Jewelry bankruptcy of Yashma Zoloto

How one of the largest Russian jewelry chains and its owners are being bankrupted. 
The Arbitration Court of Voronezh Oblast in early February announced that the founders of the jewelry retail chain Yashma Zoloto Igor Mavlyanov and Robert Martirosyan were bankrupts. History of the insolvency of the businessmen, whose retail chain is still among the top ten, developed in the same way: in the autumn of 2015 claims for their personal bankruptcy were filed to the Arbitration Court of Moscow by Sberbank, which had failed to collect money from them under contracts of guarantee issued for Yashma Zoloto loans; and in the spring 2016 jewelry companies OOO Stil Gold and OOO Biryuza asked the Voronezh Oblast court to declare the businessmen bankrupts, because each of them owed 950 000 rubles.

It turned out that the businessemen, previously registered in Moscow, changed registration for Bobrov, Voronezh region. Then the applicants changed: the legal successor of the two companies first became a founder of the law firm of Dagestan Ulluby Nukerbekov and then Vladimir Potapov from Borovsk, Kaluga region.

The court fulfilled the demand of Potapov and forces the sale of debtors' property. Martirosyan has shares in 16 companies and 50 000 rubles on the account, and Mavlyanov has stakes in 42 companies and 247 733 rubles; other assets and permanent sources of income are not available, as follows from the decisions. Some of the enterprises are in the process of bankruptcy, said the court.

Now, much depends on whose benefit will act an executive officer, appointed by the court with the filing of the plaintiff, but the bankruptcy at least allowed the debtors to gain time: the foreclosure process in other cases should be suspended, said partner of law office A2 Mikhail Alexandrov.

Vedomosti figured out what can expect the creditors of the businessmen, who in addition to Yashma Zoloto owned the real estate development business and a network of duty-free shops.

Relations crisis 

Until 2014, the business of Mavlyanov and Martirosyan had been growing. As Forbes magazine wrote, in the mid-1990s Mavlyanov was engaged in the import of jewelry and a few years later was forced to create his own retail because the products supplied from Turkey were of such quality that the store merchandisers often refused to accept the goods.

In 1998 Mavlyanov with his old friend Martirosyan founded OAO Trade and Production Company (TPC) Yashma, which managed jewelry stores; after a few years they were transferred under the brand name of Yashma Zoloto. 

In 2003, the partners bought the Kostroma jewelry factory, and things got rolling. Yashma Zoloto started with 38 stores and sales in 849 million rubles, in 2014 it was one of the nation's largest fashion chains with 397 stores and revenues of 45 billion rubles. Mavlyanov was also involved in the business of Martirosyan: duty-free shops network in the airports of Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo. Besides, Mavlyanov had development projects near Moscow.

Now little remains of this. A year ago, most of the duty-free shops closed, TPC Yashma was declared bankrupt, shares in real estate companies were sold by bailiffs. The courts have ruled on collecting of 14.2 billion rubles in favor of creditors personally from Mavlyanov, and 13.7 billion from Martirosyan. According to Mavlyanov, the economic crisis and unscrupulous partners are to be blamed. Lenders, however, believe Mavlyanov himself to be dishonest.

Insolvent business

By 2015, ZAO Aerofirst, which managed Moscow Duty Free shops in Sheremetyevo, and ZAO Arial - in Domodedovo - as well as the parent company of the Yashma Zoloto chain, TPC Yashma, no longer serviced the loans, as follows from claims of banks send to the courts. Duty-free shops in 2015 had about 1.5 billion rubles of net loss due to a sharp drop in passenger traffic and revenue and the operator was forced to close stores in the D terminal of Sheremetyevo, which accounted for 60% of  the revenues, Mavlyanov told Vedomosti. VTB through the court demanded 3.7 billion rubles from Aerofirst, and the company is in the bankruptcy process. As well as Mavlyanov's ZAO Arial, which stores still operate in Domodedovo.

