Another scandal is flaring up around a member of the Communist Party faction in the State Duma, this time it is about bringing deputy Robert Kochiev to justice for the debts of distilleries. The court has already seized the property of the deputy, his relatives and affiliates.
We are talking about almost 3.5 billion rubles, more than a billion of which are tax debts. On August 26, the Arbitration Court of North Ossetia will consider the application of bankruptcy creditors of OOO Rakurs to bring Robert Kochiev to subsidiary liability.
On May 4, 2022, the judge of the Arbitration Court of the Republic of North Ossetia, Svetlana Bekoeva, seized (interim measures) the funds of Robert Kochiev himself and his affiliates – Rudolf Robertovich Kochiev, Batraz Robertovich Kochiev, Taras Mitrofanovich Zaseev and Tamerlan Mitrofanovich Zaseev for a total of 3.4 billion rubles.
What does MP Kochiev have to do with the alcohol business?
The deputy-businessman used all methods of defense so that the arrest decision was canceled in a higher court, however, on August 5, 2022, the Sixteenth Arbitration Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Arbitration Court of North Ossetia. In its decision, the Court of Appeal noted the argument of the creditors that “the actions of Kochiev R.I., Kochiev R.R., Kochiev B.R., Zaseeva T.M., Zaseeva T.M. indicate a high probability of their actions concealment of his property, which will lead to the impossibility of the execution of a judicial act.
Such adherence to principles of the ministers of Themis in relation to the people’s choice should not surprise anyone, because we are talking about causing damage to the Russian budget by billions of rubles. It is very unlikely that in this case Kochiev’s “political weight” or his connections in the Republic will help the MP avoid responsibility.
Judge Bekoeva’s ruling on the adoption of interim measures states: “In the opinion of Trade-Agro LLC, the ultimate beneficiaries (beneficiaries) of Rakurs LLC are Kochiev Robert Ivanovich, Kochiev Rudolf Robertovich, Kochiev Batraz Robertovich, Zaseev Tamerlan Mitrofanovich, Zaseev Taras Mitrofanovich. The said persons directly managed Kentavr LLC, Orpheus LLC, Peresvet LLC, Triumph LLC, Transprodmarket LLC, Trading House Kupechesky LLC, involved in the scheme of illegal withdrawal of funds from Rakurs LLC. Taras Mitrofanovich Zaseev TIN 151500674727 is the General Director and Founder of Centavr LLC TIN 1513045062. LLC “Gigant” TIN 1516613940. The General Director of LLC “Gigant”, as well as the founder with a 99% interest is Kochiev Batraz Robertovich TIN 150204049062. Another participant in LLC “Gigant” is Kochieva Madina Robertovna TIN 151310712580. The General Director of LLC “Triumph” TIN 618473 is Zaseev Tamerlan Mitrofanovich TIN 150204000412. The founder of Peresvet LLC TIN 1513004919 from 07/24/2014 to 01/18/2022 was Zabava LLC TIN 1516609528. . The general director and founder of Transprodmarket LLC TIN 7731300965 is Alan Gamletovich Gagiev TIN 151207296336. Alan Gamletovich Gagiev was also the general director of Orion TIN LLC. 1516619646. In turn, Orion LLC was the founder of Orpheus LLC TIN 1513030355 (the ultimate beneficiary of Orpheus LLC is Kochiev Batraz Robertovich TIN 150204049062, Kochieva Madina Robertovna TIN 151310712580). The act of the on-site tax audit of the Rakurs company states that the tax declarations of taxpayers reflected in the chain of scheme transactions (Rakurs LLC, Transprodmarket LLC, Triumph LLC, Trade House Kupechesky LLC, Kentavr LLC, Bulletproof LLC), are presented through a specialized telecom operator — PF SKV Kontur JSC, IP address through which the reporting is submitted: 22.214.171.124.61.
The essence of this seemingly complex chain is incredibly simple: for a long time, the same enterprises operate at the same address. The names of legal entities change, money is withdrawn under various agreements, tax debts are formed, legal entities are liquidated, new ones appear in their place, nominee directors are held accountable, but all this has practically no effect on the ongoing production process. Vodka is pouring, money is flowing. State? Yes, the state does not receive. And the tax authority should have been more active in collecting billions in debt. But, apparently, there are certain difficulties, and the ultimate beneficiary is called not an ordinary businessman, but an entire State Duma deputy.
The change of legal entities did not change the actual circumstances – the production was working
In the procedure with regard to Rakurs LLC, the main creditor of Rakurs LLC in the amount of more than 2 billion rubles in the form of unpaid taxes is the Federal Tax Service of Russia for North Ossetia Alania. At the same time, the Federal Tax Service behaves procedurally passively and refuses to apply Article 45 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, which allows collecting tax debts from related companies, to recover the additional tax arrears accrued by Rakurs LLC from Orphey LLC and First Alcohol Manufactory LLC (in relation to LLC ” Orpheus” is conducting an on-site tax audit, the amount of additional charges may exceed 500 million rubles). At the same time, it is the tax inspectorate in its acts that names Robert Kochiev and other persons affiliated with him as the actual owners.
