Officials of the Ministry of Defense headed by the former leader were major newsmakers of the week again. More and more new facts of their life of luxury at the expense of millions of budgetary rubles are being opened. The scale is impressive even for Russians accustomed to many things.
Expensive road …
The investigation established that the eight-kilometer road connecting a country house of Anatoly Serdyukov’s relatives to the “Continent” had been built by a battalion of Russian soldiers. The construction was carried out not only by the defense funding but also under personal supervision of the Minister. The Defense Minister preferred to supervise from a helicopter and give valuable guidance using online mobile communication.
Media drooled over the details of the Minister’s fishing, hunting and just relaxing with friends in a luxurious three-storey cottage on a closed recreation facility Zgitnoye. In August 2011, the head of state and government were there -catching some pike perches with spinning.
It is already known that the Serdyukov’s road cost the Defense Ministry about 100 million rubles (including land acquisition). A criminal case was initiated on the fact of abuse of power. However, the former minister has not regarded a defendant in the criminal case.
Generally, as it turned out, a lot of budgets millions of rubles were thrown into this Zgitnoye. This couldn’t happen, according to many observers, without Anatoly Serdyukov. For example, as it was revealed earlier, the ex-minister arranged through the budget the territory around Zgitnoye. Conscript soldiers rolled out some rolls of lawn grass and planted the object with pyramidal poplars. It is known that the order to the soldiers of an aviaregiment of the Ministry of Defence was approved by Serdyukov, and he personally supervised the planting. However, the law enforcement agencies for some reason say that “there is not enough evidence to suspect him”. For now the case was filed “against unidentified officials”. The media wonders whether the Investigation Committee decides to bring an action against the former Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov or he is able to remain an unidentified person.
The lawyer of former minister Genrikh Padva managed to hit with an amazing statement: there is no any abuse here as the Ministry of Defense has not suffered damage and the road as well as the land under it has become property of the department, and there is no personal interest of Serdyukov here, he can be accused of nothing. The advocate even believes that all the events can be considered charity or sponsorship ...
And in general, planting of Zgitnoye is nothing against the background of the billions appearing in criminal cases of Oboronservis.
Anyway, a legal assessment of this “charity” is being prepared by the Investigative Committee. Many observers still expect that Serdyukov become a defendant in the two criminal cases.
Meanwhile, a case of embezzlement in Oboronservis runs its course. And it cannot be said that in some unexpected way. A new criminal case on charges in especially large-scale fraud and abuse of authority can be brought against Serdyukov's “amazon” Evgenia Vasilyeva.
As investigators found out, Oboronservis had concluded a fictitious contract with the Center of Legal Support “Expert”, famous for previous corruption scandals, for rendering certain “consulting services” of tens of millions of rubles worth. In fact, no services were rendered, and the budget money went for personal needs of the authors of the criminal scheme. For example, Vasilyeva paid with them to her personal cooks, cleaners and other staff of her 13-room apartment.
... and rocket kickback
Scandals continue to pursue the military department after changing the head. Now the Strategic Rocket Forces has become the epicenter. It was revealed that here is a theft of 500 million rubles of budget rubles allocated for reclamation of rocket launcher silos from their operational sites throughout Russia. Some “officials of the Ministry of Defense of Russia and representatives of a number of commercial firms” appear as the suspects.
The fraud scheme with budgetary millions was similar in all cases. For example, in the Orenburg region, the chief of a department in the Strategic Missile Forces, having received 10 million rubles for reclamation of rocket launcher silos, signed a contract with a company run by his former subordinate. A kickback was of 1.5 million. The contractor’s work was approved despite it were only partial and poorly executed.
Cambodian prison for a dashing from nineties
Sergey Polonsky is also on the top of news. Although there is no progress in the case of the former businessman and real brawler languishing in a Cambodian prison, some interesting news continues to appear in the media. Polonsky and his two friends are accused of having threatened the crew with knives, locked them in the hold, and then forced them to jump overboard. All this occurred during their celebrating the New Year on the ship that transported them to the resort town of Sihanoukville. All the three were arrested and detained.
Polonsky regularly makes his heartfelt appeals to the King of Cambodia and to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Meanwhile, the shareholders deceived by him demand to extradite Polonsky to make responsible.
Once again Polonsky unburdened the heart in his blog and told the “truth” about how and why he had been arrested and locked away. He said that no one had picked them from a desert island. And they forced him to enter into the conflict, he had to defend himself. And he didn’t take the knife, and he didn’t make any threats to the team. In short, he is suffering unfairly.
He stated this version to the Cambodian competent authorities for several times, but no word got to the protocol. There is no help from Russian diplomats as well. All this, he said, “causes only one sense – of full emptiness”. Polonsky is ready to be checked up on the polygraph. And he has already threatened to describe the all in detail in his future book.
Meanwhile, the investigative actions continue. As a character of Shukshin said, “the court will understand”.
The Polonsky’s New Year's incident is hardly accidental. It also can’t be explained by arbitrariness of the Cambodian authorities. Most commentators believe that the reason is in the personality of the person involved - a typical representative of the generation of “thugs” from the Russian 1990s. Habit is a second nature, they could not stop any more. It seems there is no significant difference for people like Sergey Yurievich whether to bunko domestic shareholders for money or to throw foreign sailors overboard.
Gold of Prokhorov – to Kerimov, Port Vanino – to Cyprus?
The publications about the sale by Mikhail Prokhorov of his stake in Polyus Gold were also in the top ten top news of the week. It became known that the billionaire politician decided to sell his 38% stake in Russia's largest gold mining company. The package is estimated at 3.6 billion dollars. According to some estimates, if the transaction takes place, Prokhorov will lose his last major asset. So, this is a very serious decision.
Pointing to the sources familiar with the situation, the media reported that the very majority shareholder of the company Suleiman Kerimov participates in the purchase - not directly but through some structures controlled by him. Rumors that he wanted to buy the share of Prokhorov were earlier as well.
At the same time, the story with the resale of the strategic Port Vanino by Mechel is developing. The port is one of the largest seaports in the Far East. Even the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) doesn’t know the degree of legitimacy of the transaction.
