The Ministry of Internal Affairs has begun a pre-investigation check regarding the “possible illegal actions” of the former management of the Rosgosstrakh insurance company, a source close to Rosgosstrakh told Vedomosti and the company’s representative confirmed. The investigation began to examine transactions related to the withdrawal of assets by the former management of Rosgosstrakh, which were completed shortly before the redevelopment of FC Otkrytie, said the source of Vedomosti, close to one of the participants in those transactions. In connection with the inspection, the Ministry of Internal Affairs sent inquiries to Rosgosstrakh and Otkritie FC Bank (controls the insurer), wrote to RBC with reference to a source familiar with their contents.
The basis for the audit was a statement filed by Alfa-Bank’s co-owner Peter Aven (A1, Alfa Group’s investment division, is engaged in the recovery of Rosgosstrakh’s assets), RBC writes with reference to requests. In April, Aven asked President Vladimir Putin to instruct the Prosecutor General and other state agencies to check how the law is respected when arbitration courts consider disputes between Rosgosstrakh and the structures of the former co-owner of the insurer Danil Khachaturov, Vedomosti wrote. In December 2016, Khachaturov agreed to exchange the insurer and related assets for a stake in the owner of Otkrytie FC - Otkritie Holding, and in August 2017 the Central Bank took the bank for reorganization. The transactions Aven wrote about were carried out by Rosgosstrakh with the companies of Khachaturov shortly before the bank was reorganized - because of them, Rosgosstrakh suffered losses of at least 1.5 billion rubles, however, the courts that examined Rosgosstrakh’s claims for the transactions refused to lawsuits and made decisions exclusively in favor of Khachaturov's companies, Aven complained in a letter. Putin sent the letter for consideration to the Prosecutor General.
According to the interlocutors of Vedomosti and RBC, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is checking three transactions that took place on the eve of the Otkrytie reorganization between the companies of Khachaturov and the daughter of Rosgosstrakh, Capital Re. This is the transfer of 100% of Medis to Khachaturov to RGS Med-Invest, in exchange for 3.9% in RGS Med-Invest, the purchase of bankruptcy RGS-real estate bonds from the former RGS-life company for 481 million rubles, as well as the purchase of Capital of Khachaturov Eurobonds "Discovery" for 59 million rubles.
The Moscow Arbitration Court in October 2018 refused to satisfy the insurer's claim for these transactions; this decision was confirmed in April this year by the Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal. After that, Rosgosstrakh filed a cassation appeal with the Arbitration Court of the Moscow District - it satisfied the claim, canceled the decisions of previous instances and referred the case back for a new consideration. The meeting is scheduled for September 13.
Peter Aven co-owner of Alfa Bank
“Despite the obvious nature of the abuses, the loss-making and illegality of the transactions made by the former management of Rosgosstrakh, the courts refuse to sue, ignoring the basis of the law and the circumstances of the cases. Court decisions are made solely in favor of the companies of Mr. Khachaturov, and the cases themselves are considered with gross procedural violations. ” In a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, April 2019.
Three months ago, the Prosecutor General’s Office ordered the Ministry of Internal Affairs to conduct an audit, but this became known only now, because on August 21 the last cassation instance to challenge the transfer of Medisa, Khachaturov told Vedomosti: Rosgosstrakh lost the first two instances. According to Khachaturov, medical assets were not initially included in the perimeter of the transaction with Otkrytie on the transfer of Rosgosstrakh. Now the court is considering a separate lawsuit challenging the transfer of Medisa to the RGS to Med-Invest. After the transaction, the share of Kapital re in the capital of RGS honey-invest increased to 3.9% and amounted to 153 million rubles, but based on the market value of the capital Medis, the share should be larger, the CSG indicated. He argued in court that the shares were unequal in price, our side suggested that they buy back the share at exactly the price at which they estimated “their losses” so as not to argue anymore, Khachaturov said, adding that the CSG itself refused to buy back this share . “Someone might really think that I, having presented them with RGS Bank, NPF Rosgosstrakh and the RGS itself, withdrew these penny assets?” He wonders.
Verification was probably hindered by decisions of arbitration courts that refused to recognize transactions as invalid, since according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, decisions of arbitration courts are recognized by investigators without additional verification, says Dmitry Gorbunov, partner at the law firm Rustam Kuraev & Partners. Apparently, the Prosecutor General’s Office, having received Putin’s letter, redirected it to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and they began checking to find out if there was a crime in the actions of the former leadership of Rosgosstrakh, says Mikhail Fatkin, FMG Group partner.
A preliminary investigation by the Ministry of Internal Affairs may be aimed at obtaining additional evidence for an arbitration dispute, but most likely it is a potential criminal case against Khachaturov, suggests Gorbunov: A1 had previously resorted not only to civil proceedings, but also to initiating criminal prosecutions of people, assets from whom she tried to return.
Danil Khachaturov former owner of Rosgosstrakh
“As for Pyotr Olegovich [Aven], then complaining to the president that Alpha could not make money through mediation in court is, of course, strong, but embarrassing!” June 2019
A1 does not comment on the verification information. But in relation to the most controversial situation, A1 believes that the requirements of Rosgosstrakh are justified, and the actions of Khachaturov’s structures and affiliates were aimed at the withdrawal of assets, her representative said. “They should receive both a civil law and a criminal law assessment,” he stressed. If the investigation finds the corpus delicti, a criminal case will be instituted, and this may affect the arbitration dispute, Fatkin agrees: this will simplify the procedure for collecting evidence from A1, help return the stolen more efficiently - if the counter-party gets into the pre-trial detention center, it will obviously become more agreeable and complaisant, “for a good word and a gun are always better than just a good word,” he summarizes.
In parallel with the arbitration proceedings in April last year, the former vice president of Rosgosstrakh and brother Danil Khachaturov Sergey Khachaturov were detained - he was charged with embezzlement (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The investigation believes that Sergey Khachaturov organized the theft of a stake in Rosgosstrakh owned by RGS Assets, where he served as general director. The buyer was Trust Bank. The volume of theft, according to investigators, amounted to more than 1 billion rubles. Later, investigators retrained the charge under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code - fraud on a particularly large scale. Now Sergey Khachaturov is in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center.