The judge of the Arbitration Court of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Svetlana Bekoeva (the name of this judge has already appeared in the media in stories of raider attacks in the republic) is a judge in the proceedings against the bankrupts of Racurs LLC and Trade House Kupechesky LLC, in which, for some reason, no the fact of interrelation of the enterprises named by us is taken into account.
Perhaps the court and the tax authority have other reasons to believe that these companies are not connected. Let’s figure it out.
At the address: Telmana street, 82b, for many years there has been a production complex that produces alcohol and alcohol-containing products that are popular among the people. It was at this address that Rakurs LLC was registered in 2013.
The family of State Duma deputy Robert Kochiev is the owner of Gigant LLC, the owners are: Kochiev Batraz Robertovich, Kochieva Madina Robertovna. LLC “Gigant” is the “holder” of the property of the Kochiev family: real estate is leased to alcohol production companies (the owner is Kochiev R.I. and his sons Batraz and Rudolf). Such a scheme, most likely, is used to minimize the risks of foreclosure on family property in the event of subsequent bankruptcy of producers.
For example, Gigant LLC previously leased production premises at the address: Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, Vladikavkaz, st. Telman, 82b, – the Orpheus company, later – Rakurs LLC. According to the file of arbitration cases in 2021, Gigant LLC collected from Orpheus LLC a debt under a lease agreement in the amount of 21,145,552.68 rubles. At the same time, Gigant LLC itself established Orpheus LLC
Gigant LLC can act as a “profit center”, since manufacturing enterprises (Rakurs LLC, LVZ Pravoberezhny LLC, Orphey LLC) are always a “risk center” when applying tax optimization schemes.
Orpheus LLC is a de facto inactive enterprise (in June 2022, the tax authority suspended operations on accounts), and Racurs LLC was declared bankrupt. The next production asset of the Kochiev family is First Alcohol Manufactory LLC, which rents industrial premises from Gigant LLC, the tenant of which was previously (successively) Forum LLC (tax debt in the amount of 1.75 billion rubles was written off), Orphey LLC “and OOO” Rakurs “.
At the same time, First Alcohol Manufactory LLC received the main technological equipment for the production of ethyl alcohol from Istok ZSHV LLC, Gigant LLC in the form of a contribution to the authorized capital of First Spirit Manufactory LLC by the sole participant of Zernoprodukt LLC under the act of acceptance and transfer dated February 10, 2021.
The rest of the equipment for the production of ethyl alcohol in the amount of 563 units was purchased by LLC Zernoprodukt from the organization Trade House Kupechesky LLC – from a company that was one of the channels for withdrawing funds from Rakurs LLC (as indicated in the act of an on-site tax audit conducted by UFNS).
We believe that this equipment was not transported anywhere, it always remained in one place, but it had to be transferred to other legal entities, as debts were accumulating all the time.
There is every reason to believe that Forum LLC, Orpheus LLC, LVZ Pravoberezhny LLC, Rakurs LLC, and currently First Alcohol Manufactory LLC were consistently used to profit from payment evasion schemes. VAT. At the same time, the amount of unpaid VAT in each of the schemes is estimated at billions of rubles.
It is interesting that among the directors of the companies used in the scheme there are former employees of LLC NG ChOP Pancher – the company was also registered in Vladikavkaz on Telmana Street, 82B. For non-payment of taxes, the nominal director of Rakurs LLC Gagiev V.V. convicted under Art. 199 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and the real beneficiaries remained unpunished.
An interesting situation developed at the court session on August 12, 2008. The Arbitration Court of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania ignored the decision of the debtor’s creditors’ meeting and approved Stasyuk Ivan Vasilyevich, a member of the Union of Arbitration Managers Sozidanie, as the bankruptcy trustee of Rakurs LLC. This despite the fact that bankruptcy creditors (with a vote of 65%) at the meeting of creditors voted for SRO “Commonwealth”. Perhaps it was a desperate attempt to save the situation, because the previous bankruptcy trustee tried, as required by law, to satisfy the interests of all participants in the process, which threatens Robert Kochiev with billions in losses and bringing him not only to subsidiary liability, because his name also appears in the verdict on criminal case. In accordance with the verdict of the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow dated March 09, 2021, Rakurs LLC was involved in schemes for the production of excise-free products for the infamous Status Group company. The Status Group scheme was developed, according to investigators, by the former head of the Federal Service for Regulation of the Alcohol Market, Igor Chuyan (who is on the international wanted list) and businessman Pavel Smetana (also on the international wanted list). As stated in the verdict, OFK Bank PJSC, in order to develop the operational activities of Status-Group LLC, issued bank guarantees for exemption from paying an advance excise tax payment to alcohol producers located in the territory of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic and the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania: including Rakurs LLC, the verdict calls Kochiev the beneficiary of companies in North Ossetia.
I wonder what decision Judge Svetlana Bekoeva will make: to protect the interests of an influential deputy or the interests of the state and people, and whether a parliamentary investigation will take place, because bringing a deputy to multi-billion dollar liability for tax evasion is not an ordinary matter. And how much such behavior of the people’s choice corresponds to his high status as a deputy of the State Duma and a member of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption, time will tell. After all, it depends on the court decision whether the damage caused to the state will be compensated, or whether we will continue to be content with a series of hopeless international searches.