Mechel bought 73% of the state shares through auction in the beginning of December of 2012. (Another 21.64% of the voting shares of the port are owned by Oleg Deripaska.) However, two months later, it became known that in reality Mechel had bought only 1.5% for itself. The remaining shares are in the hands of three Cyprus offshore companies.
Now FAS is trying to figure out whether the transaction was legitimate or not. Port Vanino is a strategic object, and thus it was necessary for the transaction to file a petition to FAS – what was not done. It is unknown yet what conclusions can be drawn by FAS. However, the Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has already said that the results of privatization of Port Vanino will not be revised.
Bankruptcy of banana king
Police searches were in the office of the director of the Mikhailovsky Theatre and the former “banana king” Vladimir Kekhman. The Interior Ministry is investigating the criminal case of fraud in a large scale – a non-return of credit loan. Kekhman’s former company - JFC-groups - gathered 17 billion rubles credits, and then went bankrupt. The angry lenders - Sberbank, Bank of Moscow, Uralsib, Raiffeisenbank, Promsvyazbank, UniCredit Bank - now intend to return the money.
Kekhman himself accuses his former manager of the non-return. He says that without his permission they moved the money out through some one-day firms. And he says that he himself “fully supports the investigation and is interested in their success”.
According to investigators, everything happened differently. In 2010-2012, “a group of persons from the management and owners of the JFC company under the pretext of the execution of contracts with fictitious and affiliated commercial organizations” received large loans. “Without intention to fulfill its credit obligations, in February 2012, the company’s executives addressed to the Arbitration Court for recognition of CJSC JFC Group bankrupt. As a result of the bankruptcy, the credit institutions suffered damage amounting to more than 10 billion rubles”, the Interior Ministry informs. The fascinating banana story is waiting to be continued.
Revenge for talent, or show business on the warpath
The most dramatic was the attack on the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergey Filin. On January 17, he was attacked by an unknown, having splashed sulfuric acid in his face.
Filin had two operations on the eyes. He was treated by the best ophthalmologists and specialists in burns. By estimates of physicians, he needs three or four operations and a long recovery period.
Sergey Filin believes that the reason of the attack is someone’s revenge for his success. After he had been appointed the artistic director, someone hacked his email, punctured his car tires and threatened over the phone. To approach behind and to splash acid are manners of knuckleheads of show business, relatives of Filin say. It is also actively being discussed in the media that the famous dancer Nikolay Tsiskaridze has been called for questioning as a witness.
The press informed that Sergey Polonsky very easily adapted in Moscow developer market. The businessman explained the success as he could quickly establish relations with local business environment and city administration. Polonsky also mentioned the mayor of Moscow Jury Luzhkov and his wife, the head of "Inteko", Elena Baturina.
Source: "Vedomosti", 7/11/2007
It was informed that, under some data, "Mirax Group" was managed through a network of offshore and fly-by-night companies. And, on the hearings, Polonsky transferred money received from investors into personal accounts abroad.
Sources: Compromat.Ru, 10/8/2008, lenta.ru referring to The Moscow Post from 3/23/2009
In the beginning of 2000s Sergey Polonsky appeared in a press at the description of the crisis situation in Moscow and Petersburg markets of share building in connection with ZAO "RosGlavMaterials". In particular, as mass-media informed, shareholders of the objects constructed by ZAO "RosGlavMaterials" picketed Smolny and demanded from the city authorities to help with solving their problems. According to the press, in 2004 the founder of ZAO "RosGlavMaterials" Evgeny Dondurey declared that Sergey Polonsky actively used "black PR" and threatened the competitors. However, the press informed also that company "RosGlavMaterials" was renamed to "Stroymontazh" and tried to be advertised under a name of the company of Polonsky and Kirilenko.
Sources: lenta.ru referring to The Moscow Post from 3/23/2009, B-f.rufrom 5/27/2004, «Company Secret» №5 2/7/2005
According to the press, Sergey Polonsky is not charitable at all. It was informed that in 2007 at divorce in with the mother of his second son, the proprietress of company "Stroyconsultgroup" Natalia Stepanova he sold OOO "Mirax" to the Netherlands offshore. The press connected it with unwillingness of the businessman to pay huge alimony to the ex-spouse. It was informed that Stepanova did not manage to seize 250 million dollars (a quarter of jointly acquired property) at Polonsky and she could count only on 150 thousand roubles monthly for the child. Polonsky declared that his son would live as "crown prince".
Sources: RB.ru from 7/11/2007, "Vedomosti" from 7/11/2007, «Express newspaper» from 10/22/2008, "Compromat.Ru" from 10/8/2008
According to the press, Sergey Polonsky's behavior is at least extravagant. It was informed that in March, 2008 at cocktails party in honor of opening of an exhibition of real estate MIPIM-2008 in Cannes he as declared: "Those who do not have a billion, can go to hell!" In February, 2010, during session of Board of directors of "Mirax Group" he unexpectedly thrown phones of several top-managers of the company to the wall then left. Polonsky declared that «he lay the whole day in real coffin driven by the real nails, at real cemetery surrounded by real dead men». When the economic crisis begun the businessman promised «to eat his tie» if in one year and a half the price for his apartments would not grow up for 25 %. Polonsky shocked people when he gave names Mirax to the son and a dog and also declared that he wished to buy the Moon.
Source: Compromat.Ru from 10/8/2008, news agency Rosbalt from 3/1/2010, «Your day» from 2/27/2010
The press wrote about the conflict between Mirax Group and the developer company
"Sistema-Gals". As it was informed, in December, 2007 Mirax and "Sistema-Gals agreed that the corporation will get at "Sistema-Gals" 50 % in the joint project of the elite house on a building place of "Literary newspaper" in Kostyansky lane in Moscow. According to mass-media, "Sistema-Gals" fulfilled obligations of the transaction, and Mirax ostensibly did not transfer payment. The sum of transaction, as press wrote, made $24 million. "Sistema-Gals" applied to Moscow arbitration with the requirement to withdraw with Mirax Group the back payment and the penalty. In August, 2009 "Sistema-Gals" assign 20 million dollars debts of Mirax Group to BVT Group to which it ran into debt with the similar sum. BVT Group, in turn, had debts to Mirax for payment of premises in the project "Wellhouse on Dubrovka" and a business center "Federation" in Moscow IBC "Moscow-city". So as a result, according to mass-media, all three companies actually exchanged debts.
