“Khodorkovsky M.B. didn’t execute activities of providing consulting services to the companies “Hinchley Ltd” and “Status Service Ltd”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 25, 2005.
On this day 17 years ago, on May 25, 2005, the Meschansky District Court of Moscow continued the pronouncement of the verdict on the criminal case of the former head of the oil company NK Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky*, head of the International Financial Association “Menatep” Platon Lebedev, and former general director of the CJSC “Volna” Andrey Kraynov”, who were accused of criminal activity in the economic sphere. On the eighth day, the pronouncement of the verdict reached the tax episode under Article 198 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Evasion by a Natural Person of Paying a Tax and (or) Fee).
The episode under 198 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was based on the scheme of issuing fictitious agreements with the offshore shell-firm under the name of “Status Services Limited” (the Isle of Man). This episode was in an understandable way described by the business press during the court process against the billionaire Vasily Shakhnovsky. On February 5, 2004, by the ruling of the Meschansky District Court of Moscow. Shakhnovsky, as physical person, was adjudged guilty of tax evasion on an especially large scale. The key moments of the case were fictitious contracts between Shakhnovsky and the firm “Status Services Limited” for providing «consultative services».
(See also the article «On this day, an offshore fiction was disclosed”. One offshore company for five wheeler-dealers).
During the court proceedings, analogue “contracts” emerged, concluded with the firm “Status Services Limited (the Isla of Man) of all leadership of the oil company.
All these billionaires – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebadev, Mikhail Brudno, Leonid Nevzlin and associated with them Viktor Kazakov, concluded in 1997-1999 agreements for providing consulting services with the offshore firm “Status Service Limited”. The meaning of these fictitious consultations was banal – “optimization” of taxes.
(See also the article “Physical persons” from the Isle of Man”. The Head of “Menatep” Lebedev committed tax evasion as a physical person to the amount of 7 million rubles and the article “Tax mechanics of Khodorkovsky as a physical person”).
THE GUILT OF TAX EVASION HAS BEEN PROVEN
The Meschansky District Court of Moscow held proven the guilt of Mikhail Khodorkovsky on tax dodging as physical parson (Article 198 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
In 1998-1999, Khodorkovsky, by way of filing to the tax agencies knowingly false data about consulting services to a number of foreign firms, received the right for tax preferences and, consequently, underpaid taxes to the amount exceeding 54.5 million rubles, stated the court in the verdict.
Regardless of the fact that the defendant Khodorkovsky denied the charge brought against him, his guilt is corroborated by the materials of the case.
From the materials of the court:
“According to the court, the initial evidence of Khodorkovsky M.B. also indicate that he had not undertaken any business activity on providing consulting services to the companies “Hinchley Limited” and “Status Services Limited”. He himself explained that he didn’t know any details about the contracts with these companies, and it was lawyers that had advised him to receive the status of individual entrepreneur, and the documents for the Tax Service were prepared by his aides, but he doesn’t know exactly which lawyers and assistants did it. Consulting and managerial services he provided and is providing now to various firms, but he doesn’t remember exactly to which firms, when and for what recompense”.
MOSAIC BLAZES OF MEMORY
At the curtain fell of the main part of the court proceedings, Khodorkovsky’s memory suddenly ‘refreshed’ itself, but only in parts. In his last word, Khodorkovsky said he could tell about “the essence of my consulting services, explain, why consultations of internationally recognized leaders cost as much as I received, or even more than that. But, as it seems, legal arguments and assertions of common sense, do not interest the prosecution”. “I refused to mention names of my clients, as people are afraid, and with good reason, of retaliatory measures from the part of the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Tax Service”, said Khodorkovsky trying to get away with it, but of no avail.
“Practically, all billionaires from the oil company NK Yukos, as carbon-copied, received payments in accordance with the agreements on providing consulting services with the companies “Hinchley Ltd” and “Status Services Limited”. But nobody from them could intelligibly explain, even in the face of penalties and criminal persecution, the character of the provided consultations, let along to name, for the sake of exoneration in court, at least one client, who would confirm facts of providing consulting services”, notes the website Pritovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, Khodorkovsky habitually lied to the court and public”. 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 May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice included Khodorkovsky M.B. into the list of persons executing functions of a foreign agent.