Irrevocable loans of Parkhomenko and Komarov
The former CEOs of Link-Bank were given 4 years probation for withdrawing 320 million rubles.
The Moscow Meshchansky Court sentenced the former leaders of the bankrupt Link Bank, Sergei Parkhomenko and Sergey Komarov. The court agreed with the version of the investigation that they stole about 320 million rubles through fraud, issued as loans to one-day firms, as well as individuals. Despite the guilty verdict, the court limited itself to four years of probation for each of the defendants. And although both convicts do not agree with the verdict of the court, however, they decided not to appeal the verdict.
Announce the judicial act Judge Anna Sokova, a well-known participation in the case American investor Michael Calvey, could not since August 11. At first, for unknown reasons, she postponed the announcement of the verdict four times, then read it out for another four days.
All this time Sergey Parkhomenko and Sergey Komarov went to court on their own. The first of the first investigation was under house arrest. The second, after serving under house arrest for 1.8 years, was also released.
According to the prosecution, from March 2013 to February 11, 2014, the bank issued non-performing loans for almost 320 million rubles. Initially, the former chairmen of the board of Link Bank, Sergei Parkhomenko and Sergei Komarov, were charged with embezzlement of this amount (Article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
Their case was sent to the Koptevsky court of the capital, where it has been heard since October 2019. However, in June 2020, the court returned him to the prosecutor’s office due to violations committed during the investigation. After additional investigation, the actions of the defendants were reclassified to the article “fraud on an especially large scale” (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and the case was transferred to the Meshchansky Court of Moscow. During the process, which lasted from November 2020, the defendants denied guilt in the theft. Despite the fact that each was threatened with up to ten real years in prison, the prosecutor’s office requested suspended sentences of five years in prison for both.
Link-Bank was established in February 1994 on the initiative of the telecommunications company MGTS (at that time the Order of Lenin state enterprise “Moscow City Telephone Network” of the Ministry of Communications of the RSFSR). On February 11, 2014, the bank’s license was revoked, and in May of the same year it was declared bankrupt.
According to the Central Bank, Link-Bank “did not create reserves adequate to the accepted risks for possible losses on loans, violated the accounting procedure.” The regulator also claimed that the bank was involved in dubious operations related to the withdrawal of money from the country under foreign trade agreements and transactions, in operations to issue cash to legal entities. The total amount of the above operations in 2013 exceeded 20 billion rubles, Banki.ru reported.
After the verdict was announced, Andrey Gromov, the lawyer of the founder of the bank, Sergei Parkhomenko, told Business FM that he was confident that the defendants were innocent. “The whole thing went on for four years. Everywhere – both during the investigation and in court – we explained what really happened. In the Koptevsky court, we practically proved that they were not guilty, but, unfortunately, the court did not issue a verdict of not guilty, but returned the case for additional investigation, ”he commented on the course of the proceedings. The lawyer believes that after that the investigation deliberately sent the case to the Meshchansky Court in order to avoid a repetition of the situation. The defender claims that at one time the Central Bank, under a “far-fetched pretext”, revoked the license from Link-Bank. Moreover, the reason was supposedly a currency exchange of 500 dollars in one of the bank branches to a citizen who was not asked for a passport. “Because of this, the license was revoked. After that, all the firms to which the bank had issued loans stopped paying on them. For some reason, the investigation decided that these were fictitious companies controlled by the defendant and thus they stole the money. Although there was not the slightest evidence of this, ”says Gromov.
He insists that the recipients of loans were not one-day firms. On the contrary, a dozen firms had turnovers “under a billion rubles”: one of them was engaged in the purchase of medical equipment, the other in electronics, and the third participated in public procurement. At the same time, loans were issued to each in the amount of 20-30 million rubles. “One of these organizations, after Link-Bank’s license was revoked, took out a loan of 280 million rubles from another bank and paid interest and repaid debts for a whole year. Then, when this bank also had its license revoked, out of 280 million, 12 million remained unreturned. And what do you think? This company stopped paying in the same way, ”said the defender. According to him, almost all banks, after the revocation of the license, found themselves in similar situations: borrowers simply stopped paying their debts. The lawyer noted that Parkhomenko, who stood at the origins of the creation of the bank in 1994, worked in it for 20 years. “When MGTS was privatized in 1996 and abandoned the bank, it actually didn’t need it, it dragged it on itself for many years, pulling it out of crises,” the lawyer said. He also considers the accusations against the second defendant, one of the shareholders of the bank, Sergei Komarov, to be “absurd”. “The delusion of this accusation is that he stole from himself. But the investigation did not want to hear anyone, ”said the defender.
According to him, having discussed the possibility of appealing the verdict in the Moscow City Court, the defendants have now come to the conclusion that they will not file an appeal. “Everyone is tired of living under the sword of Damocles. We are well aware that it is impossible to achieve the truth. This is pointless, and we will not appeal the verdict by 80-90 percent,” Andrey Gromov said.
“Kommersant”, 08/15/2022, “Bankers can’t sit still”: It was the embezzlement of this amount that was blamed on the former top managers Parkhomenko and Komarov. It is interesting to note that by that time the latter had managed to be held hostage by the co-owner of Link-Bank Andrey Grinchuk. As Kommersant has already said, after the bankruptcy of this financial structure, the paths of the partners parted. However, Mr. Grinchuk owed Mr. Komarov a large sum. Having come up with nothing better, in December 2014, he organized the kidnapping of his ex-colleague with a ransom demand, with which he later allegedly was going to pay off his debt to him. After Sergei Komarov issued a bill for 800 million rubles, he was released to collect cash – the amount of the first tranche was to be 11 million rubles. After that, the victim of the extortionists contacted the police, and Andrei Grinchuk was detained. At the end of last year, the Mytishchi City Court of the Moscow Region sentenced him to eight years and one month in a strict regime colony. Moreover, in addition to kidnapping and extortion (Article 126 and Article 163 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), he was also charged with robbery with fraud (Article 162 and Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). […]
It should be noted that in April 2021, after several refusals, the DIA nevertheless achieved in arbitration the recovery of losses from ex-bankers Komarov and Parkhomenko. The first court ordered to pay 104.1 million rubles, and his former colleague – 215.7 million rubles. According to Kommersant, the damage has not yet been repaid by them. If the new claim of the victims is satisfied, both writ of execution, according to the law, will be combined by bailiffs into one proceeding. — Inset K.ru
At the same time, according to law enforcement agencies quoted by the Kommersant newspaper, Link-Bank was involved in the so-called Moldovan scheme, according to which about 500 billion rubles were withdrawn from Russia. In particular, this credit institution, according to the security forces, was included in the list of 70 banks, which were used in their activities by the former co-owner of the banks Zapadny, Doninvest and the Russian Land Bank Alexander Grigorievconvicted of 12 years in prison. At the time of the collapse, Link-Bank’s debt to creditors amounted to almost 366 million rubles, the newspaper notes.
Interestingly, this case was one of the last cases of Judge Anna Sokova, who last summer assigned suspended sentences to those involved in the high-profile Baring Vostok case. As published back in June decree President, now she is going to be promoted to the Moscow City Court.