Source: riarealty.ru from 22.09.2009
According to the press, in summer of 2009 «Mirax Group» had debts for $550 million, the basic creditor - "Alfa bank".
As it was informed, «Mirax Group» faced serious problems in 2009. The company could not pay a debt in 265 million dollars to the Swiss bank Credit Suisse, and also to pay off with other creditors. The total sum of debts of Mirax was estimated in 779 million dollars. In July, 2009 a debt of "Mirax Group" at Credit Suisse was redeemed by "Alfa bank". Right after that the bank submitted the claim to Arbitration court of Moscow, having demanded to withdraw a part of the debt from the company - about 242 million roubles.
Sources: "Kommersant" № 128 (4183) from 7/17/2009, "Vedomosti" from 8/4/2009
In this connection in a press the opinion was expressed that "Alfa bank" could continue to redeem debts of "Mirax Group», to lead the company to bankruptcy and to take it under the control. As it was informed, in August, 2009 under the claim of "Alfa bank" the court seized accounts and property of affiliated companies of "Mirax Group" – OAO "International centre" and ZAO "Mirax-city".
Sources: «Business newspaper» from 20.07.2009 "Kommersant» № 151 (4206) from 8/19/2009
On August, 20th Polonsky shower his powerlessness, having published in the blog in the Internet that the real estate of "Mirax Group" ceased to be on sale and that the companies refused to give out credits, and because of shortage of means terms plant handover was postponed. Polonsky also assumed that affiliated companies «Mirax Group» would pass into the ownership of "Alfa bank".
Source: Gazeta.Ru from 8/20/2009
As it was informed, in September Mirax agreed with "Alfa bank" about debt re-structuring for 18 months, having promised to pay a half with money, and another – with the areas in a tower "Federation".
Source: realty.newsru.com 17.02.2010
According to the press, today "Alfa" continues to entangle Mirax with debts. In particular, "Alfa bank" declared readiness to finance end of construction of a tower "Federation" in "Moscow-city" raised by «Mirax Group». In December, 2009 when the tower "East" of a complex "Federation" reached 64 floors Sergey Polonsky declared that the building would not be completed to originally conceived height in 94 floors as «Mirax Group» could not take the credit below 25-40 % annual. To complete a tower "East" to originally conceived height, according to the press, it is required about $240 million
As it is informed, for March, 2010 a total sum of debts of «Mirax Group» was estimated in $550 million. According to the developer, delayed debts on 2009 make $120.8 million. Debt to structures of "Alfa" excluding the bought up credit at Credit Suisse makes $99 million and $44 million from which are delayed.
As it is written in a press, "Alfa bank" in the beginning of 2010 tried to receive the control almost over all debts of «Mirax Group»: negotiations were carried on for the repayment of promissory notes at other creditors of the company, in particular, - at fund Carval ($42,7 million) and CLN and bonds holders (the largest — Bank of Singapore, Promsvyazbank). As it is informed, company debts under bonded loans make 1.84 billion rubles (about $62,7 million, from which 923 million rubles are delayed since September, 2009), on CLN — $236 million According to mass-media, except "Alfa" the developer owes $27 million to MDM-bank (repayment term expired on March, 1st) and still to a number of banks. According to one of experts, Mirax is in default or pre-default condition with a number of obligations.
Source: «Kommersant» № 48/P (4348) from 3/22/2010
Company "Stroymontazh" which Sergey Polonsky divided with Arthur Kirilenko and in which he kept 10 percent of shares could not overcome crisis times at all. It was informed that on the end of 2008 a debt of the company to creditor banks and investment companies made 6,1 billion roubles. In the end of December, 2008 in Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg two claims to "Stroymontazh" from the Baltic bank for 967 million roubles ($28,5 million) come. In April, 2009 “Alfa bank” submitted the claim to the company to Moscow arbitration having demanded to return more than $13 million
Source: "Kommersant-SPb" № 57 (4112) from 4/1/2009
In June, 2009 as it was informed in a press, the Petrograd district court of St.-Petersburg made decision to withdraw debts of corporation "Stroymontazh in the sum about billion roubles in favor to the Baltic bank”. Money must be paid personally by the president of the company - Arthur Kirilenko acting as the guarantor under credits. On October, 22nd at the initiative of the Baltic bank all real estate belonging to "Stroymontazh" was put arrest. Having suspected "Stroymontazh" of transfer assets out, the Baltic bank applied to police. In September, 2009 criminal case about deliberate bankruptcy with the search at office of "Stroymontazh” was submitted.
Except Baltic bank and "Alfa bank" "Stroymontazh" ran into debt still to variety of banks. In the end of November, 2009 in "Stroymontazh" external management was entered.
Sources: "Fontanka.ru" from 06.10.09, pro-n.ru from 11/26/2009
As press wrote, because of financial problems Sergey Polonsky had to leave to one of the largest hotels at Turkish coast Sungate Port Royal.
In January, 2009 Polonsky wrote in the blog about plans to sell Sungate Port Royal, and also yachts and the house at Azure coast to get money for the further construction of the objects. Then, as mass-media informed, it became clear that Mirax Group could not serve the credit taken for purchase of hotel in Vakif Bank. According to the press, the bank refused re-structuring and raised the rate under the credit up to 24 % annual.
In February, 2010 it was declared that Sungate Port Royal was sold to Turkish investors for 190 million euro - 150 million more cheaply than structures of «Mirax Group» bought it three years ago.
It was informed that as the buyer of hotel there was the consortium of the Turkish investors which participants were clients of Vakif Bank. Thus, press wrote the debt for Vakif Bank was completely covered.
