On this day Khodorkovsky was reminded of the scheme to cheat American stockholders

On this day Khodorkovsky was reminded of the scheme to cheat American stockholders

“The organized group headed by Khodorkovsky used for its criminal activity the services of the company “Valmet Group Limited” (Bermuda). The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on September 25, 1999.

On this September day 23 years ago, the reporters of the American newspaper “The New York Times” Alan Cowell and Edmund L. Andrews published an article devoted to corporate clashes around “the tax haven” – Isle of Man – which assumed an international scope.

(See «Undercurrents at a Safe Harbor; Isle of Man (and Corporations) Is an Enclave of Intrigue». The New York Times, 24.09.1999, by Alan Cowell and Edmund L. Andrews).

Apart from general reasoning that, according to a survey carried out by “Merrill Lynch & Company” in 1998 on “tax save harbors”, the richest people of the world had hidden from taxes “the striking 6 billion US dollars, and then the reporters go over to concrete things. Namely, to the firm “Valmet Ltd (Isle of Man)" which provides services to corporate activities and to its representative by the name of Peter M. Bond.

This firm came in the vision field of the Western press in connection with machinations on the Russian direction of the finance-oil empire of Mikhail Khodorkovsky that had been floated to the surface.

“Mr. Bond has been linked in court documents to Russian corporate machinations concerning potentially billions of dollars. At issue is whether companies he administers are part of attempts to siphon assets from some of Russia's biggest companies", pointed out the reporters of “The New York Times”.

(See also to this theme “The Owners of Yukos accused of inflicting damage on minority shareholders”. American minority shareholders against Mrs. Khodorkovsky, Shakhnovsky, Lebedev, and Mizamor. Stephen Curtis is a key figure of the global net of money laundering.

“Under a plan adopted in March (1999), Yukos tried to issue millions of new shares equal to a majority of its voting stock and transfer them to a series of offshore companies – two of the now administered by Mr. Bond. No one has said publicly who the ultimate owners of these companies will be”.

Such an approach of “the most transparent company” outraged American stockholders.

“American investors charge in lawsuits that “shell” companies – empty entities created here to hold other companies or investments – are part of a scheme to defraud Russia’s second-largest oil company, Yukos Oil”.

“Bank Menatep, a failed Russian bank at the center of an investigation into Russian money laundering, owns 20 percent of Velmet’s parent company, Velmet Group, which is based in Bermuda”, noted the authors explaining the ties between the group “Velmet” and Khodorkovsky’s bank.

“To American investors in Yukos, led by the family of Kenneth Dart, the billionaire industrialist, this move was a bare-faced attempt to move the assets out of the reach of minority shareholders, according to lawsuits the investors filed", pointed out the American newspaper.

The corporate sharks, so it seems, understood it all very well, and what was why all kinds of accusations were made with reservations. “We are not charging Mr. Bond personally with fraud”, said Michael Hunter, president of Dart Management Inc. “We do believe that companies he is involved in administering are being used as instruments in a scheme to defraud investors”, reported the American newspaper.

After “the amicable agreement” of Yukos with the group of Kenneth Darth, all participants of the battle forgot about the emerged information as about a nightmare. However, the Russian investigation closely studied the activities of “Valmet”. And a lot of interesting things were found. Thus, the question of the American reporters – whether the companies Mr. Bond administers are part of attempts to siphon assets from some of Russia's biggest companies – received a rather clear answer in the course of the second court case concerning Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev who were accused of oil theft and money laundering,

Extract from the “Indictment order in regard to Khodorkovsky M.B. Moscow City, June 29, 2008.

(Materials of the criminal case No 18/432766-07).

“The organized group headed by Khodorkovsky while committing new crimes continued to use services of the international holding secretarial company “Valmet Group Limited” (Bermuda), former name “Riggs Valmet”, which had affiliates in Switzerland (“Valmet SA”, Geneva, Isle of Man (Valmet Isle of Man Limited, Douglas), Holland (“Valmet Trust Management B.V.”, Rotterdam, Gibraltar, Spain, Cypress, Mauritius, Seychelles Islands. The mentioned above secretarial company provided Khodorkovsky and acting with him persons with companies registered in offshore jurisdictions as well as with services of nominal directors and managers of bank accounts under their instructions" (Page 2).

In the materials of the case, it was particularly noted that the organized group of Khodorkovsky had some problems in working with Peter M. Bond caused by several circumstances relating to the forms of assets possession. After that, a decision was taken “to change the scheme of embezzlement and legalization of stolen assets together with changing of persons who provided secretarial services”.

“Apart from that, Peter Bond gave evidence to law enforcement agencies of different countries and said that through companies in which he had been provided secretarial services, unlawfully acquired property had been “laundered”. That is why for Khodorkovsky, Lebedev, and other members of the organized group, as for persons who were actively funneling out of the country pecuniary assets, which had been received from the realization of the stolen oil and ended on accounts of foreign banks, it became dangerous to use his services", was stressed in the materials of the investigation.

All these dirty schemes of siphoning out assets, funneling out of Russia money, and its legalization outside it, are part of the judgment of guilt which on December 27, 2010, was announced by the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow. But in the American press by that time they already started to see in the financial robber Khodorkovsky sort of "liberal blessing" (i.e. money), and simply used the whole story it as an instrument of struggle against Russia, trying in every possible way to justify his criminal activity and calling it “political”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, the tax swindler Khodorkovsky was doing matchmaking in the United States”. Khodorkovsky greased some palms in Washington and from “the tough guy” of the robber privatization turned to “a respectable corporate citizen”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on September 24, 2002.

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