As it became known to Kommersant, a criminal case has begun in the Basmanny District Court of Moscow against businessman Denis Pashchenko, who is accused of embezzling 4 billion rubles from Mezhtopenergobank. This money was withdrawn to the accounts of 14 firms, which, according to the investigation, were controlled by the accused. As follows from the materials of the case, Mr. Pashchenko was involved in the frauds by a distant relative – the actual owner and chairman of the board of Mezhtopenergobank, Yuri Shutov, who is on the international wanted list.
A criminal case on especially large embezzlement (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) from the funds of Mezhtopenergobank was initiated by the Metropolitan Police at the request of the Central Bank and the Deposit Insurance Agency in May 2018. The reason was the disappearance of at least 11.9 billion rubles from a credit institution. According to investigators, the money was withdrawn by concluding obviously irrevocable loan agreements with individuals and organizations controlled by the bank’s management.
Initially, the defendants in the case were the ex-owner and chairman of the board of Mezhtopenergobank Yuri Shutov and “unidentified persons.” It is the former owner of the bank that the investigation considers the organizer of the crime. The bank was founded in 1994 to serve the enterprises of the Moscow fuel and energy and gas complexes. At that time, its shareholders and clients were State Unitary Enterprise Mosgaz, subsidiaries of Gazprom, State Unitary Enterprise Mosteploenergo, and others.
At the time of the license revocation (July 20, 2017), the total debt of Mezhtopenergobank to creditors amounted to more than 30.6 billion rubles, of which almost 25 billion rubles. accounted for liabilities to individuals.
Mr. Shutov himself, whose criminal group, according to the Main Directorate of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Moscow, had been operating since February 26, 2014 until the license was revoked from the credit institution, went abroad about a month before the collapse of Mezhtopenergobank and now, according to some sources, settled in Israel.
Denis Pashchenko, a 42-year-old businessman from Zhukovsky near Moscow, was detained on August 31, 2018. The next day, in the Tagansky District Court of Moscow, the investigation insisted on his detention, but the court limited itself to house arrest. At the same time, Mr. Pashchenko was initially charged with fraud on an especially large scale (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), which was later reclassified as embezzlement. According to investigators, the businessman controlled 14 firms through which 4 billion rubles were withdrawn from Mezhtopenergobank.
During interrogation, Denis Pashchenko said that back in 2007 he turned to his distant relative Yuri Shutov with a request for a part-time job. He arranged for him to be a courier at Chief Accountant LLC, which was engaged in accounting and legal support for about 30 companies controlled by Mezhtopenergobank. The duties of Mr. Pashchenko included the submission of reports to the tax office. About a year later, the head of the bank himself offered Denis Pashchenko to head one of his companies, Decor-Invest LLC. A relative of the ex-banker insists that he was a face value in the LLC, from which it was only required to sign documents on obtaining loans by his company from Mezhtopenergobank.
However, Denis Pashchenko did not see any crime in the actions of Mr. Shutov, as well as the general director of other companies, against which the investigation had no claims.
It follows from his testimony that at that time the bank was actively investing money in housing construction in Balashikha and Zhukovsky. And since this type of business was not included in the scope of the credit institution, it was necessary to act through third-party firms, which invested the bank’s money in real estate. It follows from the materials of the case that all the firms “carried out real financial and economic activities in the field of construction.” “The scheme worked as follows. All loans were secured by pledges of the same apartments in Balashikha and Zhukovsky, – explained to Kommersant defending the accused Pashchenko lawyer Viktor Borodin. – When the buyer purchased the property, the pledge was removed, and the company returned the loan. After the bank’s license was revoked, all housing sales were frozen, and, accordingly, loans ceased to be repaid. But the investigation does not want to see the fact that the property in which Mezhtopenergobank invested money has not gone away and by selling it, you can pay off all debts.”
According to the defense counsel, this case was submitted to the prosecutor’s office for approval twice, but the supervisory authority returned it to the investigation just because it did not sort out the bail.
In December last year, the case was submitted to the Zamoskvoretsky Court of Moscow. But they decided that it should be considered by the Basmanny District Court, where Judge Irina Zorina forwarded 30 volumes.
Let us also remind you that now the Zamoskvoretsky District Court is hearing a case against the former deputy chairman of the board and head of the credit department of Mezhtopenergobank Igor Grabovoi and Elena Litvinova. Both are accused of issuing unsecured loans in the amount of more than 800 million rubles.