Lebedev’s firm received tax preferences to the amount of 9 billion rubles, but the activity of this “preferential” firm was conducted only on paper. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 28, 2003.
On this day 20 years ago, on July 28, 2003, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia brought charges against Platon Lebedev, the head of the International Financial Association MFO “Menatep” on tax crimes under Article 198 and Article 199 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The question was about evading taxes by firms in 1999-2000 in areas with preferential tax treatment, which had worked in the Closed Administrative-Territorial Units (ZATO) under control of Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky* (Article 199 of the Criminal Code), as well as about tax dodging by the swindler-billionaires as physical persons (Article 198 of the Criminal Code).
Similar charges in several months were filed also against Mikhail Khodorkovsky. It was found out that all members of the leadership of the “most transparent” oil company had been involved in tax machinations.
(See also the article “On this day, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were found guilty of pulling off a tax affair” and the article “Tax mechanics of Khodorkovsky as a physical person”).
MURKY PREFERENCES OF YUKOS
Irina Alyoshina, first deputy head of the Department for Investigation of Major Crimes in the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, told the press that “in 1999 Platon Lebedev concluded an agreement with the administration of the closed municipal unity Town Lesnoy in the Sverdlovsk Region on registering an enterprise on this territory and on receiving tax preferences connected with it. Yet, according to the federal law, an enterprise can receive tax preferences only if it conducts, at least, 80% of its activity on the territory of a closed municipal unit.
At the end of the day, Lebedev’s firm received tax preferences to the amount of 9 billion rubles without fulfilling conditions of the agreement, and the activity of this “preferential” firm was being carried out only on paper. And it was only a preliminary appraisal of a big tax affair, which the swindler Lebedev and Khodorkovsky had been pulling off through shell “preferential” firms, including those registered in Closed Administrative-Territorial Units.
On the same day, on July 28, 2003, a nervous breakdown happened in the oil company NK Yukos – it published a hysterical statement in which lashed out at the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia.
“Unprecedented campaign unleashed by the Office of the Prosecutor General against the oil company NK Yukos, its employees and shareholders, it has not provided - and cannot provide – any proofs with regard to any filed cases, although hundreds of employees of law enforcement agencies are engaged in their “investigation”, ranted the press-service of this “borehole” company.
Yukos press-service, as usual, intentionally lied thus cutting for the company a way to any pre-trial settlement of, at least, tax claims.
“RELATED TO ESPECIALLY LARGE SCALE”
In 2005, the court, based on materials of the investigation, ascertained that the organized group under the guidance of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky on behalf of the shell juridical persons (LLC “Business-Oil”, LLC “Mitra”, LLC “Vald-Oil” and LLC “Forest OIL”) facilitated tax evasion for 1999-2000.
“By these actions Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L. organized tax evasion for the companies LLC “Business-Oil”, LLC “Mitra”, LLC “Vald-Oil”. LLC “Forest-OIL” to the amount of 5,447,501,388 rubles, and for 2000 by the same persons and on behalf of the same companies to the amount of 11,947,947,894 rubles, and that, in accordance to the notice to Article 199 of the Criminal Code of Russia, is related to the category “on an especially large scale”, pointed out in its verdict the Meschansky District Court of Moscow.
“Thereby, the tax crimes of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky in “preferential” regions were proved and confirmed by court’s verdict”, noted the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, the arrest of Swiss accounts belonging to swindlers from Yukos was confirmed”. $5 billion were frozen. Searches in the office of the company “Petroval SA”. $100 million were written off on “marketing” and cashed in. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on July 27, 2004).
*On May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of physical persons executing functions of a foreign agent.