Instead of production, father and son Makhlai invested in offshore

Tolyattiazot turned from a chemical giant into a cash laundry.
27.05.2019
Versia
Origin source
PJSC "Tolyattiazot" - one of the largest Russian enterprises, once the pride of the domestic chemical industry, has long become a headache. Over the years, the owners of the plant, runaway oligarchs of Makhlai, have hardly invested in production, preferring to invest in offshore companies.

The result is sad: a huge plant, designed to produce at least 3 million tons of ammonia per year, hardly produces 2-2.5 million tons, is in a deplorable technical condition, threatening a man-made disaster of federal scale. But even from abroad, its owners manage to invent more and more new ways to siphon money from the enterprise. Now the Komsomolsk District Court of Tolyatti is considering the case of the theft of more than 86 billion rubles. with TOAZ, billions are calculated amounts of outstanding taxes that the tax authorities have to collect through the courts. The scale of crime at the plant is amazing, given that the era of the 90s should have ended long ago.

No matter what

According to one version, during the privatization, Vladimir Makhlai, the former “red director” of TOAZ, was able to convince the authorities (they say that even Anatoly Chubais himself) to privatize the plant according to a “third”, simplified version intended for small enterprises. Initially, only a quarter of the shares were at the disposal of Makhlai, another quarter was distributed among members of the workforce. Makhlai decided to by all means put TOAZ under his control and, under any pretexts, forced the workers to transfer their shares to him. If persuasion did not work, threats and blackmail could be used. One way or another, he achieved his goal.

Not without the support of local officials: Alexander Makarov, Deputy Head of the Committee on Property of the Samara Region, became Vladimir Makhlay's economic assistant (and later, it seems, fled abroad with him from criminal prosecution). And the chairman of the committee, Vladimir Mamigonov, had been on the board of directors of TOAZ for a long time. The future (and now formerly long-time) director of TOAZ, Evgeny Korolev, at various times worked as the director of the TOAZ-Invest financial and investment company CJSC, the director of the Tolyatti branch and the chairman of the board of directors of the Regional Orenburg Registrar, the director of the Privolzhsky branch of LLC "Volga-Ural-Siberian Registrar".
 
In these positions, Korolev, being under the leadership of Makhlai, kept the register of shareholders of an enterprise, and in the key that was necessary for his management - minority shareholders disliked by the management could simply disappear from the roster. Usually it looked like this: a minority shareholder (most often, a former or current employee of the plant) acquired shares from another minority shareholder, but subsequently did not find in the registry either purchased shares or those that he had before the purchase. As the residents of Tolyatti say, hundreds of such stories were known in the city. The most sensational episode was the story of Eurotoaz Limited. The company received a 10% stake in Tolyattiazot for investing about $ 20 million in the company, but at some point in ET it was discovered that instead of it in the register it was liquidated in 1995. SRWP (Russian-Hungarian enterprise Europoz ).

Relieve conscience

By the end of the 90s, Vladimir Makhlai had complete control over TOAZ, finally turning it from a “red director” into a businessman. At that time, businessmen were eliminated by the hands of local Togliatti thugs, who were full in those days in the city. The fate of a certain E. Povalyayeva, who became Makhlai's mistress, is indicative. As the media wrote, he rented an apartment for her, where important documents and information were also kept (about the real shareholders of TOAZ and Transammiak, the register of shareholders and other important information for Machly). Subsequently, Povalyaeva died. It was rumored that she was murdered. Since it is extremely difficult to solve contract killings, the death of Povalyaeva could have remained a mystery. But in 2012, one of the former members of “Fantomas”, Yevgeny Kutminov, who is serving a life sentence in a correctional colony for those serving a life sentence “The Black Dolphin” for other crimes, appears to have decided to ease his conscience and said that the former “night butterfly” supposedly killed his accomplices. How many more people in Tolyatti have suffered the fate of Povalyaeva, we can only guess. For example, the murders of Valery Ivanov and Alexey Sidorov’s journalists who tried to investigate Makhlaev’s cases remain unsolved.

