Sergei Leontyev's assets were found on the Cook Islands

In Poland, the person involved in the case of withdrawing money from Probusinessbank through the Cook Islands and Liechtenstein banker Jaroslav Alekseev was detained. His partners link the pursuit with a conversation with George Bush and a plan to issue a "Navalny card."
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Money on the Cook Islands

Yaroslav Alekseev, vice president of corporate finance at Probusinessbank (the head bank of the Life group), was detained in Poland. Go

The case file (at RBC) states that in 2014, Alekseev joined an organized group created by Probusinessbank Chairman Alexander Zheleznyak and Bank President Sergey Leontyev to steal money on a large scale. According to investigators, from September 2014 to July 2015, bankers illegally appropriated 2.4 billion rubles. by issuing loans to fictitious companies. Alekseev was responsible for the selection of legal entities for the scheme. As a result, the money was transferred to companies controlled by bankers and accumulated in the accounts of Life Collection Agency LLC and the Cyprus company Vermenda Holdings Limited.

Leontyev and Zheleznyak fled from the investigation in the United States and were also arrested in absentia by the Basmanny court and put on the international wanted list.

From the materials of the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), the investigation obtained information on the discovery of stolen assets in bank accounts in the Cook Islands and Liechtenstein. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Liechtenstein opened a criminal case, and the assets connected with Leontiev amounted to 7 billion rubles. were frozen. Then foreign assets were arrested by the decision of the Moscow Basmanny Court at the request of the TFR. On the Cook Islands, Capital Security Bank arrested money in the amount of about $ 4.8 million, and in Liechtenstein at Bank Frick & Co - for $ 117 million.

The documents of the Liechtenstein financial intelligence service indicate that Leontyev is currently a citizen of Cyprus and is registered in Limassol (citizenship on the island can be obtained by investing more than € 2 million in the economy). The Cyprus passport was obtained by Leontiev in June 2015, two months before the revocation of the license from Probusinessbank.

How principality helped the UK

The DIA documents say that in May 2017, the Princely District Court of Vaduz in Liechtenstein arrested Leontyev’s accounts, and a criminal case on money laundering was initiated against him at the suggestion of the prosecutor’s office. The court forbade the bank to dispose of Leontyev's assets until May 18, 2019. The court decision (available at RBC) was based on the materials of the Liechtenstein Financial Information Service (financial intelligence unit). An analytical report (at RBC), signed by Daniel Telesklaf, head of the regional division of financial intelligence of Liechtenstein, was sent to the prosecutor's office and the district court.
The case file states that Leontiev’s personal account was arrested, as well as the accounts of companies of which he was an “economic representative”. Among them, Holdco Ltd is mentioned, on whose account lie $ 102.6 million. The report of Liechtenstein financial intelligence says that "one cannot exclude that the funds received by Frick & Co and placed on the Holdco account are related to funds stolen in Russia".

According to Russian security officials, “substantial funds” from those stolen at Probusinessbank were withdrawn from Russia to Wonderworks Investment Ltd in the London office of Morgan Stanley, and then $ 105.1 million of them were transferred to an account at Frick & Co (Liechtenstein).

Leontyev tried to challenge the seizure of assets. Lawyers from Kobre & Kim, who protect the interests of Russians in the United States, hired expert Kenneth Chris from the Cayman Islands. On the basis of the documents provided by Leontiev, he concluded that Wonderworks owned by the banker received loans from companies associated with Probusinessbank from 2012 to 2014 for $ 359.6 million. But with this money, the company traded in securities and earned $ 222 million, and all loans were returned.

According to the expert, the money was paid to Leontyev as dividends, which were arrested at Frick & Co. Lawyers Leontiev insist that there is no direct connection between the money earned and the stolen from Probusinessbank.

The former owner of Probusinessbank appealed to the court of the Southern District of New York with a motion to deny the DIA the right to prosecute him (the DIA is the plaintiff in the case of embezzling the bank’s funds). This is stated on the website of the disclosure of US judicial information. The DIA refused to provide additional information on the Leontief case.

