financial fraud of the 90s, which cost the Russian banking system several billion dollars. Mikhail Chernoy was then targeted in a number of criminal cases, connected with counterfeit aviso, but none of them was brought to an end. In 1995, the Ministry of Internal Affairs was investigating a criminal case of the "Chechen aviso" concerning the activities of the company, close to the brothers Chernoy, Trans CIS Commodities. This company earned its initial capital through asset-stripped banks in Chechnya due to fake aviso. But as the archives of the Central Bank in Grozny were destroyed during the first Chechen war, the investigation reached a stalemate and the criminal case was dismissed.
Source: "Profile» № 36 (497) from 02.10.2006
By the initiative of the brothers Mikhail and Lev Chernoy since 1992 the following scheme was extended - the scheme of processing raw materials in the regime “under customs supervision”, which freed aluminum producers from payment of the customs duties and taxes, but leaving about 2 / 3 of the foreign exchange earnings on the accounts of intermediator companies. Mass media reported that the brothers Chernoy created their fortune due to aluminum tolling. The essence of the tolling scheme of Chernoy was as follows: an aluminum plant did not participate in the purchase of raw materials or in sales of metal but provided services to company-toller which supplied the plant with clay and took away metal. Aluminum plant received a minimal fee for their services and all proceeds from the deal remained in Chernoy’s company-toller, registered in the offshore area and not imposed by any taxes. Thus, the revenue base of the plant was reduced to a minimum and the incomings of the toller grew to a maximum. It was suggested that the tolling scheme for Chernoy was developed by Vladimir Lisin, the current owner of the Novolipetsk metallurgical plant, who was then the employee at TWG and who was supported by ex-deputy Prime Minister of Russia, now the president of the Association of the Financial Industrial Groups Oleg Soskovets.
Source: "Conservator" from 21.02.2003
In the early 90s Mikhail Chernoy was accused in a series of raider attacks. In particular, the brothers Mikhail and Lev Chernoy and their company TWG did not always purchase the large stakes of the following enterprises by legal means - Bratsk (Bratsk Aluminum Smelter), Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter) and Sayan (Sayanogorsk Aluminum Smelter) aluminum smelters, Novolipetsk and Magnitogorsk metallurgical complexes and began to control the financial flows of Novokuznetsk (Novokuznetsk Aluminum Smelter) and Bogoslovsk aluminum smelters.
Aluminum in this period was an object of interest of criminal groups, thus different aluminum smelters became the target of the struggle between various criminal groups, including the mentioned opposition between TWG and the Krasnoyarsk businessman Anatoly Bykov for control over Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter and Achinsk alumina refinery. As a result, in Krasnoyarsk in the end of July-the beginning of August there were a number of businessmen murders in the companies collaborating with the brothers Chernoy. Afterwards, there were staff transfers at the Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant.
The aluminum business of Chernoy also caused damage to some western corporations. In 1994, Chernoy emigrated to Israel, was granted Israeli citizenship, but the aluminum plants in Russia were under the control of the brothers Chernoy until 1997.
Source: “Kommersant” № 1975 (1478) from 28.04.1998, “The Observer” from 03.06.2007
By the middle of 90s the brothers Mikhail and Lev Chernoy controlled the largest Russian enterprises of ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy through the company TWG, which was a complex system of offshores. Lev was responsible for the financial side and Mikhail was engaged in the security of the business through criminal structures. In addition, Mikhail Chernoy provided criminal support of the Russian businessmen, in particular, of Vladimir Lisin, the actual owner of Novolipetsk Metallurgical Complex and Iskander Makhmudov (the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company). At this very time Mikhail Chernoy became known in some circles as "Misha-Krysha” (Roof)
Source: www.rosbalt.ru on 06/05/2007
In May 1994, Mikhail Chernoy and his future wife were detained at London's Airport Heathrow as they tried to enter the UK using false Polish passports. They were deported to Switzerland, where they, among other things, were presented the same charges. In June 1994, the Chernoy was not allowed to enter Switzerland and Liechtenstein for two years.
