Ex-owner of TagAZ got frozen in Cyprus

Sberbank accuses Mikhail Paramonov of fraud.
As it became known to Kommersant, Sberbank through the LLC South Automobile Group (SAG) succeeded in arresting the assets of ex-owner Taganrog Automobile Plant (TagAZ) Mikhail Paramonov and Cypriot companies, which he allegedly controls. The Nicosia District Court prohibited the defendants from dispossessing assets and freezing their funds by 4.4 billion rubles. Such an order was made with the aim of securing the claim of the SAG for compensation of losses caused by alleged fraudulent actions of the former management of TagAZ.

A source close to the parties to the dispute told Kommersant that on March 28 the Nicosia District Court ordered the seizure of property of Cypriot companies Stoba Trading Ltd and Cerim Trading Ltd and Mikhail Paramonov. This development of events was forecasted by Kommersant in September 2016: then, at the request of the UAG and the bankruptcy trustee Mikhail Paramonov, the same court ordered Cypriot firms to disclose information about the beneficiaries, assets and deals with TagAZ. The information is disclosed in part, and now the UAG demands that Stoba director Michalis Michaelidis be brought to justice.

The seizure of property was imposed to secure a lawsuit filed by the SAG in March against Cypriot companies, their directors and Mr. Paramonov, the source said. The UAG demands that TagAZ's artificial debts to Stoba and Cerim be recognized as artificial, and the actions for its formation are fraud, believing that these firms are controlled by Mikhail Paramonov himself. The YUG also asks to recover 4.4 billion rubles from defendants. Losses.

TagAZ has worked since 1997, collecting cars under the brands Tagaz, Vortex, Hyundai, BYD. In 2014, the company was declared bankrupt, the amount of its debts exceeded 20 billion rubles. Since April 2015, the plant's assets have been trying to sell as a single lot, the last time in October it was asked for 488 million rubles. The next auction is expected in April. Mikhail Paramonov was declared bankrupt in September 2016 on the initiative of the SAG, his debt under the loan was 4.4 billion rubles. The total amount of creditors' claims to Mr. Paramonov exceeds 18 billion rubles.

The Nicosia court prohibited the defendants and their representatives from disposing of assets (including movable and immovable property, accounts receivable) and commit any actions that could result in the transfer of assets worth up to 4.4 billion rubles. Regardless of their location. All accounts and deposits of respondents in any bank or financial institution in Cyprus and abroad are also frozen. For their daily needs, defendants can spend only € 1500 per month. The term of arrest is established until further order of the court or the end of the hearing. If the order is not executed, the individuals will be arrested.

In the Savings Bank "satisfied with the decision of the Nicosia District Court to freeze assets." "The bank will continue to take measures to recover debts from both TagAZ and Mr. Paramonov, who acted as a guarantor for loans," the bank said. I did not succeed in contacting Mikhail Paramonov, who now lives in Germany.

"Claims of fraud in English law are not criminal cases, but cases of intentional dishonesty of persons, in this case accused of withdrawing funds from the plant," explains Julius Tai, managing partner of Bartolius. Once the court seized the property of firms, the lawyer continues, so he has reason to believe that Mikhail Paramonov is connected with them and can control them, and the respondents have not yet been able to refute this. According to Mr. Tay, the usual term for the process in Cyprus on a complex dispute is two years.

In the register of creditors TagAZa requirements Stoba and Cerim are 3.45 billion rubles., About 1 billion rubles. Of them are secured by a pledge, which means a priority receipt of funds for these debts when selling the property of the plant. One of the purposes of the arrest may be to not allow the secured creditors in Cyprus to receive money from TagAZ, believes Julius Tai. At the same time, in his opinion, if the court satisfies the lawsuit about fraud, other creditors of both the plant and Mikhail Paramonov may claim part of the arrested assets.