Serial banker Vladimir Antonov could not stand the Russian investigation

The former owner of the Lithuanian bank Snoras and the English football club Portsmouth concluded a pre-trial agreement and testified against his accomplices.
"The accused Antonov pleaded guilty in full, concluded a pre-trial agreement," the investigator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region told a meeting in Vyborgsky district court. Antonov also testified against former Soviet leader Stanislav Mitrushin.

The court rejected the petition of the investigation about the transfer of Antonov to house arrest: the judge considered that he could disappear.

Antonov was arrested in April this year. He was charged with fraud in a particularly large amount - the withdrawal of 150 million rubles. from the bank "Soviet". About any ties Antonov with the "Soviet" was not reported.

According to the investigators, in 2015 Antonov together with several Soviets developed a plan of embezzlement, handed over to TASS, on the premises of the bank on behalf of an LLC set up to commit a crime through dummies, organized an unsecured agreement on opening a credit line with a limit 150 million rubles, 18% interest rate and maturity on October 5, 2018. Having received the money, the accomplices stole them, investigators say, Antonov received 15 million rubles, 10 million of which he had already repaid, Tass reported from the courtroom.

According to a former investigative officer, the transaction with the investigation in an article such as that of Antonov (Article 159, part 4) means that the maximum sentence to him may not be 10, but five years imprisonment. Compensation for damage is usually part of such a transaction. To go on the transaction of the accused could incite along with the desire to reduce the term of punishment also the desire to avoid an investigation into other possible episodes.

Many banks are associated with the name of Antonov, and not only in Russia. He began to buy up banks in the early 2000s. Most of them were subsequently attached to the Kaliningrad Investbank, which Antonov sold to his subordinate in 2011, and two years later the bank lost its license. Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) estimated a hole in Investbank at 44 billion rubles. and paid depositors 29.4 billion rubles. The agency suspected shareholders of deliberate bankruptcy. Antonov denied that he had any connection with the bank after its sale.

Antonov owned a 68% stake in the largest bank in Lithuania, Snoras - his activities, according to President Dalia Grybauskaite, "can be regarded as an attack not only on the Lithuanian banking system, but on the interests of the entire Lithuanian society" (quoted by Delf). Antonov and his partner are accused of stealing from Snoras 565 million euros. The bank had to be nationalized.

Antonov was considering the option of buying "Soviet", his acquaintance knows.

This happened a few months before the first sanation of the bank. On the sanation of the "Soviet" Central Bank announced in October 2015 - its financial recovery then engaged in "Russian capital", at that time owned by the DIA. Then the Tatfondbank took over the dismantling of Sovetsbank, but in a few months the problems began already with him, and as a result, the Central Bank deprived the sanator of the license. In February this year, the regulator announced that it was taking the bank to the Fund for the Consolidation of the Banking Sector, through which the Central Bank is now sanitizing the banks itself, but in July the Central Bank withdrew the license from Sovetsk and transferred part of its liabilities and assets. Competition for the acquisition of obligations was won by the Moscow Credit Bank.

During the sanation, the hole in Sovetskoye has grown from 7.5 billion to 35 billion rubles.

Antonov is known for high-profile deals outside the financial market. He owned the English football club "Portsmouth" and the manufacturer of sports cars Spyker, the airline AirBaltic and others.

According to the Bank of Lithuania, Snoras falsified reporting and ignored calls to reduce risks. The regulator missed about 60% of the bank's assets ($ 1.42 billion), said in November 2011 the chairman of the Bank of Lithuania Vitas Vasiliauskas. The next day after the nationalization of Snoras, his Latvian "daughter" Latvijas Krajbanka received an order from the Central Bank to suspend all operations. Later, the chairman of the Bank of Latvia, Ilmar Rimsevics, said that the bank's condition would not allow him to resume work - the shortfall was about $ 200 million. Latvijas Krajbanka was also nationalized. Antonov and his partner in Snoras are charged with "appropriating large amounts of property, forgery of documents, keeping black bookkeeping and abuse of office." In January 2014, the British court allowed the extradition of both at the request of Vilnius. After that Antonov disappeared in Russia, wrote Bloomberg referring to his lawyers.

If Antonov is charged as the organizer of the theft and the evidence of guilt is obvious, then in such cases the defendants are often asked to consider the case in a special order, says counselor of the law firm "Word and Business" Georgy Baganov. Often, the organizers of courts are appointed for a longer period than the perpetrators, but a special order of the trial allows to avoid the maximum term of punishment, says Baganov. If the accused wishes to cooperate with the investigation, then a pre-trial cooperation agreement is usually concluded, Baganov points out, but only desires are not enough - one must actively participate in the investigation.