Billions of rubles stolen as part of the Magnitsky case through tax fraud, the infamous businessman who appeared in a criminal case about an attempt to steal two billion rubles through VAT refunds, the former head of the Federal Tax Service, and now the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and six apartments in New York - what do you have in common? The answer to this question is given by the FBK investigation.
The fact that businessman Alexander Udodov and the current Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin are bound by some kind of bond became known in early February, shortly after Mishustin was transferred by President Vladimir Putin from the chair of the head of the Federal Tax Service to the chair of the head of government. Udodov was mentioned as a man who presented Mikhail Mishustin’s relatives with expensive gifts and there were versions that he did this as a thank you for rescuing from a criminal case of tax fraud.
In particular, Udodov donated several expensive land plots and other real estate to the sister of the ex-head of the Federal Security Service, Natalya Stenina, and also helped to ensure that the children of Mikhail Mishustin got their own apartments in the center of Moscow. The total amount of gifts, according to the estimates of anti-corruption fighters, amounted to about three billion rubles.
After a long silence, Alexander Udodov gave an interview to Izvestia, in which he said that he was married to the Prime Minister’s sister Natalya Stenina, which explains his gifts to her.
“The truth is that since 2008 I have been married to his sister Natalia. We do not have common children, I have a student daughter from my first marriage. The wife has a son and daughter from their first marriage. After studying and serving in the army, his son lives and works in Moscow. The daughter studied in Switzerland for some time, now she is finishing an ordinary school in Moscow and is going to enter a technical university. Now we are no longer living with Natalia, but I have maintained good relations with her family, our mothers are friends, ”the businessman said.
According to investigators from the Alexey Navalny fund, the fact of the relationship between Udodov and Mishustin only aggravates the fact that the businessman could have been implicated in tax fraud, and later safely got out of the water along with senior tax officials.
In addition, FBK announced an interesting find - in 2009, after the wedding with Stenina, Alexander Udodov bought five apartments in New York in a residential complex at 20 Pine Street. Each apartment is framed by a separate company (PINE 2315, PINE 2401, PINE 2407, etc.), which Udodov acquired. The deal amounted to 5.1 million dollars.
“Udodov reassigned a $ 1.9 million mortgage and directed payments to the bank from renting apartments,” said the leader of the Anti-Corruption Fund.
In 2010, Udodov bought the sixth apartment there for $ 1.3 million. In 2018, all six apartments were sold.
Interestingly, in the same residential complex just a few weeks before Udodov, five apartments were bought by the son of the former deputy prime minister of Russian Railways, Denis Katsyv. In 2013, US authorities arrested Katsyv’s real estate, proving that it was bought with money stolen in Russia as part of the Magnitsky case.
Recall that the “Magnitsky case” is connected with the theft of $ 230 million from the budget through a scheme for illegal VAT refunds. In a criminal case, an attempted theft in the same way was mentioned by Udodov in 2011. The beginning of the “Magnitsky case” falls on 2007.