The Prosecutor General's Office has filed a lawsuit against the ex-minister for "open government" Mikhail Abyzov and Alfa-Bank to recover $ 126.5 million in favor of the state. This is reported by TASS with reference to the press service of the Gagarin Court of Moscow, which will consider the case.
“The court received a claim from the Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia against Abyzov and Alfa-Bank, in which the representative of the supervisory agency demands to recover from the defendants more than $ 126 million in favor of the state. A preliminary meeting (conversation) on this claim is scheduled for August 12 this year, ”the court said, without specifying other details.
Sources in the power structures told Kommersant that Deputy Prosecutor General Anatoly Razinkin, who oversees the investigation in the central offices of the TFR and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has filed a claim. In it, he demanded to recover $ 104.5 million from Alfa-Bank, and another $ 22 million from Abyzov "as property obtained as a result of laundering corruption income."
One of the interlocutors of the publication noted that the lawsuit was a continuation of last year's story of recovering from Abyzov and the Cypriot offshore companies controlled by him a record amount for Russia in the amount of 32 billion rubles. in the same Gagarinsky District Court.
As the newspaper notes, during the events held by the Prosecutor General's Office together with the FSB and Rosfinmonitoring, it was found that part of the proceeds from the transactions (appearing in the ex-minister's case) funds Abyzov converted into $ 115 million and invested at interest in the project of the TON blockchain platform of the Telegram messenger brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov. However, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) through a court banned the issuance of cryptocurrency and its transfer to investors. Due to the fact that this project did not take place, Abyzov's funds with a 10 percent income, and only $ 126.5 million, were subject to return to Russia, the claim says.
It also notes that Abyzov "in order to conceal this property from collection", in agreement with Telegram and Alfa-Bank, "replaced the controlled organizations and, in order to repay his and related companies, transferred the obligations to the accounts of foreign transit companies opened in this bank." ... “Obviously, it was about paying off the debts of the E4 company owned by Mr. Abyzov to the bank, estimated, according to various sources, at 10 billion rubles,” the newspaper writes.
The lawsuit states that Alfa-Bank, servicing and controlling these accounts, carried out transactions with Abyzov's "illegal funds", turning into its ownership $ 104.5 million. This money is property that, due to its corruption origin, cannot be a legal object of civil turnover and serve as legal tender, asserted in the claim. "In addition, the Prosecutor General's Office established that Mikhail Abyzov sent the remaining $ 22 million to the accounts of persons under his control," the publication says.
According to the author of the lawsuit, the actions of Abyzov and Alfa-Bank were "antisocial, and their agreements were insignificant." He also believes that their actions are "contrary to the foundations of law and order and morality," since Abyzov and Alfa-Bank pursued the goal of legalizing corrupt property and hiding it from the regulatory authorities.
“So far we do not know the details of the lawsuit filed, but in any case, we have not done anything illegal, and Alfa-Bank, in principle, always acts strictly within the framework of the law,” the bank's press service told Kommersant.
The ex-minister's lawyer, Julius Tai, told the publication that he knew about the filing of a new lawsuit, but was not yet familiar with its content. At the same time, he was surprised at the filing of a new claim, since the proceedings on the first claim in terms of its execution have not yet been completed.
Tai drew particular attention to the fact that Abyzov's assets were arrested, worth almost twice those claimed by the state (more than 70 billion rubles), and that the defense of the ex-minister has so far been unsuccessfully trying to appeal against this decision.
Abyzov coordinated the activities of the "open government" from May 21, 2012 to May 18, 2018. He was arrested in March 2019 and sent to a pre-trial detention center. The investigation believes that from April 2011 to November 2014, Abyzov owned several offshore companies. Having created a criminal community with five other persons, he deceived the shareholders of OJSC Siberian Energy Company and OJSC Regional Electric Networks, stealing 4 billion rubles from them. The ex-minister himself does not admit his guilt.
Novaya Gazeta and OCCRP found about 70 offshore companies in Abyzov's accounts, which received more than $ 860 million in 2011-2016. 42 companies, according to publications, were established during Abyzov’s work in the government.
In October last year, the Gagarinsky District Court of Moscow satisfied the request of the Prosecutor General's Office and turned over 32 billion rubles into state revenue, seized from Abyzov. The Prosecutor General's Office stated that when he entered the civil service, Abyzov concealed his property status, in particular, he concealed the ownership of five offshore companies registered in Cyprus. He also owned securities of at least ten Russian companies worth over RUB 9 billion.