But there was little control over Makhlai’s factory. We needed money, big money. It seems that it was then that a scheme was invented that allows one to “launder” a significant part of the company's income and assign it. In 2001, TOAZ concluded an agreement for a period of 20 years with the Swiss company Nitrochem Distribution AG, a subsidiary of Ameropa AG, which first belonged not to someone else’s for Mahlai Felix Tsivi, and after his death to his son Andreas.

The agreement put the Togliatti plant in absolutely enslaving conditions. The scheme looked like this: Nitrochem became the exclusive trader of TOAZ, and, of course, got the opportunity to set a price for the plant’s products, which were usually just sent by the director of the company Nitrochem Beat Ruprecht by fax together with the requested supply volumes. Even to challenge it, not to refuse at all, the factory workers had no opportunity. As a rule, the price was 30–40% lower than the market.


Then Nitrochem sold the plant’s products — ammonia and carbamide — at average market prices, and the difference was distributed between the organizers and the participants in the scheme. Members of this media community call “the president of the Togliattiazot corporation, Vladimir Makhlay, and his son Sergei Makhlay, the main shareholder of Togliattihimbank affiliated with Togliattiazot (the younger Makhlai in 2011, became chairman of the board of directors of TOAZ), the plant’s general director Yevgeny Korolev, responsible for the maintenance of the register of shareholders of TOAZ, as well as the owner of Ameropa AG, Andreas Zivi, and the head of Nitrochem Distribution AG, Beat Ruprecht. All of them are now the defendants in the criminal case of fraud on a large scale in the implementation of export operations with products of Togliattiazot. Since the beginning of 2018, the case has been heard in the Komsomolsky District Court of Tolyatti.

Now, the fact that TOAZ has underestimated profits and tax evasion is recorded by the six effective decisions of the Arbitration Court of the Samara Region. According to them, the plant was obliged to pay 2.5 billion rubles. unpaid taxes with fines and penalties for 2008-2012. Each time Makhlai fiercely challenged the charges, but the courts of all instances confirmed the correctness of the tax inspection. The seventh case on May 21, 2019 "Togliattiazot" lost in the Arbitration Court. Thus, he will have to pay an additional 523 million rubles. taxes from profit for 2013

Laundry

It is also curious that the part of the profits that still returned to TOAZ often went there as a “loan” from the exclusive creditor of the company, Ameropa AG. That is, the chemical plant actually remained without at least a third of the proceeds due to the transfer of education, but at the same time it also borrowed itself, and Ameropa AG received interest. Not surprisingly, because of all this once-thriving enterprise, there was not enough money, not only for modernization and major repairs, but even for the purchase of the main raw material - natural gas.

The participants of the scheme, Makhlai and Tsivi, placed the profit on deposits of offshore companies in the Tolyattihimbank JSCB at high interest rates, and also bought interest bills of the Tolyattihimbank JSCB to generate the illusion of legal origin of money. In other words, it seems that in the structure of TOAZ, the bank worked as a giant “laundry” in order to launder “dirty” money generated from illegal sales of its products. Both TOAZ and Nitrochem had bank accounts in foreign currency and rubles within the bank, and all settlements between them took place within this organization. In addition, in the scheme for the legalization of cash, interest bearing promissory notes issued by banks in favor of offshore companies were used.

Another possible channel for the withdrawal of money from TOAZ and their laundering was the construction company MSA-Stroy. As the document of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (No. 17-05-05 / 7667 dated 07.26.16) sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the city of Togliatti demonstrates, as a result of an audit by Rosfinmonitoring of MSA Stroy LLC, there were sufficient reasons to suspect this organization of legalization income from criminal activities. According to the certificate attached to the document, it can be assumed that MSA Stroy carried out the theft of TOAZ funds by “overstating the rates for construction and installation works and the use of low-quality materials during construction”. The plant honestly paid the construction company money in full, which, apparently, was later transferred to the accounts of one-day firms of LLC MAIR, LLC Edem, LLC Kaskad and others. From these companies, the money flew abroad, where the Russian fiscal authorities could not reach them. In total, over the period from 2009 to 2016, over 387 million rubles could be withdrawn in this way, from which taxes were also not paid.