Source: www.rospres.com from 01.04.2009
The names of Mikhail and Lev Chernoy, as well as the criminal authority Alimzhan Tohtahunov (Tayvanchik) are mentioned in the call recording in spring 1996 of the president of the National Sports Fund Boris Fyodorov with Boris Berezovsky, Valentin Yumashev and Tatyana Dyachenko. On the record, Mikhail Chernoy, his brother and Tayvanchik were mentioned as people who are closely connected with the criminal groups, as well as that they contacted with the former head of the Russian Federal Security Service, Mikhail Barsukov and the former head of presidential security, Aleksandr Korzhakov.
Source: “Novaya ezhednevnaya Gazeta” ("New Daily Newspaper") from 07.08.1996
The media has written a lot about the relationship of Mikhail Chernoy with the criminal world. His name was mentioned in the press along with the names of the businessman, the leader of Izmailovskaya organized criminal group Anton Malevsky. Mikhail Chernoy managed to win a few claims to the Russian media and to refute the information they published about the possible criminal links.
Source: “Moskovsky Komsomolets” № 207 (22801) from 18.09.2001,"Vedomosti” № 203 (285) from 01.11.2000
In 1995, there was an attempt on Chernoy’s life. KGB officers watched him for 3 months: his contacts were recorded, the movements were tracked, domestic and international calls were secretly wiretapped. With the completion of information gathering, the Russian customers, according to information in the media, decided to eliminate Chernoy physically. For this, a hired killer was chosen, who agreed to fulfill an order for 100 thousand dollars, but who later turned out to be a secret agent of the Israeli police. This prevented the attack on Chernoy and guaranteed the detention of the former security officials who participated in the preparation of his murder.
Source: "Time and Money» № 37 dated 01.04.1997, www.zakon.co from 18.04.07
Chernoy was repeatedly suspected of the laundering criminal money and close links with international criminals by the law enforcement agencies in several European countries. Especially intelligence services from Great Britain and Switzerland were very interested in him (where he was under arrest at a certain period of time). In Israel, Chernoy often was involved in criminal cases related to money laundering and bribery of politicians. At one time, Israel Ministry of Internal Affairs was going to deprive him of citizenship. In 1996 he was charged in Switzerland that he was a member of a gang of that country, as well he was suspected of various crimes in Russia, in work for Vyacheslav Ivankov named Yaponchik and participation in the Izmailovskaya criminal gang. In December 1996, his entry into Switzerland was again denied, his appeal of this case was dismissed. As for criminal charges, in January 2008 the Supreme Court of Switzerland decided to close the case for the lack of evidence. Mikhail Chernoy is still not allowed to enter the UK, the USA, Switzerland, France and Bulgaria.
Source: www.rosbalt.ru from 06/05/2007
In August 2000, Chernoy was expelled from Bulgaria with the deprivation of the right of residence on its territory and its entering in ten years period. National Security Service of Bulgaria concluded that Mikhail Chernoy is linked with international criminal organizations and that he threatens the national security of Bulgaria. After the events in Bulgaria, Chernoy was forced to cede "MobiTel" to Israeli businessman Lev Levaev. In October 2003, Chernoy attempted to visit a match of his football club “Levski”, but the Bulgarian authorities denied the attempt of the owner of the club.
Source: Vedomosti № 203 (285) from 01.11.2000," Vedomosti " from 21.08.2000
In December 2000 a group of aluminum trading companies stated that it filed a complaint on $ 2.7 bn to New York court against the largest aluminum producer in Russia the company "Russian Aluminium". The lawsuit, which was filed by the companies Base Metal Trading SA; Base Metals Trading Ltd.; Alucoal Ltd. stated that it was filed against the "Russian Aluminum" which is the part of "Siberian Aluminum”, as well as against its principal owner - Oleg Deripaska and Mikhail Chernoy - on charges of murders and extortion in order to gain control over one of the Russian plants.