Sources: "Kommersant" №31/С (4331) from 2/24/2010, newsru.comfrom 2/24/2010
In February, 2010 on request of ecologists building of a mounting skiing resort which was conducted by shareholders of "Mirax Group» in Switzerland was suspended. The project with total cost of 300 million dollars caused censures from local branch of the World fund of the wild nature (WWF) and Fund of protection and landscape arrangement. After the petition of ecologists, Council of the Swiss canton Valais came to a conclusion that examination of water protective constructions was done improperly and also all consequences of building on dry mountain plateaus which were nature sanctuaries of federal value were not investigated. As a result the decision of a commune of Mollen (part of Valais) which in the end of last year gave out construction license to the Russian investors (the main of them - shareholders of Mirax Sergey Polonsky, Maxim Temnikov and also their partner Vladimir Marakutsa) was cancelled and building of mountain-skiing complex Aminona-Est was postponed. «Mirax Group» declared that all wishes of local authorities would be taken into consideration and also the company would start project realisation.
Source: realty.newsru.com 25.02.2010
On February, 17th, 2010 the press informed that the head of affiliated structure of Mirax - "Mirax Group Ukraine" - Nikolay Nikitenko was detained at the airport of Kiev (in Ukraine company Mirax builds a multipurpose complex "Mirax Plaza"). In Security service of Ukraine (SSU) they declared that Nikitenko was suspected in corporate raids. Representative of SSU informed that Nikitenko was forbidden entrance to Ukraine for a period of five years as, under data available for special services; he used the offshore companies and the Ukrainian commercial enterprises for illegal assigning to himself or the third parties of the property right to the Ukrainian enterprises. SSU also declared carrying out of investigation which should establish participation of Nikitenko in crimes, in particular, - to raids in territory of Ukraine concerning the Ukrainian enterprises.
According to mass-media, Nikitenko who has Russian and Swiss citizenship connected the troubles with "people from the leaving power". As it was informed, representatives of "Mirax Group» applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to solve the situation. In the end of March Nikitenko was permitted to enter Ukraine. According to the press, SSU took away from him charges and suspicions in creation of threat to economy and safety of the country. In «Mirax Group» in this connection it was declared that "new management and Security service of Ukraine resolved a current situation quickly and effectively".
Sources: newsru.com 17.02. 2010, pravo.ru from 3/30/2010
In February, 2010 the claim about bankruptcy of OOO "Mirax city" (a part of Mirax Group), the investor of building of Well House in Dubrovka was submitted. In Arbitration court of Moscow one of designers of Well House - Institute of metal constructions applied. The sum of claims made about 140 thousand dollars. According to the representative of the Institute "Mirax city" didnot pay for design works of the object for the sum of 4,25 million roubles that was confirmed by Moscow arbitration and the Ninth arbitration appeal.
Source: realty.newsru.com 17.02. 2010
In March, 2010 Institute of metal constructions projecting also the tower "Federation" submitted also the claim regarding bankruptcy of "Mirax-city" - the customer of building of a tower. As it was informed, claimants demanded for 4,6 million roubles.
In a press the conflict between Sergey Polonsky and the owner of "Independent newspaper» Konstantin Remchukov is described. On February, 27th, 2009 «IN» published an article "Mirages from Mirax Group" in which it was said that the company could not pay off with creditors and because of that it froze a part of projects. In the publication it was also supposed that Sergey Polonsky could repeat destiny of the founder of financial pyramid МММ Sergey Mavrodi. Polonsky accused Remchukov of the publication of an invited paper and, having addressed in court, demanded to deny the information. «Mirax Group» estimated moral harm in 100 thousand roubles. Then on air of radio station "Echo of Moscow" Polonsky accused Remchukov of he "took money" for the publication of the negative information about Mirax Group and "should be imprisoned". Then Remchukov demanded to involve Polonsky in the criminal liability for the insult: the edition management declared that it brought the claim about an honour and dignity protection to Sergey Polonsky and prepared the reference in Office of Public Prosecutor with requirement to involve it to the criminal liability for the insult in mass-media. Then, as press wrote, Remchukov and Polonsky met and discussed a current situation. Then, in the end of March, 2009, Mirax Group and "Independent newspaper" declared the conclusion of the agreement of lawsuit.
Source: «Kommersant» № 53 (4108) from 3/26/2009
On April 1, 2010 «Mirax Group» appeared in the centre of the next scandal. Mass-media informed that the search was conducted in the company office in a tower "Federation" organised by management of the capital Municipal Department of Internal Affairs with the assistance of employees of department of economic safety (DES) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. According to the press, seizures of documents were connected with criminal case concerning the former top-manager of the company Maxim Privezentsev. It was informed that case under article 165, point 3 of the criminal codes of the Russian Federation (causing of a property damage by a deceit in especially large size) was raised already on September 18, 2009. Privezentsev was accused being among other things a head of condominium partnership «Golden keys» he made unapproved connection to the electric system of this association. As a result, on a version of the investigation, in premises of the trading-entertaining centre and the sport complex located at the same address in 2006-2009 stolen electric power was illegally used. The damage, on a version of the investigation, made 4,1 million roubles.
Experts assumed that criminal case concerning Privezentsev could be initiated by Mirax Group. According to the press, on March, 25th 2009 Sergey Polonsky at press conference accused Privezentsev of theft of one of the companies of «Mirax Group» and $40 million As it was informed, till October, 2009 Privezentsev was the co-owner and the chairman of the board in Mirax Group. And also had a share in "Mirax-service" which was engaged in modernisation of Kursk station. It was informed that in this project Mirax Group enclosed about 40 million dollars. According to some information, Privezentsev supervised over the project joint to the Russian Railway through under controlled "BFM-KURSK station". Referring to a source in «Mirax Group» journalists wrote that Privezentsevostensibly stolen the company which was engaged in reconstruction of Kursk station, and refused to transfer it to Mirax Group until Polonsky pays off with him.
