July 8 High Court in London issued an order on the recognition of the powers of the Russian bankruptcy trustee of "Distant Steppe" Cyril Nogotkova. That decision, of which the "Kommersant" newspaper reported a month later, was another step towards the recognition of Russian court decisions. This solution also allows you to go back to the origins of the case "fund Hermitage (Hermitage) in Russia," which began as a search for traces 7% stake in Gazprom, but it was soon reduced to a chain of investigation of cases involving the theft of taxes and death of Sergei Magnitsky financial advisor. In the resulting maelstrom of corruption schemes and recrimination could drown the essence of this case, which, by and large, was reduced to a single transaction - the purchase of shares on the domestic market.
The fact that the decision of the British court became known only in August, due, most likely, a different date. At the scheduled meeting of creditors of "Distant Steppe" on 18 August. Getting to know the materials for this meeting began on August 11th. In other words, the "British recognition" information was very actcial. The bankruptcy trustee in the "Long steppe" Marigold Cyril was appointed in November 2015, the Arbitration Court of Kalmykia. Thus the first step in a new epic fund Hermitage (Hermitage).
"Further step" was the starting point in the Hermitage Museum in Russia. Back in 2004, at her (and yet another firm - "Saturn Investments") had opened a criminal case on charges of tax evasion of 500 million rubles. Both companies have been registered in Kalmykia, and were under the control of the Hermitage Fund. At that time, the whole team of William Browder was still in good health, worked in Moscow, the Kremlin welcomed the initiative in the fight against the oligarchs and preparing for the main holiday - the liberalization of the market of Gazprom shares.
Devil arbitration Gazprom
The company "further step" in Elista was registered in June 1998. She has settled Gazprom shares. This was one of the firms in the whole chain of structures created to buy up shares in the Russian gas concern held for trading on the Russian market. Such a procedure - a double circle - was determined to claim the specialresident decree taken by Boris Yeltsin in 1997. In financiers working in Russia, it has the opportunity to "play on trust" - to convince foreign investors to invest in the ruble market shares of the gas concern, based on the abolition of restrictions and the enormous profits - after the "equalization" of prices.
It was on the legality of the operation, which has become a favorite pastime and the most popular Russian brokers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. But there was another, the political component in the creation of restrictions on trade in the shares. Losing a controlling stake in Gazprom, the Russian authorities were concerned that this control will go to foreign "strategy", whose interests will be determined not only and not so much financial as political interests. The share of foreign ownership in Gazprom equity was fixed at around 20%. But this fixation concerned only the "white market" - the shares that may be quoted in foreign markets.
In early 2004 the Russian Federation owned 38.7% stake in Gazprom. At this point, according to Russian investigators, Mr.and the balance sheet structure, controlled by the Hermitage, has accumulated about 7% of Gazprom's shares. Have these actions in bargaining with the state of redemption is unknown. But the institution of tax cases for small amounts quite fit into the overall picture of trade.
In the summer of 2005, declaring its intention in 2006 to combine the markets, the Russian authorities justified this decision by saying that they have managed to consolidate in the hands of the state sought a controlling stake. In November 2005, William Browder, the curator of the Hermitage in Russia, banned from entering the country on national security grounds. Prior to March 2006 this information carefully concealed financial advisor. Once data Browder break with the Kremlin became public in Kalmyk the offshore flow of funds began - the action in the same direction, money, respectively, in the other. From that moment on, all the attention of law enforcement agencies and journalists have been fully absorbed by the fate of the money, but do not share. The latter played a much more important role in this story.
The investigation of tax matters "Long steppe" found missing from the balance of the company's 37.5 million shares of Gazprom.It turned out that in December 2004, they were sold in small quantities, and the money paid out as dividends to the accounts of offshore companies. The cost of the remaining assets after the sale of shares barely exceeded 22 thousand. Rub. Despite the apparent technical nature of these operations, bankrotstsvo "Long steppe" was quite real. That is why the 26 September 2006 the arbitration court of Kalmykia appointed Alexander Dolzhenko temporary manager Ltd. "further step".
Alexander Dolzhenko without much hype bankrupted "Steppe", and for a time disappeared from the security forces. Exactly until this direction did not seem promising to them. In 2015 began an investigation into the bankruptcy of "Long steppe". As the injured party in this case by the Federal Tax Service. Alexander Dolzhenko was arrested and charged with complicity in the deliberate bankruptcy of the company. The main accused in this case turned out to be William Browder, who, creating a network of technology companies, did not hesitate to lead them. William Browder in absentia accused of deliberately baruptcy and illegal withdrawal of assets.
Now, armed with confessions Dolzhenko, new manager Cyril marigolds ready for interrogation Browder and his partner Ivan Cherkasov, as well as the search for the kidnapped. It is right to give him the High Court in London. As a result of the return to the origins of the already complicated history with the Hermitage can tune up with new colors. "The Godfather" fund - known in narrow circles of the banker Edmond Saffra, burned alive in his apartment in Monaco in December 1998. This happened after the commotion began around the IMF money allocated by Russia on the eve of the August 1998 crisis. By this time, Edmond Saffra sell its National Republic Bank bank HSBC. Subsequently, in a few years the same bank controlled by the Hermitage Fund, on the same bank account left the money paid for the shares of Gazprom. In other words, any deepening of the topic in the Hermitage on British soil promises to unpredictable consequences for all participants who were involved in this matter.