What VIP depositors have lost money in the bank

In Russia, Leontyev is accused of organizing a withdrawal of funds from Probusinessbank. The greatest losses occurred from the loss of the securities portfolio. The Bank worked with the offices of brokers BCS in London and the "Discovery" in Cyprus. The investigation believes that Probusinessbank has pledged its securities in favor of Ambika and Merrianol technical companies with a secret agreement. These firms took out loans at Otkritie and BCS. In the future, the money was withdrawn in Cyprus Vermenda. Loans were not returned, and Probusinessbank lost most of its securities portfolio.

According to a source close to the investigation, Probusinessbank attracted VIP-depositors, whose money was withdrawn in Vermenda. These clients include Avilon and its co-owner Kamo Avagumyan, who is the official representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia in Russia and the CIS, Diana Karapetyan, daughter of Deputy Prosecutor General Sahak Karapetyan, who died last year in a helicopter crash, football coach Valery Gazzayev, hockey player and statesman Vyacheslav Fetisov. Part of the VIP-investors who lost their money, filed for Leontyev in the court of the state of New York. Leontiev’s position is that Vermenda and others do not belong to him, but to the bank.

Valery Gazzayev confirmed to RBC the fact that a collective action was filed against the management from private investors. “I don’t know the details, it was a long time ago, as far as I know, they are dealing with these issues, but I don’t know how things are going,” Gazzayev noted. Fetisov did not answer on his mobile phone, and Diana Karapetyan was not promptly contacted.

How in the case appeared Navalny and Bush

In 2018, Leontyev, speaking in the court of the State of New York, told Judge Sarah Netburn that the case against him was politically motivated, and the bankruptcy was initiated by representatives of the Russian authorities, who decided to punish the banker for political independence and take his bank. In the speech report, the banker claims that Probusinessbank was expropriated due to Leontyev’s links with the US authorities and Alexei Navalny.

The presence of ties with the US authorities Leontyev argued that at one of the events in 2002, where the banker was preparing a presentation, he answered questions from US President George W. Bush. According to Leontyev, after the event, “one of the Kremlin’s advisers during a private meeting with bankers” began to criticize Leontyev for his dialogue with Bush. After this, the banker, in his words, established relations with the American embassy in Russia, with whose representatives Leontyev subsequently met about 40 times, according to the court record. Leontyev also told the court about the unrealized plans to issue a "Navalny card" - a credit card with a cashback for donations to the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

“In 2012, FBK was working with the bank’s management (, part of the Life group. - RBC) a project to issue a cashback card, the proceeds of which would go to FBK. The bank subsequently abandoned the project. Leont'ev and its structures, the foundation or some investigations did not fund it, ”a spokeswoman for Navalny Kira Yarmysh told RBC.
Anders Aslund, an expert in the campaign against Russian “dirty money” in the West, spoke out in support of Leontyev in a New York state court.

In an interview with RBC, Oslund indicated that he was in Vienna and did not have documents about the Leontief case. “But it seemed to me that the situation around Leontyev was the seizure of his business, which was initiated by the regulator and the Deposit Insurance Agency,” he noted, adding that the lawyers of the law firm Quarum, which is under American sanctions, contributed to this process Magnitsky affair. "

Yury Monastyrsky, head of the Russian law firm Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov and Partners, acted as another expert on behalf of Leontyev in the court of New York. The company is known for the fact that one of its partners is Dmitry Lovyrev, son of Colonel-General of the Federal Security Service Yevgeny Lovyrev, head of the department of organizational and personnel work of the Federal Security Service of Russia. tries to influence the DIA, says a source in the TFR.

RBC sent a request with a request to confirm this information to the Bar Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov and Partners.

What happened to Probusinessbank

Probusinessbank lost its license in 2015. He was declared bankrupt. The Central Bank has revealed in a credit institution large-scale operations for the removal of assets, the damage from which is estimated at 34 billion rubles.

The Deposit Insurance Agency submitted to the Moscow Arbitration Court an application to bring nine top managers of Probusinessbank to secondary liability. From them, the agency requires to recover 68.53 billion rubles.