According to the press data, the company is the owner of «Golden keys» and the case for Privezentsev could be initiated by «Mirax Group». It turns out that Sergey Polonsky's company is an affected party. It looked suspicious that Polonsky informed about search carrying out in his blog (with a mark "it not a joke"), and the videoclip in which as it was informed in a press, employees of the company did not look not frightened but rather interested was downloaded operatively to web-site of Mirax Group and in the ending the cheerful laughter similar to laughter of Polonsky sounded.
Sources: forbesrussia.ru from 4/1/2010, realty.newsru.com from 25.03. 2010, from 4/2/2010
As mass-media wrote, in crisis Mirax Group lost the basic top-managers who stood at its sources. It was informed that in December, 2008 the corporation was left by Alexey Adikaev, in 2009 — Maxim Privezentsev and Dmitry Lutsenko. Journalists noticed that, despite financial problems, Mirax Group actively hires new managers. As it was informed, in 2009 the company management included the ex-head of Gosstroy, the head of Russian Builders’ Association Nikolay Koshman and also Mikhail Dvorkovich, the brother of the assistant to president Arcady Dvorkovich. Koshman held a post of the first vice-president of board of Mirax Group, and Dvorkovich — the adviser of the chairman of board of directors (Sergey Polonsky). In the beginning of 2010 the top management of the developer was filled up with the son of the head of department of city construction of Moscow - Oleg Kosovan, who was appointed to the post by directors for management of investment projects of Mirax Group. The press wrote that new appointments could help corporations to survive within financial crisis. In particular, referring to a source in the government of Moscow, it was informed that with the appointment of Kosovan Mirax Group can cut down the organizational expenses connected with registration of the project documentation and receiving of approvals for new constructions.
Source: "RBC daily" from 2/2/2010
After graduation from the institute young financier was employed by International bank of economical co-operation (IBEC) – at once as the head of department. Career of banker Prokhorov successfully rose up. But after acquaintance to businessman Vladimir Potanin in 1991 (both of them worked in IBEC) in Prokhorov's career the new period which in many respects advanced all his further destiny began. As mass-media wrote, partners transformed IBEC into own structure, transferred Soviet assets in amount of from 300 to 400 million dollars to the International finance company where Prokhorov held a post of the chairman of board from 1992 till 1993. In 1993 Prokhorov already was the chairman of board of Potanin’s Oneksim-bank. Few years later they realized genius idea of Potanin who developed the scheme of crediting of the government on the security of blocks of shares of the privatized enterprises.
Oneksim-bank purchased petroleum company SIDANKO, a part of Novolipetsk metallurgical industrial complex, Novorossisk marine shipping company and the big share of Northwest marine shipping company. In April, 1996 Prokhorov was included into board of directors of «Norilsk nickel» (then still belongin to the state). and also acquired it in the property. All these enterprises were purchased by Prokhorov and Potanin approximately for third of real value. Suddenly businessmen became the richest people of Russia.
Prokhorov and Potanin for the time being were partners equal in rights in business. All assets to within the tenth share were halved between group Oneksim (Prokhorov) and group Interros (Potanin). In April, 2006 Mikhail Prokhorov headed board of directors of «Pole gold», the manufacturer of gold largest in Russia after purchasing Interros. It seemed, Prokhorov and Potanin seriously had "by mutual consent” attended to a gold mining segment. But a year after disagreements between partners started. It was declared about re-structuring of business of group" Interros ". As experts considered, the state unambiguously let know to oligarchs that it wishes to carry out the control over nickel business itself. Vladimir Potanin decided not to argue with state authorities, and Mikhail Prokhorov an opposite position. As a result he left a post of the general director of Norilsk nickel.
In spring, 2008 a few months before a global collapse of market quotations Prokhorov sold a package of Nornickel to the company Russian aluminum almost on peak of its commercial value.
The conflict between the former friends-partners reached that in July, 2008 Prokhorov submitted on Potanin the claim about protection of business reputation. The claimant took offence on doubt stated by Potanin in interview to newspaper The Moscow Times regaring Prokhorov's managerial skills. Potanin in particular convicted Prokhorov of inconsistency, in infringement of the business arrangements, concerning sales of blocking package of Norilsk nickel. Prokhorov won court in October, 2008. One thousand roubles on account of compensation of court costs was collected from Potanin and the founder of the newspaper which published interview. The size of indemnification of mental cruelty, under "Group Oneksim" application, was not basic.
Sources: Time of news», 01.02.200; Vedomosti, 8/24/2009
Then, in 2007, Courchavel scandal with participation of Mikhail Prokhorov became known all over the country. Before that time the businessman preferred to be in a shade of the partner Vladimir Potanin. He gave interviews seldom, avoiding whenever possible any publicity. But one of parties on a mountain-skiing French resort in Courchavel caused a serious loss of reputation of Prokhorov – since then his name became known to everyone. The French police suspected the Russian oligarch of a pimping - he brought on rest in Courchavel girls from Russia (Prokhorov's passion to women and parties never was a secret; he was said to have spent 20 million dollars for parties and women just for one winter season 2006-2007). Whole company was arrested for some days. But the scandal story ended up in March, 2009 when the French court recognized illegality of detention of Prokhorov’s companions. Criminal case was terminated «because of the absence of an actus reus».
Source: interlocutor, 03/20/2007)
In May, 2007 Prokhorov created private investment foundation Group Oneksimwhere all assets of the businessman (about 17 billion dollars) entered. In 2008 Prokhorov made the first investment in media business – Open Company Media group ZHV; the first project became monthly magazine, the Internet portal «Snob» as it is told on a site for «successful and not poor people». Prokhorov possesses a controlling interest. The same year Media group ZHV acquired the rights to issue the magazine Russian pioneer, the journalist of Businessman and «the Kremlin pool» Andrey Kolesnikov became the editor-in-chief.
