On this day, Yukos ended in a tax fiasco

On this day, Yukos ended in a tax fiasco

The decision of withdrawing 99.375 billion rubles came into force. “They artificially created a scheme “to dodge taxes” through their shell firms. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on June 29, 2004.

On this day, on June 29, 2004, the Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the appeal of the companies Yukos and “Yukos-Moskva” from the court’s decision on recovering from the oil company tax arrears to the amount of 99.375 billion rubles. Thus the contestable decision came into force. However, the court took into account some arguments of the defense and reduced the withdrawing sum by 32 million rubles.

The question was about taxes, that “the most transparent” oil company “had forgotten” to pay to the state budget of the country in 2000.

According to the Tax Service, the oil company Yukos “artificially created a scheme of tax evasion” by way of creating 17 organizations dependent on Yukos in the Republics of Kalmykia and Mordovia, in the Evenk Autonomous Area, as well as in three closed administrative-territorial entities in the towns Lesnoy (Sverdlovsk Region), Sarov (Nizhny Novgorod Region), Trekhgorny (Chelyabinsk Region).

The decision of the additional charge of tax to the amount of 99.3 billion rubles for 2000 had been taken as early as on April 14, 2004. To be more precise, the Tax Service delivered to the oil company the notice of tax liabilities, fines and penalties to the total tune of 99 billion 375 million 538 thousand 234 rubles.

Naturally, the oil company Yukos didn’t want to pay anything, and declared itself a “conscientious taxpayer, fulfilling tax liabilities full-scale”.


Instead of solving this problem in a pre-trial order, Yukos arrogantly created a court litigation which reminded of efforts to derail the process. In the end, all these steps of desperation of the tax swindlers failed.

(See also the article “On this day, Yukos was dissociating itself from shell-firms” and the article “On this day, Yukos was fighting for the taxes stolen from the state”)

Having lost the arbitration on an early stage, in the company they recalled a possibility of a pre-trial settlement – a letter with conditions of the settlement was sent to the Ministry of Finance on June 22, 2004. In response, a representative of the tax service said that a solving of the litigation could be a payment of the extractable taxes, as Yukos had not presented proofs of its intentions to conclude a friendly settlement. The court had not received such intentions either. And all juridical tricks looked only as an effort to protract the procedure of withdrawing payments, which “the most transparent” oil company had hidden from taxes in 2000. Essentially, Yukos ended in court in tax fiasco.


The decision of the Arbitration court of Moscow that had come into force became for the Tax Service a prolog for recollection of the tax arrears of Yukos for other periods of tax evasion. During the inspection for 2000 “a logic of tax dodging” was exposed, majority of shell-firms used in the scheme were found out, heaps of people were interrogated who had been common nominal heads of shell-firms.

(See also the article “On this day, "tax skeletons" dropped out of the Yukos closets”).

Part of dump-firms were registered on lost passports at that. Specialist of the Tax Service managed to find and to describe the scheme of tax dodging, and then prove in court that “deliberate actions of the oil company Yukos directed at artificial formalizing of turnover with oil and oil products through shell-firms” had been an instrument of fraudulent tax offence.


“The work carried out by tax specialists to discover tax arrears for 2000, helped them with their control measures pertaining to other periods. It was proved that the large scale tax machinations of Khodorkovsky’s organized criminal group had been pulled off in accordance, practically, with one and the same scheme. In the end of the day, the discovered sum of tax affairs reaches almost $25.79 billion. However, it was not only a cheat of the state to which Yukos had been short in budget payments. It was also a cheat of shareholders to whom the leadership of Yukos “had been selling” a huge tax hole, covering it with wonderful corporate statements and promotional publications in the press about “transparency” and “progressiveness” of the company and its leadership”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, Khodorkovsky was left in the pre-trial detention center of the town Chita”. Swindler-billionaires were studying their second criminal case. The theory of a release on parole failed Khodorkovsky. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on June 28, 2007).

*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.

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