“Kraynov A.V. is the head of firms, used by the organized criminal group as shell-companies for committing crimes…” The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 30, 2005.
On this day 17 years ago, on May 30, 2005, the Meschansky District Court of Moscow continued the pronouncement of the verdict of the criminal case against 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. The eleventh day of the proceedings was devoted to episodes connected with dubious activities of Andrey Kraynov who had pulled off machinations the beneficiaries of which had been Khodorkovsky, Lebedev and other “major shareholders” of “the most transparent” company.
Highlights of previous pronouncements. During previous hearings the established and regarded as proven the guilt of the defendants Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. According to the position of the court, “sufficient proofs have been collected of their guilt of:
- fraudulent acquisition of 44% of shares of the Research Institute for Fertilizers and Insectofungicides;
- organizing a non-execution of court’s rulings on return to the state of these shares, as well as 20% stock of shares of the OJSC “Apatit”;
- embezzlement of $2.8 million from selling of products of “Apatit” (apatite concentrate);
- embezzlement of 2.6 billion rubles to the benefit of the media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky. This episode was imputed only to Khodorkovsky who, for his personal interests, had got into the cash register of the stock company, inflicting damage to all shareholders of the oil company NK Yukos.
TAX ROBBERY OF YUKOS MANAGERS
Apart from that, the court held as proven the tax crimes of Khodorkovsky* and Lebedev as physical persons under Article 198 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. During the proceedings, facts were confirmed of the defendants’ tax evasion through the offshores “Hinchley Ltd”, and “Status Services Ltd” from the Isle of Man in 1998-2000. It was ascertained that Mikhail Khodorkovsky had underpaid 54.5 million rubles, and Platon Lebedev – 7.2 million rubles of taxes.
The second part of the “tax package” of accusations against the swindlers Khodorkovsky and Lebedev was dealt with tax evasion by legal entities (Article 199 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The court regarded as proven the guilt of the defendants of “organizing tax evasion of Yukos in 1999-2000. The sum of the tax arrears to the state budget, which had been confirmed by a finance expertise, was about 17.3 billion rubles.
Another criminal episode – the episode with “tax refund”. The court qualified it as fraud in the process of getting back from the budget “overpaid taxes”. In these machinations were used promissory notes of the oil company NK Yukos, as well as accounts of firms under control of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. The sum of the affairs amounted to 407 million rubles.
“ACQUIRED ILLEGALLY AND FREE OF CHARGE”
Andrey Kraynov, in view of his role and place in the Khodorkovsky’s organized criminal group, had a humbler package of accusations then his neighbors on the prisoners’ dock.
(See also the article “The Formula of Accusation of Andrey Kraynov”)
The court found that the guilt of the former head of the CJSC “Volna” Andrey Kraynov with regard to the acquisition “illegally and free of charge” of 22 billion 800 million of pre-revaluation rubles was proved. Apart from that, the court confirmed the established material damage caused by the actions of the defendant, to the tune of 53 billion 200 million of pre-revaluation rubles.
“Kraynov A.V., being employee of the joint-venture “RTT”, was under control of Lebedev”, pointed out the court.
“The presented proofs show that Kraynov A.V. as of the period 1997, was one of the leaders and founders of the LLP joint-venture “RTT”, as well as founder and manager of the LLP “Emitent” and LLP “Aval”, which were used by the organized group as shell-companies for committing crimes…” indicated the verdict.
At issue was the Volgograd affair with the so-called “offsetting” in accordance with the scheme pulled off under the guidance of the Khodorkovsky’s henchman Vladimir Dubov who fled to Israel.
IN EXPECTATION OF KHODORKOVSKY’S IMPRISONMENT
The expectations were not fulfilled that on the same day the court would make its ruling on the episode of the embezzlement of the shares of the JSC “Apatit” and after that would present, so to say, a summing-up of the process in form of prison terms. Neither were fulfilled the expectations of the liberal press.
Numerous publications, trying to foresee the progress of the verdict’s pronouncement, suddenly realized that on April 5, 2005, the shareholders of the “Group Menatep” Leonid Nevzlin, Mikhail Brudno and Vladimir Dubov passed to the account of the Moscow Department of Federal Treasury of the Finance Ministry $4.2 million for Mr. Khodorkovsky and $574 thousand for Mr. Lebedev”, reported the newspaper “Kommersant”. Like, the same thing did the tax offender Vasily Shakhnovsky and he was not sent to prison.
(See also the article “On this day, the tax dodger Shakhnovsky was made to get into gears”).
As to Vasily Shakhnovsky, the payment, in fact, played its role – he settled his tax arrears from his name. In case of the swindlers Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, yet another “shell game” was made – “the stolen taxes” for the friend Misha paid other persons. But well-wishers forgot that a criminal case was considered in court, and not a civil tax claim, and that was said in the courtroom.
(See also the article “On this day, Khodorkovsky’s henchmen planted $5 million before the court’s door”).
After that the cunning lawyer Anton Drel, having realized that this trick with the payment had failed, said that “this money has nothing to do with the criminal trial. It can play its role only in a civil case, and if taxmen would return it (to the sender), it’s their right”, admitted Anton Drel.
This posed a question – why on earth the “court has” to evaluate materials which have nothing to do with the process? And as to the point that “the court will have to point out in the verdict whether will be subjects liable to satisfaction civil actions brought against the defendants by the Federal Tax Service and by the two Moscow Tax Inspections (No 2 and No 5), so in this case the newspaper “Kommersant” that recalled about it, rightly evaluated this approach. The court did it in the final stage of the proceedings.
From the verdict of the of the Meschansky District Court od Moscow of May 16, 2005
“To confirm the right of the of the Moscow Inspection of the Ministry for Taxes and Levies No 5 and the Moscow Inspection of the Ministry of Taxes and Levies No 2 the right to satisfy the civil action and to collect from Lebedev P.L. money for covering the property damage, including fines, as of 15.03.2005, to the amount of 15 987 188.17 rubles, and collect from Khodorkovsky M.B. money to cover the property damage, including fines, as of 11.03.05, to the amount of 62 454 453.10 rubles, correspondingly, and to transfer the question of the amount of the civil action for consideration in a civil legal proceedings”, notes the website Prigovor.ru citing the verdict.
(See also the previous article “On this day, swindlers from Yukos were included in the top-list of billionaire-tricksters”. It Khodorkovsky were tried in the United States he would become 45 years of incarceration for his affairs. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 29, 2010).
*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.