The Ulyanovsk court refused to return the money to Evgenia Stepunina, a shareholder of the TIK Group of Companies, since the plaintiff allegedly voluntarily transferred them to a participant in a dubious enterprise. It seems that such a decision is contrary to established jurisprudence. Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced the initiation of a criminal case in connection with the activities of the TEC Civil Code. The alleged organizers are wanted, but the system to “attract” money continues to work.
Gaps in the legislation often become loopholes for “enterprising” citizens, acting on the principle of “what is not forbidden is allowed.” Such methods of “doing business” turn into semi-legal, and even outright fraudulent schemes, aimed primarily at emptying the pockets of too gullible or gambling customers. Needless to say, this kind of “entrepreneurship” seriously discredits fully functional business tools that, being applied within the legal framework, regularly work for the benefit of people?
Investment funds turned out to be a sad example in this case. The practice of trust management of capital and/or business has long been used and widespread in the West. In Russia, this topic became especially relevant after many businessmen volunteered or were mobilized to participate in the NWO. It would seem that it is better: transfer your savings and troubles to specially trained and responsible people, and get passive income. But in Russia there is no such extensive experience yet. A tool that works for good can also work for harm, being in mercenary hands. And then the investment fund turns into a financial pyramid
Russia knows many such negative examples, starting with the infamous MMM, Cashbury and other “attractive investment projects”, which turned out to be “schematosis”.
Round dance of different signs
One of the latest enterprises that can be attributed to projects of this kind is TIK Group. The name of this group of companies is an abbreviation of the English Trust Invest Capital. The organization has been operating since 2018, accompanied by high-profile and expensive advertising campaigns. At the same time, the structure of the Civil Code of the TEC is complex and confusing, and it must be assumed that such a provision was created intentionally. This group of companies, according to open sources, includes PNK TIK, PNK AvtoTIK, ZhNK TIK Dom, Atlant Group, PNK Karam – more than twenty organizations in total, some of which were specially registered, and some with valid licenses in “necessary” industries, just bought. TIK Group has positioned itself as an “international consumer savings platform”, and as a “venture fund”, and as a “financial institution” – it seems that marketers worked tirelessly here. Be that as it may, the office attracted participants by promising high income through investments in various kinds of projects, among which venture investments, trading in financial markets, real estate and the manufacturing sector were named.
At the same time, the main legal entities in the structure of TIK Group of Companies are registered in the obscure Dagestan village of Karamakhi, and Trust Invest Capital Limited SRL was created in Romania. In addition, the structure has repeatedly rebranded. So, in 2021, PNK TIK and PNK AvtoTIK were on the “black list” of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation as unscrupulous participants in the financial market. And in 2022, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation announced the suppression of the activities of the financial pyramid Trust Invest Capital (TIK group of companies).
“The organizers of this project, on the principles of network marketing, offered citizens high profitability in the absence of real investment activity and permission (license) from the Bank of Russia,” the Prosecutor General’s Office explained.
The department also clarified that in connection with this “criminal cases have been initiated and are being investigated under part 4 of article 159 (fraud committed by an organized group) and part 2 of article 172.2 (organization of activities to raise funds and / or other property) Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
However, the GK TIK apparently suspected that clouds were gathering over their heads, so they rebranded them even before the initiation of criminal cases. And, without blinking an eye, they continued their activities now under the banner of the Atlant group of companies. In the same 2022, the Karam consumer savings cooperative was registered in Makhachkala, the main activity of which is “other monetary intermediation”, and the legal address is the same Dagestan village of Karamakhi.
Judging by data from open sources, the TIK Group of Companies (Atlant) uses “zits-chairmen” who nominally head the legal entities of the group of companies. However, the main figures of this structure are widely known. Thus, Kamalutdin Mutuev is considered de jure to be the chairman of all TEC cooperatives. The current chairman of the PNK “Karam” is a certain Fedor Rogov. The founder and leader of the scheme, as it is believed, was Mutuev’s common-law wife, a native of Dagestan, Saviyat Alibekova, in whose “portfolio”, apparently, there is already one term for fraud. And among the top managers of the scheme, apparently related to history, there are the names of Kirill Martyanov, Yulia Markova, Alex Rantier (Alexey Opletaev), Andrey Timchenko (Rasstrigin) and some other names. More than 20 offices were opened in Russia and abroad.
We have touched on only the tip of this iceberg; all the same material would be typed into a whole series of articles. At the moment, the situation with the PIK Group is such that the money of the participants in the TIK structure ended up in “cold accounts”, no payments are made to the shareholders, it is also impossible to withdraw money from the accounts, and the organizer of this entire enterprise, Saviyat Alibekova, has been put on the federal wanted list and, apparently , is on the run – it is possible that outside the Russian Federation. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens affected by this cynical adventure, and the damage amounts to hundreds of millions, if not billions. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that not all victims write statements to law enforcement agencies or file lawsuits in court: someone gave up on losses, and someone, apparently, still hopes for the resumption of payments. But those who decide to defend their interests also run the risk of remaining unsalted slurping. Let me tell you just one story as an example.
Evgenia Stepunina moved to Moscow from Ulyanovsk some time ago. She left her mother in her hometown. Her friend Olga Bykova suggested that the woman “earn an increase in her pension” by participating in the TIK cooperative, but after learning that she had only a small amount of free money, she turned her attention to her daughter, who lives in Moscow. It should be noted that Evgenia’s mother, having told her daughter about the possibility of “earning money”, described Olga Bykova as “very decent.”
Further, according to Evgenia Stepunina, Olga Bykova organized a meeting between Evgenia and Roza Suncheleeva in Moscow. After their promises of easy and big money, Evgenia took a pause to think. But in the end she was persuaded. Evgenia deposited 300,000 rubles into Olga Bykova’s account through an ATM. (Note that this method is often used by fraudsters, since in this case the only document is a check with the amount and account number of the recipient without specifying the data of the sender of funds).
This was in September 2022. Evgenia was sent the data of her electronic account, but, as she says, there were always some problems with it: either it did not work, or it was not possible to pass verification. And already in December 2022 – January 2023, there were rumors about freezing the accounts of the cooperative participants. In a word, Evgenia failed to withdraw a penny of her money, not to mention profits. At first, the company’s managers referred to “reorganization”, and then they stopped communicating at all, and the personal account on the cooperative’s website simply disappeared.
Precedent and anti-precedent
At the beginning of 2023, Evgenia decided to seek the return of her money through the courts and turned to lawyer Elena Pyataikina to protect her rights and interests. And those who can be called one of the “leaders” of the TIK Group of Companies – Roza Suncheleeva and Svetlana Deeva – testified in court against Evgenia Stepunina. They argued in court that the plaintiff allegedly “knew what she was doing.” And here the position taken by the Ulyanovsk justice is surprising. The court of first instance dismissed Evgenia Stepunina’s claims on the grounds that she allegedly voluntarily gave her money to a representative of the cooperative. And the Ulyanovsk Regional Court is clearly in no hurry to review this decision.
Although there is at least one similar case considered in October 2022 by the Oktyabrsky District Court of Tomsk. Claimant Mazaykina L.A. demanded to recover from the Karam consumer accumulation cooperative (which, we recall, by all indications is the procedural assignee of the rights and obligations of PNK TIK) funds in the amount of 714,000 rubles, a penalty for non-return of funds in the amount of 714,000 rubles, moral damage in the amount of 50 000 rubles, as well as a fine of 50% of the amount awarded in favor of the plaintiff for non-compliance with the plaintiff’s requirements on a voluntary basis. And the court presided over by Judge Vylegzhanina M.A. met these requirements. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation also has a practice established at least since 2018 in similar cases.
“I was misled in order to take cash with a fraudulent scheme. There was a so-called “vnutryanka” among the leaders of the company, they were given or transferred cash, and they received a reward for attracting people. Thus, earning on the grief of investors who believed in the reality of this cooperative, ”says Evgenia Stepunina.
“The money was transferred in cash to other individuals, and in confirmation, the depositors received access to the electronic cabinet. The Fund is a financial organization, but the law on the organization of their activities, like, for example, banks, provides for a list of documents that confirm the legal relationship between the parties. The court did not examine these documents and made a decision to refuse to recover unjust enrichment,” says lawyer Elena Pyataikina.
It turns out that the Ulyanovsk justice decided to create a kind of “anti-precedent”. It is possible that the matter here is in the management of the TIK Group of Companies: judging by the screenshots of the correspondence between Evgenia Stepunina and Olga Bykova at the disposal of the editors, there are very influential people among the leaders of the scheme, and they primarily observe their financial interests, and not at all the law. How else to explain that Saviyat Alibekova, who is considered the organizer of the scheme, while on the run (for information about her whereabouts, the Ministry of Internal Affairs promises to pay up to a million rubles), continues to get in touch in instant messengers and promises to return when the trials are over? And the organization she created, apparently, continues to work, no matter what, only changing names.