The other day, the details of a multi-million dollar real estate transaction by one famous Russian businessman became known. The son of former energy minister Igor Yusufov, Vitaly, bought a home in the United States for 72 million dollars. How could a Russian citizen withdraw money earned in his native country to the United States, and how his dad (a former member of the Russian government!) Looked at it, the question remains.
The details of the multi-million dollar real estate transaction by Vitaly Yusufov became known to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that buying a house is not just in the United States, but in Silicon Valley - the mecca of the global IT business. And not just in Silicon Valley, but in the town of Menlo Park, where, if anyone does not know, the Facebook residence is located. And in the house itself, offices of the legendary Time and Sunset magazines were once located.
The house (rather a complex of buildings), according to the Street Journal, built in the 1950s of the last century, is designed in the colonial style. Judging by the published photographs taken not without the help of the drone, architects and builders worked wonderfully well. The building looks both monumental and elegant. Who cares, can take a look.
And, having looked, to accept without surprise the fact that for such beauty the buyer laid out as much as 72 million dollars. However, having learned the name of a happy homeowner, informed readers must inevitably experience a sense of healthy skepticism. For this homeowner is none other than Vitaly Yusufov, the son of the former Minister of Energy of Russia Igor Yusufov. This couple in the Russian business community is well known from different angles.
The triumph in the palace
This healthy feeling of skepticism generated, it is possible, by awareness, haunted some participants in the transaction. For if not without scandal, then it was not without unpleasant misunderstandings.
The house in Menlo Park was put up for auction in 2017 by its then owner, Deutsche Bank. The buyer was found pretty soon, it turned out to be a Willow Project LLC company registered in Delaware. And it belongs to ... Vitaly Yusufov. 72 million dollars laid out, as you can understand, without blinking an eye.
If Deutsche Bank was a man, I would have taken it and put good money in my pocket. But he is a bank, that is, a collective. And some top executives of this financial institution began to express doubts like: “Are we selling to that?”
Big doubts were expressed by the manager, who was responsible for compliance with anti-money laundering legislation in the United States. At the same time, it is characteristic that the peak of doubts came at the time when the US Congress studied Deutsche Bank's Russian ties.
It came to the point that the question of selling the house to Vitaly Yusufov was submitted to the American Deutsche Bank committee on reputation risks. And he refused to approve the deal.
But Deutsche did not want to lose 72 million dollars either. As a result, they managed to push the deal after a conference call, in which the leaders of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and London took part. The main argument in favor of the sale was the fact that Vitaly Yusufov may not be sinless, but still not on the sanctions list.
It’s time to celebrate: name, for example, the house in Menlo Park as the Yusuf Palace, and throw a gala ball there. However, as far as is known, this was not done. And there are a number of good reasons. On the lyrical aspects of the type of how a Russian citizen could withdraw the money earned in his native country to the United States, and how his dad, a former member of the Russian government, looked at it, we will not discuss.
Road to Forbes
First of all, bankers' doubts and interest in a serious media deal did not arise from scratch. There are many reasons for this interest. For example, how did it happen that Vitaly Yusufov after graduation (of course, MGIMO) worked in good, but still managerial positions (he was, for example, an assistant to the general director of Gazpromexport). And suddenly, in 2009, he was already the owner of the company Nordic Yards, which calmly bought the Wadan Yards shipyard from Germany for 40 million euros? And in 2016, Vitaly Yusufov was already on the Russian Forbes list with a fortune of $ 400 million.
The answers to these questions are well known to both the Russian business community and the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.
Here are just two of the steps that brought Vitaly Yusufov to the Forbes pedestal who was not noticed in possessing brilliant abilities or talent (at least no mention of this was found in the media).
The first is the same shipyard Wadan Yards. Their former owner was a certain Andrei Burlakov, an authoritative businessman. Yusufov soon had a conflict with him, it was about the loss of almost five billion rubles. The money was never found, and two years later Andrei Burlakov was overtaken by a bullet of a hired killer. The courts promised to the country, of course, were never built.
But Igor Yusufov became a co-founder of Osnova Telecom and firmly established himself in the Forbes list.
And everything would be fine, but the unexpected happened. Aslan Gagiev was extradited to Russia from Austria last year. He is considered one of the most terrible criminals in Russia. He is accused of organizing a gang of hired killers, which accounted for about 60 murders. When it became known about Gagiev’s return to his homeland, a number of media outlets reported on his close ties with Vitaly and Igor Yusufov.
And these conversations did not arise from scratch.
The protocol of the court session in Vienna on the extradition of Aslan Gagiev, accused of organizing many murders, got into the press. At that trial, Gagiev admitted that he was directly involved in the management of Wadan Yards. Gagiev said that Yusufov seized the business for $ 3 billion from him, and during the conflict Burlakov was killed. As the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation established, the crime was committed by members of the group Aslan Gagiev.