Over 16 years of existence, Yashma Zoloto received more than 70 billion rubles of loans and regularly serviced them, explained Mavlyanov to the Supreme Court of New York, addressed by one of the creditors, VTB Bank, to which Mavlyanov's companies owe about 2 billion rubles. In his testimony Mavlyanov stressed that all funds were spent on business development and recieved the dividends only once, in Q2 2006. However, after the annexation of Crimea, the beginning of military operations in Ukraine, introduction of the anti-Russian sanctions, and consequent ruble depreciation, the jewelry demand sharply decreased. "In 2015, we experienced a perfect storm that led to the inability to pay the bills," he told the court. That year was the worst for the jewelry business: more than 30 companies in the sector bankrupted, and with time the number of bankruptcies increased, continued the businessman. Cost of raw materials rose sharply, other costs followed. Counterparties of Yashma did not fulfill the obligations, the heaviest blow was non-payment of 3 billion rubles by Adamas, which bankrupted. As a result, more than half of Yashma Zoloto stores suffered losses and were closed; in 2015 net revenues were 16.8 billion rubles. and loss amounted to 2.7 billion rubles.

In the fall of 2014 began the protracted crisis in the industry, confirms the CEO of the Guild of Jewelers of Russia Eduard Utkin: all Russian jewelry companies saw sharply falling revenues and average checks in the stores. According to the Assay Office, 110 tons of jewelry was produced in 2014, and in 2015 the volume fell to 59 tons.

Banks also sharply increased interest rates: from 9-14% per annum to 25%, and sometimes up to 40% complained Mavlyanov in correspondence with Vedomosti. In autumn 2015 the same rate, VTB raised a loan of one from 11.5 to 24.33%, and on the other - to 18.96%, Mavlyanov told the court in New York. VTB representative did not answer the question, "Vedomosti" about raising rates.

January 25, 2016 TPK "Jasper" was declared bankrupt, is now in the register of creditors' claims are included in the 31.7 billion rubles, of which about 10 billion -. the requirements of the tax authorities. the debtor's assets are insignificant - 11.8 million rubles.

Among the biggest "Jasper" lenders - Sberbank (8.6 billion rubles.), VTB (5.4 billion), PSB (3 billion), Gazprombank (1.5 billion), "Opening" (1.1 billion), TCB (746 million). "Jasper" should banks about 10 billion rubles., For about 4.5 billion - the obligations under the guarantee for the factoring and debt to the "discovery", TKB and other banks having iz-za guarantees for loans of counterparties, such as "Adamas" Mavlyanov says. The parent company of the group - LLC "Capital jeweler factory" in the autumn of 2015 is in the process of bankruptcy. The credit requirements of the register - the debts to Sberbank and VTB worth about 3 billion rubles. The representative of the "Adamas" stated that "Jasper" never acts as a guarantor for the obligations of "Adamas". "Adamas" delivered "Jasper" products and now through the court requires 290 million rbl., That she was not paid, he explains.

Mavlyanov emphasizes making every effort to pay its creditors. He believes that the collateral mass enough to cover all his obligations. "The primary goal - to solve the problems with the banks to restructure the debt and reclaim the good name, to fulfill all obligations", - said Mavlyanov "Vedomosti". In 2013, he divorced his wife, and in 2015 divided her property, and then from his estate only apartment in Bobrov, where he was prescribed.

All attempts to contact Martirosyan failed.

"Mavlyanov purposefully taken steps to bring assets from the collection: this transfer of all assets to his wife in the process of divorce and personal bankruptcy, which coincidentally was initiated after his move to Voronezh" - the man says, close to the "discovery". The representative of "openness", said that the bank intends to maximize collect debts on loans.

Sberbank is taking all possible measures to recover the debt with a group of companies and its beneficiaries. "There is evidence of the personal assets of the shareholders of the group, including overseas, which can and must be sources of repayment", - gave "Vedomosti" Vice President of Sberbank Maxim Degtyarev. As Degtyarev said, there is every reason to believe the facts of fraud in obtaining credit, the bank has already filed a statement to law enforcement authorities for appropriate procedural decision.

A related property

Property Abroad have Mavlyanova and Martirosyan was - and quite valuable, but to pay her penalty will not be easy, found VTB, the first creditor to apply to the foreign court. Mavlyanov - guarantor for two loans worth 2 billion rubles issued in 2013 VTB.. The bank asked a New York court to challenge the transaction for the disposal of five houses and companies involved, according to him, with Mavlyanova. According to the court, this property arrested. Disposals of assets representative of VTB calls fraud committed with a view to the creditor's fraud.

 These are two plots of land in the hills of Los Angeles, houses in Queens and Harlem apartment in New York, as well as information about the company, which owns two New York taxi license. According to court documents, the total amount of assets -. About $ 15 million, according to VTB, Mavlyanov acquired them since 1996, and by the end of 2015 got rid of everything.

