The Prosecutor General’s Office sued the Russian billionaire
On Friday, August 17, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office filed a lawsuit with the Sverdlovsky District Court of Krasnoyarsk against billionaire Andrei Melnichenko.
The Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation was declared as a plaintiff in the database of the court without specifying his last name. The defendants in the case are the businessman himself, Kuzbassenergo, which is part of the Siberian Generating Company (SGK), and JSC Khakass Service and Repair Company (HSRK). Siberian Generating Company will be involved in the proceedings as a third party, follows from the materials of the court.
The lawsuit concerns the recovery from Melnichenko in favor of the state of the shares of the Sibeco company, acquired for 32.51 billion rubles from the structures of the ex-Minister of the Open Government Mikhail Abyzov. The transactions were carried out through Melnichenko’s Kuzbassenergo and KhSRK. The Deputy Prosecutor General demands to recover 3.9 billion ordinary non-documentary registered shares of Sibeco, registered at Kuzbassenergo, to the state’s income.
The Prosecutor General’s Office substantiates the demand by the fact that while supervising the investigation of the case of “Mikhail Abyzov’s accomplices”, it received information “about the violation by citizen Melnichenko and legal entities controlled by him of the anti-corruption legislation when making transactions to acquire Sibeko shares.
According to the department, “in order to implement the plan and conceal his participation in the sale of Sibeco shares, Abyzov, maintaining informal friendly relations with Melnichenko, offered him to purchase the said property asset.” On February 7, 2018, Melnichenko and Abyzov entered into an agreement for the sale of securities in Cyprus, according to the lawsuit.
The Prosecutor General’s Office came to the conclusion that the deal has signs of “taking advantage of unfair behavior” and therefore there are grounds for recovering “everything received by the parties under anti-social transactions” to the state’s income.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for September 7th. Melnichenko’s representative confirmed to the publication that the lawsuit had been received and now “lawyers are working with him.” He declined to comment further before the trial began.
Ex-Minister Mikhail Abyzov was accused of creating an organized crime group to conduct illegal business and extract criminal income. According to the investigation, Abyzov, together with accomplices through his people on the board of directors, stole the funds of the shareholders of the company “SIBEKO”, using forged documents for this. At the same time, the ex-minister concealed his financial situation, secretly controlling a number of offshore companies in Cyprus and the Virgin Islands.
Abyzov served as Minister for Open Government from 2012 to 2018. He was arrested on March 26, 2019.