Source: Businessman, 04/23/2008
With «Russian pioneer» Prokhorov was involved in a bad story in 2009 when journal’s birthday was celebrated. The cruiser of revolution Aurora was chosen as the place for a banquet. On a deck the cheerful party, with singing of chastooshkas and dances was arranged. Among visitors there was Valentine Matvienko, the plenipotentiary of the president of the Russian Federation Ilja Klebanov, the minister of economic development Elvira Nabiullina. After photos got to the press from an anniversary, loud scandal burst. A cruiser is branch of the Central naval museum and fighting unit. Prokhorov was convicted of cynicism, in absence of patriotic feelings. The oligarch in reply to attacks suggested to finance from personal welfare fund Aurora transfer «on balance of a city and under care of the governor». The conflict was hushed up. Cruiser was excluded from fighting structure of the Navy.
In September, 2009 Prokhorov purchased one of commands of National basketball association – New Jersey Nets. Since October, 2009 Prokhorov headed the Union of biathletes of Russia, having declared thus that he intended to transform biathlon into successful business. The oligarch said that he would invest personal finances in domestic biathlon.
Sources: NEWSru.com 04/12/2009; Sports today, 3/30/2009
In the beginning of 2010 Mikhail Prokhorov declared that he wished to become the investor of new cheap Russian car. It was a question of creating cars of a golf class in cost about 9 thousand euro. Prokhorov told about the business idea to prime minister Vladimir Putin, and was supported by him. The businessman is ready to finance the project within two years, the declared volume of investments – to 100 million euro.
Source: Вusinessman, 01/20/2010
On June 25, 2011, at the extraordinary congress of the Right Cause party, Prokhorov joined the party and was elected as its leader for four years. According to media reports, Prokhorov intended to spend $ 100 million of personal money for the election campaign of the party and the same amount he expected to take from his colleagues in the business community. In July 2011, Prokhorov invited to the party a known fighter against drug trafficking, founder of City Without Drugsfoundation Yevgeny Roizman. Prokhorov offered him to go to the elections to the State Duma by the federal list of the party, so that in case of success to have opportunity to engage in formation of the state anti-drug and anti-alcohol policy and legislation.
Source: The New Times, June 27, 2011
On September 14, 2011, on the first day of the congress, opponents of Prokhorov received a majority of seats in the Credentials Committee. At the urgently convened briefing, in the evening on September 14, Prokhorov announced the termination of powers of the head of the executive committee Andrey Dunayev and the executive committee in full. Prokhorov also excluded from the party Andrey Bogdanov and Ryavkins brothers, with the formulation “for causing political damage to the party”, and accused Rady Habirov of attempting to a “raider capture of the party”.
Source: RBC, September 14, 2011
On September 15, 2012, in the morning, in a broadcast of Echo of Moscow radio station, Prokhorov urged his supporters to leave the party and announced his intention to form a new party. On the same day opponents of Prokhorov met in the World Trade Center (WTC) at Krasnaya Presnya and removed him from his post of the leader of the Right Cause party.
The formal reason for the displacement of Prokhorov was a conflict with some of regional branches of the party and Prokhorov’s decision to include into the election list the fighter against drug trafficking Yevgeny Roizman, who had a criminal record and therefore considered unsuitable by the Kremlin administration.
Source: RIA Novosti, September, 15, 2011
On December 12, 2011, Prokhorov announced a desire to run for president of Russia.
On January 18, he presented to the Central Electoral Commission 2.1 million signatures. On January 23, they found less than 5% defects in Prokhorov’s lists of signatures and he was registered as a presidential candidate.
If elected president of Russia, Prokhorov promised to sell his business and send the proceeds to charity. In a broadcast of Dozhd TV channel, he said: "If I become president, I'm selling all of my assets and giving most of the money to charity. The country is more dear to me, and ‘sorry for the bees’”.
Source: Reuters, January, 21, 2011
According to the results of elections on March 4, 2012, Prokhorov received 5 722 508 votes (7.98% of the votes), taken the third place.
Source: RIA Novosti, March 4, 2012
In the autumn of 2012, Prokhorov announced that production of Yo-Mobiles is differed for two years. Some professionals of the car market were not surprised with the postponement: the ambitious project had initially caused their skepticism and been regarded as a public relations campaign in support of the political career of Mikhail Prokhorov.
Source: Russky reporter, № 36 (265), September 9, 2012
In the mid of 90's the name of Suleiman Kerimov was mentioned in an ugly story about the theft of the budget funds by his business partner Magomedtagirov Abdulbasirov, head of the Federal Food Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia. In 1993, when Karimov headed "Eltava", the Federal Industrial Bank (Fedprombanke) was created for the convenience of the settlements between disparate enterprises, factories and subcontractors in Ukraine and Belarus. Suleiman Kerimov was to represent the interests of "Eltava" in Fedprombanke. In 1994, countryman of Kerimov Magomedtagirov Abdulbasirov headed up the Federal Food Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, in 1994-1996 the corporation received approximately $ 500 million from the budget forn government purchases of food; and Kerimov, as representative of Fedprombank, participated in the distribution of the money. He did business with Abdulbasirov. and gradually electronic factories came out of the capital Fedprombank - Kerimov redeemed their shares, and by the end of 1996 he gained a controlling stake. Shortly after Abdulbasirov was accused of embezzling budget funds, Kerimov name was not mentioned.in connection with the theft
Source: "Russian Forbes», June 2006
In 1996, they talked about Kerimov's acquaintance with the owner of Airlines Eagle Air, Sergei Isakov (who, in turn, introduced him to Vladimir Zhirinovsky). Soon the structures controlled by Kerimov purchased a controlling stake in Vnukovo Airlines, the Murmansk aviation enterprise, and Transport Clearing Chamber. FPG became a legal entity of the aviation business of Kerimov. "Rosaviakonsortsium", its largest shareholder was Fedprombank. Then Kerimov went conflicting with the Chamber, according to which the investment commitments in the privatization of "Vnukovo Airlines» had been imitated by contracts on supplies of aircrafta Tu-204, and paid by illiquid promissory notes. Kerimov was accused of failing to meet investment program of 150 million dollars, and bringing the "Vnukovo Airlines» to loss of the main part of the fleet, financial insolvency, and the planned absorption by the airline "Siberia". The Trade union leader of "Vnukovo Airlines» Gennady Borisov, who tried to fight the abuses in the company, as well as with the policy of Kerimov, was killed in his apartment building in January 1999. Kerimov's partners in "Rosaviakonsortsium» were Ibrahim Suleimanov and Tatevos Surinov (later criminal proceedings were instituted against both of them on the fact of illegal sale of the navigational equipment of airport "Kazan" in 2002). While Karimov left the capital of Vnukovo Airlines and Fedprombank back in 1998.