For example, land was first sold to Martirosyan, who sold them - a delay of payment - Mavlyanova eldest son, 26-year-old Ilio. Mavlyanov Jr. told the court that he bought the land from his father's business partner, considering that obtaining all necessary permits for construction - too troublesome and expensive affair. Ilio have higher education in the field of construction and real estate management, he is going to build up sites itself, which a few years ago formed a company Japer Venture Group. It works, and his younger brother, 23-year-old Hanan Mavlyanov. Hanani parents gave house in Queens and two licensed taxis.

Apartments in New York Mavlyanova family after the divorce, the couple sold Evans for $ 3.5 million, and she handed it out Ilio Mavlyanova. The house in Harlem Mavlyanov, according to him, is irrelevant. VTB is trying to prove that he has given to the buyer of the house worth $ 4.7 million at least $ 1.3 million from his bank account. And that the buyer was a partner Mavlyanova on other projects, owed him a large sum. It does not prove the connection Mavlyanova apartment, all transactions were market, explains the businessman to court spokesman. And his son Ilio accusing VTB undue interference in family matters, and damage to real estate development business.

"This is the case of my son, he is an adult, lives its own life, and trying to hang on him my problems," - gave Mavlyanov Sr. "Vedomosti". He is trying to prove to the court that, loan guarantees their structures, it is considered a matter of formal: borrowers have had enough assets. VTB does not require any information about the personal assets that guarantee proves formality, said Mavlyanov court. Loans obtained in Russia by Russian structures, the bank needs to collect in this country there is an existing order, the representative of Mavlyanova court in New York.

Construction sites in the red

Shares in the two development companies Mavlyanova bailiffs in February, sold at auction for just 1.5 million rubles. - Sberbank and they were laid on loans for 9 billion rubles. Mavlyanov more than 10 years ago, together with businessman Babak Hasanov he founded the company "Ramstroy" (share Mavlyanova - 51%) - for the construction of residential complex "Sunny" in Ramenskoye - and "Agrostroy" (66%) - for the project low-rise village of "Novo-Nikolskoye" . "We were introduced to the general business partner - told" Vedomosti "Hasanov. - He had the land, I bought a piece of land. It was assumed that I would be engaged in the construction, because I understand it, all his life, and he will provide financing as a man, with ties to the banks. " Money Mavlyanov attracted Sberbank.

"Sunny" was built, there were problems with the second project. LCD "Novo-Nikolskoye" at the Kiev highway was launched in 2012, developers have promised to build 67 low-rise buildings, 201 and 30 townhouse villas on a plot of 150 hectares. Commissioning of the first phase of a 10 000 sq. m has been scheduled for December 2015, but in mid-2015, construction fell because of the corporate conflict. Hasanov accused Mavlyanova first in an attempt to take away his development project, and then - in an attempt to deliberate bankruptcy (see incision.).

House with encumbrance

In 2015, Hasanov appealed to Mavlyanova statements to the police, prosecutor's office and tax authorities. The occasion was a contract on participation in the project "Novo-Nikolskoye" new partner - LLC "Golden Constellation". Mavlyanov tried to transfer assets - apartments in houses - on this company and take development project resents Hasanov: "In addition, I found that the CEO" Agrostroya "close to Mavlyanova people, a few days after his appointment in September 2015 , issued in the name of "Agrostroya" guarantee on the loan to 3.5 billion rubles. before some oshfornoy now. " Another loan guarantee for 1 billion rubles., Issued a "Ramstroy 'complains Hasanov. He challenged the decision in court bail. Quarreled partners have tried to reconcile the representatives of Sberbank and the deputy head of the department for the development of new territories of Moscow Pavel Perepelitsa: with their help, the shareholders' Agrostroya "agreed to take Sberbank has 420 million rubles. and complete the residential complex to 900 shareholders, who bought the apartment, could get his property. Now Hasanov claims that Mavlyanov deliberately ripped off negotiations with the bank, the money is not received and construction costs (see photo). A person close to the Savings Bank, confirms it. Mavlyanov story does not comment.

 The fact that the share Mavlyanova sold at a lower price, the businessman last week complained to the business ombudsman Boris Titov. This is done by the court for the recovery of 300 million rubles. in favor of the bank "Opening" on the surety of a company - LLC "middle way." Federal Bailiffs Service estimated the share of the "AGROSTROY" 16 000 rubles, and in "Ramstroe." -. 1.5 million rubles, the buyer became Hasanov, reported Mavlyanov. He estimated the assets of "Ramstroya", primarily property, 4 bln. According to him, the sale took place with the filing of the lender.