Not only money, but also the most liquid assets were withdrawn from Togliattiazot. Numerous accountants, appraisers, and also directors of not-so-clean companies seemed to be assisting Makhlayai and Zivi in ​​this. According to documents published in the press, in the period from 2005 to 2010, using a series of several hundred transactions, each of which separately did not arouse any suspicion, the ammonia aggregate No. 7, relatively modern and in better technical condition, was derived from TOAZ. with the rest. As a result, 16 buildings and structures of the unit and over 500 units of production equipment were sold for less than 100 million rubles. with a real market value of at least 10 billion rubles. - a hundred times difference. On the part of TOAZ, the contracts were concluded by the above-mentioned Alexander Makarov. Constant buyer of plant property - LLC Tomet. The company is 100% owned by Hong Kong offshore companies, control of which, according to public data, kept Andreas Tsivi. In the same way, methanol production was removed from TOAZ in 2010 - the plant with a capacity of 450 thousand tons per year, together with the land plot, was sold to OOO Tomet for 132 million rubles. This time, the contract on the part of TOAZ was signed by then-CEO Yevgeny Korolev. As the examination established, almost all contracts and acts of valuation of property sold for a pittance were stamped with fake seals and signed with fake signatures. As confirmed at the interrogation in the Komsomolsky District Court of Tolyatti, Acting General Director of the plant Alexei Vinogradov, he did not sign most of the purchase and sale contracts, signed allegedly on his behalf, because he was in another city. On September 18, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow imprisoned appraiser Alexander Korenchenko, who appears to have ensured the illegal withdrawal of property, underestimating its value by a factor of 100.

One question

In addition, Andreas Zivi managed to get a stake in TOAZ for a pittance. Two Samara companies helped him in this: Kontaz (founder - Vladimir Makhlay’s sister - Raisa Golovanova) and Rodnikok (founder - Vladimir Makhlay’s close friend Valentina Semenova), according to investigators, who sold the Swiss-controlled offshore stock at a nominal price of 1 ruble per share.
By withdrawing the most liquid assets from PJSC “Tolyattiazot”, Makhlai and Tsivi at the same time aggravate the enterprise with foreign loans. A year ago, TOAZ announced the signing of a loan agreement with a syndicate of banks Commerzbank AG (Zurich, Switzerland) and LandesbankBaden-Wuerttemberg (Stuttgart, Germany) for a total of 200 million euros for a period of nine years. According to representatives of TOAZ, the funds allegedly have to go to the construction of the third urea unit. But there is no reason to believe them: who in their right mind will begin to build the third unit, when the two existing ones are in a dreadful state? Of course, after a year there are no signs of the emergence of a new installation at TOAZ.

Obviously, the plan of Makhlaev and Tsivi is simple: they put the credit in their pocket, and when several years later the creditors demand money back, and all liquid assets from PJSC Togliattiazot will already be withdrawn and there will be nothing to take from rusty pipes and emergency units There will be no one to pay with the Swiss and German banks.

One question remains: how did the organizers and participants of these illegal schemes manage to do all this for so long? Why their activities were not stopped 15 or 10 years ago? The answer suggests itself: corruption. The rule of Makhlaev on TOAZ could not begin and live without corruption. And, apparently, the scale of their corruption influence extended far beyond the borders of Tolyatti and the Samara region. Makhlai was assisted by local and federal deputies, senators, law enforcement officers, various hired experts and political scientists. In recent years, those wishing to intercede for the fugitive oligarchs have become noticeably smaller - their actions have turned out to be too glaring. Militiamen seriously engaged in Makhlai and exposing their schemes, and sooner or later they will have to answer before the law for everything that they have done.

Business



Attcan: ATTORNEYS, LAWYERS AND LAW FIRMS IN Canada

ATTUS: ATTORNEYS, LAWYERS AND LAW FIRMS IN THE UNITED STATES