In 2001, Chernoy was involved in a major scandal around the sale of the Israeli communications company Bezeq. In 1999, an Israeli businessman Gad Zeevi bought a 19.6 percent stake in Bezeq from the British company Cable&Wireless. Later it became known that for this purchase Zeevi received a loan from Mikhail Chernoy at the amount of $ 140 million, which Zeevi used as the bank pledge. Chernoy had previously attempted to buy shares of Bezeq, but his reputation was too bad for the state court to allow him to become the owner. In 2001, Chernoy, together with Zeevi Rom’s assistant and Gad Zeevi were charged with fraud – the concealing of the information about the participation of the Chernoy in the acquisition of shares of Bezeq. After the criminal case was initiated, Chernoy was denied the right of free choice of residence in Israel. At the same time the Israeli authorities attempted to deprive Chernoy of the Israeli citizenship. However, they failed to prove that Chernoy was engaged in illegal business - laundered money, extortion, drug trafficking and a threat to national security. In 2008-2009 in the arbitral tribunal Chernoy made Zeevi return loans and a part of its interests. The total return was $ 107 million.
Source: www.newsru.co.ilwww.newsru.co.il from 07.12.2009, www.rospres.com from 01.04.2009
In May 2001 Mikhail Chernoy formally appealed to the Israeli authorities with a request to send him to trial on charges of murder, kidnapping and bribery. The reason for such a declaration, according to the opinion of journalists, was the tight control of Chernoy from the side of Police. At the same time people from the inner circles of Chernoy were arrested – among them Oleg Chernomorets, the city council member of the resort town Eilat and Elena Sakir, the secretary of Chernoy. They were accused of organizing meetings of the Russian criminal leaders on the bank of the Red Sea.
Source: www.peoples.ru from 22.05.2009
In the beginning of 2005, Chernoy announced that the company of Oleg Deripaska “Bazel” failed to pay him all the money received in 2001 from the shares of the aluminum business, so he pretends to 3 million dollars or 20 per cent of the stake in “Rusal”. In 2006, after the deadline for payment expired in March, Chernoy filed a lawsuit in a British court against Deripaska. In 2007 Chernoy speaking about the essence of the claim, said that now he owns not 20, but 40 percent of the company, since using their general funds Deripaska bought the stakes of Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky over the past few years. In its turn, Deripaska denied Chernoy’s allegations and insisted on Chernoy extorting money from him: according to the businessman, Chernoy was a member of Izmailovskaya organized criminal group, which gave the security to their company in exchange for a share in the profits of the enterprise. Speaking about the conflict, the media noted that it was Deripaska who Chernoy trusted as a business partner. Subsequently, the businessman even suggested that Deripaska was the organizer of the campaign waged against him.
Source: Vedomosti № 127 (2149) from 11.07.2008, www.rosbalt.ru from 05.06.2007
In December 2007 Mikhail Chernoy appealed to the High Court of Justice of Israel (the High Court) with a lawsuit against the Israel Ministry of Internal Affairs demanding to oblige the Ministry of Internal Affairs to return the passport, seized from him in 1999. In addition, the businessman demanded from Ministry of Internal Affairs to recognize the legality of his Israeli citizenship, obtained in 1994. Chernoy passport was issued in 2008.
Source: www.rospres.com from 01.04.2009
In May 2009, the central court of Spain National Court issued arrest warrants for the arrest of Chernoy who was suspected of money laundering, the Spanish prosecutors asked the colleagues from the UK to detain a businessman in London and to extradite him to Spain. Chernoy was questioned, but he was not detained. In the summer of that year Interpol initiated Chernoy’s search according to the Spanish case. In May 2010 the Israeli State Attorney's Office refused to extradite Chernoy to Spain. The refusal of the international department of the Israel prosecutor’s office was motivated by the fact that the Spanish request for extradition of a businessman did not meet Israeli standards on extradition: the requesting party, according to the prosecutors of Israel, did not provide evidence to support the demands for the extradition of Chernoy.
Source: "Kommersant" № 182 (3513) from 29.09.2006,"Vedomosti" № 127 (2149) from 11.07.2008," Vedomosti" № 55 (2077) from 27.03.2008,"Vedomosti" № 5 (2523) from 15.01 .2010. www. izrus.co.il from 29.07.2010
In January 2010 the Court of Tel-Aviv passed a sentence to one of the participants of the case on illegal collection of information about Mikhail Chernoy. It was reported that personal information about the businessman received through wiretapping of Chernoy, was collected by the order of a citizen of Russia Alexei Drobashenko who during that period occupied one of the senior positions in the company of Oleg Deripaska. The press wrote that it was this information which formed the basis for the criminal case against Chernoy in Spain.
Source: "Vedomosti" № 5 (2523) from 15.01.2010