"Opening" is not coordinated Mavlyanova sale of real estate assets for 1.5 million rubles. and would challenge this assessment, objects representative of the bank. Hasanov explains the low value of the assets and debts guarantees more than 11 billion rubles., Hanging on companies, and the upcoming costs for the completion of "Novo-Nikolsky". He said he does not expect to make money on these projects, will invest their own funds in order to maintain the reputation.

Link weight in gold

Lenders suspect Mavlyanov continue to do business, not to pay off the old debts, complained, "Vedomosti" employees of the two banks. At the site of the closed shops, "Jasper Gold" opened a new shopping network - "red gold", which sells the products of the Kostroma region. According to SPARC, the founder of "red gold", small businesses in the Kostroma region - Eugene Dmitriev. According to an employee of one of the jewelry chains, until 2014 Dmitriev as an individual entrepreneur worked in "Jasper Gold" shop.

Contact could not be with him. Bankers - the interlocutors "Vedomosti" believe that the "red gold" are co-owners of "Jasper". A member of the central office of "red gold" has denied the company's relationship with "Jasper gold" or its owners. Mavlyanov said that "red gold" has no relation to it. "They used to take the franchise in" Jasper ", but later we stopped - says Mavlyanov. - Dmitriev in TPK "Jasper" never worked. "

Restore the jewelry network is easy, experts say. Retail in the jewelry business is seldom arranged on the basis of the vertical holding mainly used those or other kinds of franchises, says Oksana Senatorova, publisher of the trade magazine "Navigator of Jewellery Trade". Shops "Jasper Gold" were separate legal entities that are not related to each other, the staff explained the two competing fashion companies - SPARK data confirm this. These companies do not even need to buy a franchise: the manufacturer can supply the goods in the shops under commission agreements, explains one of the interlocutors "Vedomosti".

"I am 20 years has been a successful entrepreneur, and I plan to continue to stay in business, I do not intend to leave. I am sure that we will cope with all the problems ", - gave Mavlyanov" Vedomosti ".

 Golden carousel

After checking for the 2011-2012. The Federal Tax Service (FTS) assessed additional TPK "Jasper" of more than 7 billion rubles. VAT. According to Igor Mavlyanova during tax audit identified several minor violations. "Based on its results, it was decided to charge additional taxes that we paid - handed Mavlyanov" Vedomosti ". - However, later, in 2016, the Federal Tax Service has revised its own decision for that period, opened and held repeated tax audit, and on all the transactions TPK "Jasper" during this period was assessed additional VAT ".

At the end of 2016 in the central office, "Jasper Gold" on the street came Aviamotor staff of the Investigative Committee (IC) with a search warrant. December 19 announced the UK to initiate criminal proceedings under Art. 199 of the Criminal Code ( "Tax Evasion") in respect of the management of JSC «Trade-production company" Jasper ". As a result of the tax audit carried out in 2015, the Federal Tax Service has estimated that of "TPK" Jasper "in the period from 2011 to 2012 has not paid the state, taking into account fines and penalties 9.8 billion rubles., It follows from the case.

According to investigators, the management of "Jasper" has created a fictitious document with almost 30-night firms and through transnational banks (license revoked in 2015) received the precious metals without paying VAT. The materials of the checks, which the learned "Vedomosti" says that of the "Jasper" bank vault received the gold bars under the loan agreements. These operations are not subject to VAT, and the loan was closed netting mutual obligations without returning bullion in the vault.

The resulting gold was realized through a chain of technical companies, without payment of VAT. Law enforcement officers found that the company did not conduct real activity, there were no more than one and a half years and have been registered on nominees and nominees. The amount of the unpaid tax to cash is withdrawn from circulation, as listed in the repayment of liabilities to an affiliated company - LLC "Jewelry House" Jasper ". Then the money is returned back through the "technical" line in the regional offices, and then - abroad. Gold is transported and stored employees "Almada" in violation of the PPC.

Companies that fail to pay taxes, do not have a group of companies "Jasper" nothing emphasizes Mavlyanov. "TPK" Jasper "has paid all required taxes under the legislation, and the criminal case excitation is another attempt to put pressure on the company by its opponents", - he says. The decision to charge additional taxes TPK "Jasper" contested in court, the case is in the first instance, he says: "We will defend the right and to seek justice in the courts."