Promsvyazbank's credits disappeared in the hands of Alexander Gusakov

The founder of Heliopark Group will be tried for the theft of more than 600 million rubles.
As it became known to Kommersant, the prosecutor's office approved and sent to the Tverskoi District Court of Moscow a criminal case against the former owner of the Heliopark Group Hotel Alexander Gusakov. He is accused of stealing Promsvyazbank's loans for more than $26 million. The investigation of this case went on for almost a year and a half, and all this time the bank was trying to negotiate with the debtor, offering him the most favorable terms of payment. To conclude an amicable settlement, the parties had to adjust their positions "only" by $1 million, but the negotiations had to be stopped in connection with the completion of the investigation. Now the manifested intractability can cost a businessman up to ten years of imprisonment.

Negotiations on the return of loans received by Mr. Gusakov's companies from Promsvyazbank began in 2008, when the businessman first announced that he could not pay his debts. Promsvyazbank then did not address the law enforcement agencies, and tried to negotiate with the debtor, offering him various options for restructuring loans. The businessman was not hiding back then, he regularly visited all meetings appointed to him, but he refused even to pay interest on loans, referring to the lack of money.

Only in 2015, the lawyers of the Zakon bureau, which the bank instructed to defend its interests in the dispute, applied to the police, in which they indicated that the money of the credit institution, in their opinion, was stolen. Lawyers managed to get a criminal case against Mr. Gusakov in the 4th Department of the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Central District of Moscow. 159.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (especially large-scale fraud in the credit sphere). In October 2015, the businessman who was under a written undertaking not to leave the country was detained at the airport while trying to fly from Moscow to the Crimea. At the same time, the Tagansky District Court imprisoned him, and then extended the chosen measure of restraint up to the present day.

By the end of 2015, the investigation was completed, but the lawyers of Zakon considered the investigation to be incomplete. In their opinion, the investigators only gave a legal assessment of Mr. Gusakov's actions, while they had to take all measures to return the funds stolen from the bank. The prosecutor's office then agreed with the lawyers - the transfer of the case to the court was postponed, but there was nothing to be taken from the debtor. His powerful business empire, which consisted of 12 hotels in Russia, Germany and Switzerland, collapsed: almost all the hotels, including the pearl of Heliopark Group --- Hotel Bad Hotel zum Hirsch with balneotherapies in Baden-Baden, Germany, were sold or re-registered. It was not possible to realize even the furniture that had been previously laid by the businessman as a collateral for the loan and found in one of his Russian hotels - the collateral was taken out of the loan by the borrower.

From the property of the debtor it was possible to sell only three mini-hotels in Pskov, Tverskaya and Tula oblasts, as well as several years of stalled and fairly rusted 42-meter Helios boat. The selling of the floating craft and real estate gave only about $1.8 million, thus not paying off interest accrued on loans.

Since the money on the accounts of Alexander Gusakov and his firms, was never found by the investigation, the lawyers of Promsvyazbank said that the businessman did not just steal the credit funds, but also illegally legalized (laundered) them. Representatives of the victims demanded that the investigation add a charge to the debtor in the relevant part 4 of Art. 174.1 of the Criminal Code, which was done.

In this case, according to Dmitry Stasiuk, the managing partner of AB Law, neither the bank's management nor the lawyers of the injured party set themselves the task of convicting the debtor to the real time of imprisonment, and only sought return of the stolen money. In view of this circumstance, the lawyers of Promsvyazbank continued negotiations at all stages of the investigation with representatives of Alexander Gusakov on the repayment of the debt. "I want to note that following the results of our numerous meetings, the bank offered the accused not only privileged, but, I would say, absolutely exclusive terms of payment," Stasiuk explained to Kommersant. But it was still impossible to reach an agreement: the parties had to "move" towards each other by only $1 million, when the investigation announced the end of the investigation, inviting the negotiators to begin acquaintance with the collected materials.

"My assessment of the work done by the investigation is zero with a minus," Yevgeny Denisov, lawyer of Mr. Gusakov, told Kommersant. "In the criminal case, there are continuous violations, including falsified documents and inadmissible evidence." Today's investigation is not afraid of anyone - neither the FSB nor the prosecutor's office ". Denisov, however, did not want to mention at least one violation, noting only that he listed them in detail in his complaint to the supervising prosecutor. In this document, the defender demands, at a minimum, to return the criminal case to the investigation to eliminate the deficiencies. On the question of whether his client has any relation to the thefts he was charged with, Denisov replied vaguely: "Half a country has credits to live on." 

The invesgitative office of the Moscow Central district, however, agreed with the version of the investigation: yesterday, the verdict was approved and the case materials sent to the Tver court for reviewing.

As it was said in the final wording of the indictment, in 2008 two firms, structurally part of the holding company Heliopark Group and completely controlled by its owner Alexander Gusakov, CJSC Russian Weekend Service and CJSC Hotel and Tourism Complex Clear-Polyansky, took loans from Promsvyazbank, worth, respectively, $10 million and $16 million. As security, the property and guarantees of others, also affiliated with the businessman of the firms and his personal guarantees, were provided. The businessman did not return the money of the credit organization. According to the investigation, entering into contracts with the bank, Mr. Gusakov from the very beginning did not plan to fulfill his obligations and caused damage to the creditor in the amount of 616 million rubles at the current exchange rate (the interest received by the bank was not included in this amount). The credit funds, according to the investigation, did not enter the legal business at all, but were immediately converted into shadow circulation by the borrower into rubles.

"In a short period of time, the accused executed a number of consecutive financial transactions with the stolen money, moving them between controlled firms for mixing and depersonalization," the indictment says. According to the investigation, in this way Mr. Gusakov wanted not only to conceal the fraud committed by him, but also "created the foundations of the shadow economy", "harming the economic security and financial stability of the Russian Federation."