Affairs carbon-copied. “The accusation of embezzlement of the whole volume of oil extracted during six years…”. The fugitive lawyer Ivlev facilitated the embezzlement of $14 billion. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 24, 2005.
On this day 17 years ago, on May 24, 2005, the Meschansky District Court of Moscow continued to pronounce the verdict passed against the former head of the Oil Company NK Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of the International Financial Association MFO “Menatep” Platon Lebedev, and former general director of the CJSC “Volna” Andrey Kraynov. Imputed to them was a whole series of accusations on connected with each other episodes of criminal activity in the sphere of economy, including embezzlement of shares, tax evasion, and willful non-execution of courts’ rulings that became final and binding. To the final aspect of the criminal activity of Khodorkovsky’s organized criminal group was dedicated the seventh day of the pronouncement of the verdict – at issue was the non-execution of the court’s ruling on the return to the state of “Apatit” shares, which, as the court found out, had been stolen.
KHODORKOVSKY’S ORGANIZED CRIMINAL GROUP CHEATED THE ARBITRATION COURT
On November 29, 1994, the prosecutor of the Murmansk Region sent to the Arbitration Court of the Murmansk Region a request for arbitration pertaining to the dissolution of the agreement of sale and purchase and to the return of 20% shares of the CJSC “Apatit” to the Property Fund of the Murmansk Region. The reason was the non-execution of the investment agreement’s conditions of Khodorkovsky’s companies as part of a group of persons. However, “trying to hamper the return of the shares to their legal owner and seeking to inflict damage to interests of the state, members of the organized group, under the direction of Khodorkovsky, organized fraudulent actions in that direction”.
In pursuance of criminal intentions, as was established by the investigation, on August 16, 1995, in Moscow, Lebedev, Khodorkovsky, Kraynov and other members of the organized group, through their representatives, took to the Arbitration Court of Moscow the payment orders No 20 from August 10, 1995, to the amount of 250 billion pre-revaluation rubles on transferring the mentioned sums from the special account of the CJSC “Volna” in the bank “Menatep” to the current account of the OJSC “Apatit” in the same bank against future investments.
Yet, the mentioned payments were fictitious, as, on the same day, they were transferred back to the special account of the CJSC “Volna”. Hereupon, the Arbitration Court of Moscow that had dismissed the claim of the Prosecutor’s office, was misled by members of the organized group acted under the direction of Lebedev, Khodorkovsky, with regard to investments in the OJSC “Apatit”.
Then, with knowledge that the cheating could be exposed, the members of Khodorkovsky’s criminal group undertook further actions in order to hide the stock of shares from litigation, and, in June 1996, under the guise of deals of sale and purchase, the stolen stock of shares was reissued, by way of splitting, as property of commercial shell-companies under their control”.
(See also the article “On this day, the Murmansk affair of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky was laid bare”).
The scheme of the machination, by the way, almost completely copied the affairs with the chares of the Research Institute for Fertilizers and Insectofungicides (NIUIF), i.e. acquiring of a stock of shares in conditions of investment tender, deposition of the required investment sum of money, an then, under various pretexts, return of the money back to the investor, brandishing of financial documents pertaining to the transfer of investments in case of an investigation, but concealing of the fact of receiving the money back. The transferring shares to third persons under control of Khodorkovsky’s organized criminal group under the guise of sale and purchase to a “good faith purchaser”, who turned out to be employees or persons connected with “Menatep”.
And in case of a court’s decision on the return of shares, it was declared about the impossibility to execute the decision of the court as the shares “have been already sold”, although, in reality, they were under control of Khodorkovsky’s organized criminal group, because the legal persons that had bought the shares, incidentally, were under control of the same criminal group of Khodorkovsky.
COLLUSION WITH A FEDERAL OFFICIAL
Moreover, in the verdict of the Meschansky District Court of Moscow from May 16, 2005, on the first case against Khodorkovsky, Lebedev, and Kraynov, was mentioned yet another aspect of an intentional evasion of fulfilling court’s decision. This is a collusion of the former president of the Russian Fund of Federal Property Vladimir Malin with the leaders of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.
Instead of insisting on the return of the shares to the state, the Fund of Federal Property, on the initiative of its head, concluded with the swindlers from Yukos a “friendly settlement” and was satisfied with the compensation to the tune of $15 million, which inflicted damage to the state that exceeded $47 million, because, as it was pointed out in the verdict, “as of October 01, 2002, the market price of the stock of shares of the OJSC “Apatit” equaled 62 million U.S. dollars”.
(See also the article “On this day, the former head of the Russian Fund of Federal Property was covered by “Wave”. “Malin colluded with Khodorkovsky and Lebedev who tricked him into concluding an illegal amicable agreement”).
The press refused to pay attention to such details during the court proceedings. First, in the materials of the case it looked like a tedious heap of documents and usual witnesses’ evidence, like, “I was the director, our firm had no office, didn’t go into details, simply signed already prepared package of documents, Khodorkovsky I saw only on TV”. Second, why the audience should know exactly how Khodorkovsky had been stealing shares, covering machinations with fictitious payments, and also evaded the execution of courts’ rulings because he didn’t want to give back the stolen assets.
