Misappropriation, deceit and fraudulent transactions at the Sberbank Asset Management Department run by Berger, Linchik and Kondratyev

Honest John the Fox and Gideon the Cat from Sberbank’s Asset Management Department. No other headline could be coined for those major misappropriations devised by some officers of Russia’s biggest bank.
 Solid inside information has emerged regarding the names of the perpetrators of the theft and large-scale withdrawal of moneys from the RF Sberbank (Savings Bank of Russia) in violation of several articles of Russia’s Criminal Code.

In early December, 2018, a meaningful event occurred in Russian financial industry: for the first time the Russian Federation Central Bank launched an investigation into a grand fraud against PJSC Sberbank, one of the country’s biggest managing companies:

Having analyzed the inside information made available to him, our correspondent is prepared to supply the following compromising material against persons involved in the theft at PJSC Sberbank’s (Savings Bank of Russia) Asset Management Department: Dmitry Eduardovich Berger, born August 25, 1986; Yevgeny Vasilyevich Linchik, born January 15, 1975; and Maksim Aleksandrovich Kondratyev, born December 27, 1980.

Further on, in other information sources of the Russian Federation, specifically, in the newspaper Vedomosti, a number of articles emerged on this subject. At issue is a certain trader, named Dmitry Eduardovich Berger, an officer of the Sberbank Asset Management Department, who had caused the company, by manipulating 50 shares, 150 million loss in three years, putting that money into his pocket, which amounts to a grand larceny and a sizable penalty under Russia’s Penal Code.

However, the mass media reveal only one perpetrator, leaving the direct organizers of the cheating scheme in the shade (is it by chance?). We decided to reconstruct the complete story of this shady cheating operation leveled against the Russian Sberbank’s Asset Management Department.  

Dmitry Eduardovich Berger (left in the photo), born 25.08.1986, reported directly to portfolio manager Yevgeny Vasilyevich Linchik (center in the photo), born 15.01.1975, and Maksim Aleksandrovich Kondratyev (right in the photo), born 27.12.1980. The story dates from their work together in the team of the old company and the Renaissance Bank.

OCG (Organized Crime Gang) Sberbank Asset Management Department headed by Berger, Kondratyev and Linchik, this should have been the headline used by information agencies and newspapers long ago. However, law enforcement authorities and the Russian FSB, Directorate K operatives, left this saga of theft and swindle without due attention.

Yevgeny Linchik enjoys ill fame in the professional community. The securities market circulates legends about Yevgeny, an expert on hiding losses in his financial portfolios. Yevgeny Linchik’s funds have been for years below benchmarks. Together with Dmitry Berger he openly conducted transactions with Russian portfolios of trust funds, Sberbank non-governmental pension fund, and military mortgage, which urged many wealthy customers to quit the bank. That was an ordinary thieves’ scheme of front-running their own trades. Getting orders for purchase of securities from portfolio managers, Dmitry Berger passed this inside info on to a third party. Having received data on the forthcoming deal, that third party (which law enforcement agencies still have to find out based on IP addresses) immediately executed a similar transaction on the market, after which they resold shares to Berger at a higher price. Using the company name as a cover, the OCG Sberbank Asset Management Department had “made” more than 150,000,000 million rubles of customer pension benefits (judging by the proved episodes alone). The Russian Federation Prosecutor’s Office must examine this iceberg more thoroughly and at greater length.

According to internal sources of PJSC Sberbank, it’s not the first time the trio of Berger, Linchik and Kondratyev are confronted with tough questions of the market regulator. Previously, however, the director-general of the company bailed them out. It’s hard to say if the internal control service of Sberbank Asset Management Department was on the pad with this bunch of cheats. After the old director-general had gone, a new software system was installed at the RF Central Bank, which made it possible to easily monitor such inside transactions.

In 2017, Yevgeny Linchik started to cover up his tracks, fearful of prosecution (he was either alerted by someone or smelt danger of carrying on stealing so openly), he discharged his accomplice Dmitry Eduardovich Berger in a day in July of 2017.

A suit over the “Berger affair” has been initiated. However, it’s still unclear if inventers of the scheme will be brought to justice according to the law of the Russian Federation.

In recent times, Herman Gref, head of the PAO Sberbank, started to show a special interest in work of the Sberbank Asset Management Department, an affiliate of the Savings Bank of Russia. As a result, new appointments ensued in the asset management company. But will it be possible to fully clean the Augean stable and remove the snags from the green meadow?! After all, the discovered fraud is by far not the last skeleton in the Asset Management Company’s cupboard.