Source: "Russian Forbes», June 2006
When the company Nafta Moskva "(Retail oil company) was put up for sale with respect to the debts appeared in November 1998, Kerimov purchased it for $ 50 million. President of Transneft Dmitry Saveliev helped Karimov then. In 1999, Karimov bought about 20% of preferred shares of Transneft for 100 million dollars, and a half year later resold them for more than 400 million dollars. Subsequently Kerimov bought a stake in «Surgutneftegaz» in the "Nafta Moscow", and a year and a half later he brought his share of" Nafta» to 100%, eroding the share of small shareholders by issuing additional shares. Vladimir Zhirinovsky helped Kerimov in several major "Nafta» deals, for example, deals with the Iraqi oil the program "oil-for-food program».
In December 1999, Karimov was buying assets. In that period he formed a business relationship with Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska, known for their reputation of raiders. In June 2000, "Nafta-Moskva» bought the company" Varyeganneftegaz "- a subsidiary of SIDANCO, towards which the bankruptcy proceedings had been initiated. At that point, Karimov gained control over 70% stake in OAO «Varyeganneft”. Brothers Bazhayev (group "Alliance") challenged the "Nafta's” 38,9% stake in «Varyeganneft", accusing Kerimov of force capture of their business. But the company still came under the influence of Kerimov, and in spring of 2001 «Slavneft» headed by Mikhail Gutseriev bought "Varyeganneft" for $ 200 million, and thus became "bona fide acquirers”.
One of the most scandalous transactions by Suleiman Kerimov was the acquisition of Andrey Andreyev's business, the former OBKHSS employee. Andreev himself accused Suleiman Kerimov, as well as Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska in the forcible take-over of his businesses. Andreev controlled Avtobank, insurance company «Ingosstrakh», insurance company «Ingosstrakh-Rossiya”, Orsk-Khalilovsk metallurgical complex, Bank «Ingosstrakh-Soyuz», animal-breeding sovkhoz in Moscow and a number of other enterprises. In autumn of 2001, all those companies were registered on the companies, controlled by Kerimov, Deripaska and Abramovich. Transactions were signed on behalf of Andreev by a Krasnoyarsk gang leader Radik Hamzayev and chairman of Avtobank Natalia Raevskaya — for that purpose Kerimov, Deripaska and Abramovich provided physical and moral pressure on her. Subsequently, the companies owned by Andreev, were sold by Kerimov by the piece: Avtobank — to NIKoil, Ingosstrakh and Nosta — to Oleg Deripaska's structures, animal-breeding sovkhoz — to a group of BIN. ... Shortly after this story Kerimov parted with his partner Dzhabrailov Shikhaliyev who had signed all papers on those transactions on behalf of «Nafta Moscow», andtook to bosom Alexander Mosionzhik, a specialist in acquisitions and investments, who became the CEO of «Nafta Moscow".
Source: Vedomosti № 223 (1750) on 27/11/2006
Investigative bodies of the General Prosecutor of Russia at the time were interested in the theme of the acquisition of a major real estate by the chief of staff of the Government Igor Shuvalov. Shortly before the elimination GOSINKOR (the State Information Corporation) transferred the ownership of suburban residence "Zarechie - 4", (which is in Odintsovo district, Moscow region) to the company controlled by Shuvalov. The market value of the residence was estimated at 10 million dollars. The sponsor of the deal was considered to be Suleiman Kerimov who was close to Shuvalov. Those funds were actually paid to the previous management of GOSINKOR, but they never came to the corporation's cashier.
Source: "APN" from 11.04.2003
In the mid of 2004 Suleiman Kerimov started buying shares of Gazprom» and «Savings bank” on credit. Kerimov took credit under "Nafta Moscow" in the Savings Bank, bought the papers of «Gazprom», and then used them as collateral for a new credit. Later he began to buy shares of the Savings Bank also. Pledged shares may not be sold, but if they grow in price, the shares can be released from the pledge and be taken for a new loan. That was what Kerimov did. Loans were first processed at "Nafta Moscow", and then at another company of Kerimov- ZAO "New Project". As a result, he managed to acquire 4.5% stake in Gazprom and 6% of the Savings bank. Most of his package Kerimov purchased from two other private shareholders of the Savings Bank - owner of the cement holding «Eurocement Group» Filaret Galchev, and the owner of the agro-industrial group "Rusagro» Vadim Moshkovich. Was it legal to use the Savings Bank's funds to purchase its own shares? - the central bank made comments on that occasion, but the first deputy chairman of Sberbank Alla Alyoshina found the arguments in support of Suleiman Kerimov , as well as the credit policy of the Savings Bank as a whole. Alyosha is believed to be a major benefactor of Kerimov.
Source: www.smoney.ru on 23/08/2008
The high-profile scandal involving Suleiman Kerimov, occurred in 2005. SPK "Development" (agricultural production co-operative), the largest enterprise in the construction market in Moscow changed the owner - unwillingly by the forceful takeover. Some media reports appeared that was Suleiman Kerimov the capturer. He was interested in the assets of SPK, including "Glavmosstroy", "Mosstroyekonombank", "Mospromstroymaterialy" and "Mosmontazhspetsstroy». In April 2005, "Nafta" by Kerimov became a co-owner of «Mosstroyekonombank», after a couple of months "Nafta" gained control of the SPK "Development" ( "Glavmosstroy," Mospromstroymaterialy "and" Mosmontazhspetsstroy "), and in July became the owner of 17% of the common stock in "Mospromstroy». Karimov subsequently sold the business in parts - SPK "Development" was bought by "Basic Element» of Oleg Deripaska (Kerimov earned about $ 200 million on the transaction), and «Mospromstroy» and «Mosstroyekonombank» was acquired by BIN, headed by Saito Gutseriev (brother of Mikhael Gutseriev) .