KHODORKOVSKY LIED TO THE WHOLE WORLD
On the same day 11 years ago, on May 24, 2011, Mikhail Khodorkovsky banally lied, trying to call in question the verdict of the second criminal case on the charge of oil misappropriation and laundering (legalizing) of property acquired by illegal means. The proceedings of the appeal of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev took place in the Moscow City Court. Obviously, Khodorkovsky, realizing the futility of this procedure, found more useful not to utter sound juridical arguments, but preferred street mottos.
“it’s impossible to correct this verdict, cosmetics won’t help, so, either set aside the verdict, or join criminals in epaulettes”, narrated Khodorkovsky in the Moscow City Court, and the foreign press, without elaborating on the content, disseminated his manifestos.
“The accusation of embezzlement of oil, extracted in the period of six years, is really a complete idiocy, as the whole volume of oil was delivered to a state company, so it didn’t disappear – not in reality, not in documents”, lied Khodorkovsky, because this position had been voiced by him earlier, but without success. The court held it unsustainable, as there was no idiocy in the criminal scheme of Khodorkovsky, and there was no stupidity as well in the version of the investigation that had exposed this affair.
(See also the article “On this day, a prison sentence was announced to Khodorkovsky for embezzlement and money laundering”).
It was establish that, from the physical point of view, the oil had not disappeared, and the expertise pointed out that the misappropriation by way of legal reissuing of oil (and Khodorkovsky had been stealing exactly like that), had had not effect on the physical oil delivered to the pipe on registered by a warehouse inventory control, so, in case of inspection, it would be, so to say, in stock.
That is why nobody imputed to Khodorkovsky oil theft. “The defendants have been charged not of oil stealing, but of misappropriation of oil by way of considerable lowering of its price”. Apart from that, “embezzlement by way of misappropriation” found its expression, de-jure, in redrafting oil on dummy firms.
KHODORKOVSKY BEHAVED LIKE A PLANTATION OWNER
At the same time, all duties, connected with logistics and other working questions, the “most transparent” oil company Yukos saddled on the “affiliates”. Although these affiliates were included in the “perimeter of the corporation”, they were economic entities with their own charters. Their directors were obliged to make profits specifically for the “affiliates”. But, instead of that, and contrary to the charters of their own stock companies, they served the unbridled appetites of the “major shareholders”.
And in order to prevent popping off of the directors, the swindlers from Yukos, while issuing the schemes with “borehole liquid”, stimulated them from the “grey cash register” which was comely called “the development fund”. That is why the court critically accessed the evidence of these directors.
As to the “volumes unseen during six years”, the investigation documented just the quantity of it that Yukos had pumped through its dirty schemes – delivery documents, itinerary lists, and other documents of reports attached to the case, gave more instructive evidence than the swindler Khodorkovsky.
A LAWYER FACILITATED THE MISAPPROPRIATION OF $14 BILLION
On the same day three years ago, on May 24, 2019, the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow sentence (in absentia) Pavel Ivlev, the former lawyer of the oil company Yukos, to 10 years in a prison camp. He was adjudged guilty of embezzlement and laundering of 14 billion U.S. dollars (nearly trillion rubles).
Naturally, such a volume of money Ivlev had processed not along. According to the materials of the case, during the period 2001-2002, Ivlev, as part of the organized group under the direction of the former head of the Oil Company NK Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky, facilitated the misappropriation of 14 billion dollars. According to prosecution’s version, Ivlev and his associates embezzled more than 195 tons of oil belonging to the OJSC “Yuganskneftegaz’ and the OJSC “Tomskneft – VNK”, which were subsidiaries of the oil corporation.
The process was carried out in absentia, as the defendant in the case, having understood that it smelled of trouble and borehole liquid, in November 2004, just after the interrogation, promptly fled to the United States. There he was exasperated by the “flagrance of the charges brought against him”, graphically lied and said that “he doesn’t hide himself from anybody” and that the accusation against him – is “the revenge for his cooperation with Khodorkovsky”.
(See also the article “On this day, a judgment was passed upon the lawyer of swindlers Pavel Ivlev).
“To impose punishment in form of 10 years of imprisonment, without penalties. Additionally, to impose punishment in form of prohibition to work in attorneyship in the Russian Federation for three years. Admit also the right of the affected to satisfy civil suits”, was pointed out in the verdict.
An effort of the defense to present Ivlev’s complicity in the crimes of the organized criminal group of Khodorkovsky as “attorney’s activity” was a failure. According to the prosecutor, “Ivlev covered himself of attorney’s right of not exposing information of his clients, thus camouflaging the committed misappropriation of oil products”.
In December 2019, the Moscow City Court found the verdict legal, and in went into force. In December 2020, the second appeal instance once more confirmed the legality of the guilty verdict against Pavel Ivlev, who mistook the work of attorney for criminal activity”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, apatite concentrate was mentioned in a verdict”. Lebedev and Khodorkovsky* pushed off products of “Apatit” to controllable foreign firms at understated prices. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 23, 2005).
*On May 20, 2022, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent.