On this day, insurance companies gave up on Yukos

On this day, insurance companies gave up on Yukos

“Yukos directors didn’t provide the insurance company with full information about paying taxes and mislead it”. The website Prigovor.ru.

On this day 18 tears ago, on February 26, 2005, after the Court in the state Texas rejected a claim on "bankruptcy and reorganization" filed in December 2004 by the hurriedly created company "Yukos USA Inc”, the oil company had to face a new round of problems.

During two days, February 25 and February 28, 2005, the Russian company “Ingosstrakh”, as well as the Russian affiliate of the American insurance company “AIG” informed Yukos about the annulment of insurance certificates for members of the Board of Directors and other leaders of the company concerning risks in connection with their activities in the companies.


As explained as early as in January 2005 the newspaper “Kommersant" in its review, directors, and officers liability insurance (D&O) covers risks which in the whole world, until the beginning of the past century, was equal to non-insured event. This insurance policy provides leaders of enterprises, members of directors boards, members of executive boards with coverage against taking wrong decisions, against inflicting damage to a company. The essence of D&O is in reimbursing expenses of companies or their heads on legal claims from the part of shareholders or third persons (for instance, former employees). However, stressed the newspaper, there are generally excepted exclusions that are not covered by D&O. “This includes bankruptcy of a company, review of its financial results, claims of insurers within the framework of one insurance policy. Moreover, insurers won’t cover damages of a company caused by actions of managers with the purpose of personal interest, as well as intentional fraud, tax claims”.

Although in the first half of 2005 “intentional fraud for personal advantage and tax machinations in Yukos were not yet exposed in all their tawdry beauty, the issue was already in the air. Probable refusal to cover political risks, even with a “political background”, was, nevertheless, perceptible. And the decision of the Court in Houston that this risk is not to be a subject to review on the territory of the United States only confirmed the insurers in their calculus.


And already in a year, on February 26, 2006, the newspaper “Vedomosti” reported about the “suffering” of the oil empire not only from litigations with the state but also from minority shareholders who considered themselves cheated by Yukos leaders.

“Small shareholders of Yukos, as well as holders of its convertible bonds, think that managers and members of the directors' board concealed from the investors the real situation, kept silent about risks connected with multi-billion tax claims brought against Yukos. Apart from that, they accuse the leadership of the company of creating a fraudulent scheme due to which the majority of shareholders acquired its securities at inflated prices”, pointed out the newspaper.

The news outlet mentioned also the insurance companies that in February 2005 informed Yukos about the annulment of coverage, mentioning the insurance company AIG and its reservations about the management of the “most transparent”  company, that the insurers included in the grounding of the termination of the contract. The complaints, in general, were well-known: “the managers and directors of Yukos didn’t provide the insurer with complete information about the situation of paying taxes and mislead it”.

And it's not important how, actually, ended the story with the insurance policy to the tune of nearly $50 million. In any case, it didn't cover the astronomical damage to the amount of $25 billion inflicted by the swindlers Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev, and the group of persons under their control by committing fraudulent and systematic tax evasion”, noted the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, a court of Texas sent swindlers from Yukos to Russia”. A court in the American town of Houston, Texas, rejected the claim based on the "insufficient presence" of the Russian company in the United States. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on February 25, 2005.

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