Source: "Novye Izvestiya" on 02/03/2005
Suleiman Kerimov hit the pages of the media in connection with the conflict situation around Mosstroyekonombank. After the shareholders meeting, Alexey Guskov - former top manager of Bin-bank close to "Nafta" - was approved the Chairman of the Board instead of Kazibek Tagirbekov. At the same time, one of Moscow's major construction companies «Inteko», headed by the wife of Moscow Mayor Elena Baturin, refused to cooperate with the bank, after it had been obtained by Kerimov. It was a bad thing for Suleiman Kerimov: Inteko planned to act as co-investor with the former management of the bank in order to build a second line of "Smolensky Passage", the total investment estimated at 150 million dollars. Baturina refused to work with Alexei Guskov. There were people who accused Kerimov of contributing to the fabrication of criminal cases against the former president of the bank Kazibek Tagirbekov. Tagirbekov was released from prison only after the bank's assets had been fully under the control of Kerimov.
Source: Vedomosti № 116 (1397) on 28/06/2005
Suleiman Kerimov become a shareholder of "Mospromstroya" - the owner of more than 150 buildings in Moscow. The process of shares buying by the company «Nafta Moskva "controlled by Kerimov was also associated with a scandal. Someone started buying shares from small owners, and the company management publicly announced an attempt of capturing absorption. Trying to keep the company, its management invited Yuri Luzhkov to join them under the control of shares and transfer them to a specially created management company. But the Moscow authorities failed to protect the executives' Mospromstroy "and after some time" Nafta Moscow "bought 17-percent stake in the enterprise.
Source: Vedomosti № 123 (1404) of 07.07.2005
On November 25, 2006 Suleiman Kerimov and Tina Kandelaki got in a car accident on the seafront Promenade des-England in Nice; sports car Enzo Ferrari of Kerimov lost control, crashed into a tree and caught fire. Tina Kandelaki with minor burns went to Moscowon the same day , Suleiman Kerimov received severe burns and was taken to hospital in Marseilles, and then he moved to Belgium at the request of Professor Jean-Louis Vincennes from the hospital Erasme; he asked Defense Minister of Belgium Andre Flao to provide a specially equipped aircraft and a brigade of Belgian military doctors to transport Kerimov. In January 2007, Suleiman Kerimov returned to Moscow.
Source: "Kommersant" № 222 (3553) on 28/11/2006
Suleiman Kerimov is attributed to have love affairs with well-known singers, dancers, actresses. They said those were Natalya Vetlickaya, Zhanna Friske, Anastasia Volochkova, Ksenia Sobchak, Olesya Sudzilovskaya, Tina Kandelaki. He was generous with his beloved: to the 38-th anniversary of Vetlitskaya he gave her a pendant with diamonds for 10 thousand dollars, and when they parted - plane and an apartment in Paris. For Anastasia Volochkova Kerimov hired a guard, as Vetlickaya promised to deal with her by resorting to the help of criminal networks.
Source: "Express Gazeta" on 28.07.2007
The scandal with the name of Suleiman Kerimov appeared in the press, when his mistress Catherine Gomiashvili, the daughter of the actor Archil Gomiashvili, was pregnant by him. Their affair lasted for four years, Karimov helped the girl get in a big design business. Gomiashvili opened boutiques in London and Moscow for Kerimov's money. The shop in London was designed by the popular British architect Eb Rogers; opening a boutique cost Kerimov about 3 million euros.
Source: "Express Gazeta" on 28.07.2007
Kerimov was accompanied by conflict situations on the way to the Senators also. He left the party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky and moved to the "United Russia", where he had been promised a place in the top three electoral party list on Dagestan. But, on the orders of Vladimir Putin, they expelled from the rosters everybody whose capital was more than a million dollars, including Kerimov. Kerimov was offered a job senator from Dagestan instead of the deputy chair. To make room for Kerimov, the former senator from Dagestan, Atay Aliyev was forced to leave his post. When Aliev refused to write an application for early resignation from the office voluntarily, law enforcement bodies of Dagestan created problems for Atay Aliyev's brother, Magomed, who was the deputy of the National Assembly and the Director of the Dagestan branch "Kavkazregiongaz" - his offices had been seized, the legitimacy of his actions had been verified. In the end, Suleiman Kerimov took the chair of senator.
Source: Gazeta.ru was dated 20/02/2008
At the end of 2008 they rumored that Suleiman Kerimov had problems with meeting his financial obligations. According to some reports, he was unable to pay margin calls, he had problems servicing the loans guaranteed by his shares.
Source: «Handelsblatt» on 22.10.2008
In 2009, the State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, Ashot Eghiazaryan accused Suleiman Kerimov of raid capture of controlling stake in OAO DekMos (49% owned by the Property Department of Moscow, and a controlling stake — by ZAO "Decorum" behind which Eghiazaryan was). According to Eghiazaryan, namely the structure of Kerimov controled "DekMos", but not the government of Moscow, and Kerimov had initiated criminal proceedings against Eghiazaryan for fraud in order to acquire a controlling interest in OAO DekMos. Thus Suleiman Kerimov tried to enter the project of reconstruction of hotel "Moscow".
Source: Novaya Gazeta № 63 dated 17.06.2009
Thanks to the support of the Moscow mayor's wife Yelena Baturina, Suleiman Kerimov took part in the redistribution of the construction market in Moscow; thus he earned hundreds of millions of dollars. Participants of the capital's property market say that Kerimov's arrival in the Moscow Building complex would not have taken place without the support of the First Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin as well.
The last conflict associated with the name of Kerimov concerned non-payment of the office rent.
Investment group "Nafta-Moscow", which occupies an area of the business center of the «Legion-I»in the center of Moscow, owes almost 13 million rubles for the lease to a holder of the business center, "Legion Development " company. "Legion" has filed a lawsuit to recover funds from the company of Suleiman Kerimov.
Source: www.rbcdaily.ru on 21/04/2009