Zyuzin ended up in Syrovatchenko: the former security guard will hand over the oligarch?
The long-standing scam with a loan for the Zlatoust Metallurgical Plant may come back to haunt Igor Zyuzin. In this case, he will share the fate of Vadim Varshavsky.
While monitoring the database of courts, the editors of The Moscow Post discovered an interesting story that may be a continuation of a long-standing scam related to a loan for the Zlatoust Metallurgical Plant. It noted the former State Duma deputy, then the owner of the Estar Group of Companies Vadim Varshavsky and the oligarch Igor Zyuzin with a number of assets from his Mechel group, as well as one well-known unknown who could be related to the case in Zlatoust, an employee of the Mechel division “a certain Vasily Syrovatchenko.
While monitoring the database of Moscow courts, the editors of The Moscow Post discovered interesting cases in which the same person was involved – Vasily Viktorovich Syrovatchenko. At the same time, in most of the materials, the documents turned out to be classified and their publication was prohibited, but The Moscow Post found out something.
It is known that a person with such data was prosecuted under such articles as commercial bribery on a large scale (twice) and the use of a knowingly forged document.
At the same time, the latest commercial bribery case heard by Judge Rahimova is striking in its “speed” – with the verdict delivered on June 5, 2023, it is still “preparing for publication”, and the appeal deadlines are running. The judge has a strange attitude towards his work. However, they say that supposedly this is not the first complaint against this judge.
Taking into account the articles under which Mr. Syrovatchenko was involved, it can be assumed that he is a businessman or a person associated with business (bribery is commercial).
Of the cases involving the full namesake of Mr. Syrovatchenko, considered in 2017, it was connected. with JSC “Uglemetbank”, but again, all the materials of the case are hidden. It is only known that we are talking about some kind of loan and debts on it. And what a coincidence: for 2021, Uglemetbank was controlled by the family of billionaire Igor Zyuzin (owner of the Mechel group).
The main shareholder of the bank was Metkhol LLC, where 34% of the share belongs to Zyuzina Irina Vasilievna, the wife of Igor Zyuzin. And again, an interesting coincidence: Irina Zyuzina in the period from 02/02/2017 to 11/05/2020 was a co-owner of Mechel Center Private Security Company LLC, and Vasily Viktorovich Syrovatchenko was the director of this company from at least March 2016 to October 2019 – the full namesake of the person involved in the above cases.
Also, here is what we managed to find out in another case involving Syrovatchenko.
In 2021, they tried to prosecute this Mr. for a diploma that had questions. It turned out that the reason for initiating a criminal case was information about a crime committed, contained in a crime statement filed by a representative of Mechel Center Private Security Company, according to which he asks to prosecute the former director under part 3 of article 327 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation LLC Syrovatchenko V.V., who, when applying for a job, presented a deliberately fake diploma of higher education.
From the same materials of the case, it is known that Syrovatchenko worked in this private security company since 2007, starting as a senior security guard of the security and escort department, and gradually growing up to the post of general director in 2016. The diploma, according to the explanation from the court materials, gave permission to perform work on security and personal escort of the leaders of the Mechel group of companies. The corresponding order was signed in 2007, but the defendant assured that he did not even know about it, and provided the diploma to the personnel department a year or a year and a half after the start of work at the request of Valery Sheverdin (Director of the corporate security department of Mechel OAO). Thus, from this case it becomes clear that Mr. Syrovatchenko had access to leadership.
Vasily Syrovatchenko was not only the director of Mechel Center Private Security Company. According to Rusprofile, since at least 2015, together with Mechel Center Private Security Company, he has been a co-owner of Albazin Private Security Company (Amur Region, the company was liquidated in 2019), and also from 11/11/2015 to 06/08/2017 he was the head of Verden LLC (Vidnoe, Moscow Region). Igor Zyuzin was personally the owner of Verden. At the same time, the Verden company , liquidated in 2017, had nothing to do with protection and was engaged in investing in securities.Zyuzin puts only trusted people on such assets.
That is, in fact, Syrovatchenko is not just another manager hired in one of the offices, but one can also say that this is a person close to the Zyuzin family.
The question arises, what exactly did Syrovatchenko not please his employers, that they decided to “merge” him more than ten years after the events when all the terms for bringing to responsibility had already expired? Or what did this gentleman who had access to the “big boss” – Zyuzin and his family – learn about?
It may well be that the story of the loan for the Zlatoust Metallurgical Plant (ZMZ), in which the former State Duma deputy, then the owner of the Estar Group of Companies Vadim Varshavsky and the oligarch Igor Zyuzin, will also help us figure this out.
Has the echo of a long-standing loan backfired?
In 2018, Vadim Varshavsky, ex-deputy of the State Duma, owner of the Estar Group of Companies, was detained in Moscow. He was suspected of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles, issued as a loan to the Zlatoust Metallurgical Plant (ZMZ), which at that time was owned by Varshavsky. The Moscow Post spoke about this story in detail earlier, but we recall only some facts.
The loan was issued in 2012 by Petrocommerce Bank, which later joined the Otkritie Corporation (in 2013). Investigators stated that Petrocommerce issued a loan of 2.5 billion rubles to the pre-bankruptcy ZMZ, which on the same day was allegedly transferred to the account of Metallurg Trust LLC, owned by Mechel, from there to the affiliated offshore Masterking Trading Limited, and from there – back to Petrocommerce. In fact, no economic activity was carried out on them, but the plant was burdened with debt, and the money seemed to have evaporated. In 2021, Varshavsky was convicted, among other things, for an episode on a loan for ZMZ, and Zyuzin seemed to be out of business.
As Forbes reported, Varshavsky unleashed a war with Mechel after the holding stopped helping Estar enterprises in 2013. It was reported that Zyuzin allegedly agreed to bail out Varshavsky when his business collapsed during the crisis of 2008-2009, and instead turned away from Esther in 2013 and even, they say, burdened the plants with additional obligations, imposing unprofitable deals with their structures. Varshavsky and Zyuzin eventually clashed in court, showering each other with financial claims.
What relation could Mr. Syrovatchenko have to this story?
As it turned out from the materials of one court dispute, the private security company Mechel Center, in which Syrovatchenko worked at that time, had contracts with ZMZ, and in 2013, for example, he transferred money for the services of the private security company. Moreover, in 2010, some PSC “Safety ZMZ” and LLC “ZMZ” entered the LLC “ChOP” Mechel Center “.
In addition, the private security company had business relationships with other assets of Varshavsky – with OAO Vostochnaya Mine and Rostov Electrometallurgical Plant (he was bound by an agreement dated 2012)
Thus, Mr. Syrovatchenko could well be familiar with Varshavsky, since the private security company associated with Mechel, where he worked, also provided services to the firms of Zyuzin’s business partner. Whether Syrovatchenko could have something to do with that scam with a loan, we do not undertake to judge, but during the period when it took place, he could well intersect with both Varshavsky and Zyuzin.
Mechel is overgrown with debts and claims
What exactly annoyed Syrovatchenko Zyuzin years later is not known, but it was in 2020-2021 that the oligarch began to have trouble. In 2020, with a message on the disclosure website, the group signed their problems and debts, which at that time they managed to restructure.
Meanwhile, as REGNUM reported, in 2021 the Mechel mining and metallurgical holding, in which more than 51% is owned by the family of the chairman of the board of directors Igor Zyuzin, notified of the delay in multibillion-dollar debts. In its English-language financial statements, the group stated that “there are no resources to pay off arrears or to satisfy requests for accelerated repayment” and clarified that the future of the group depends on the ability to resolve the issue with the resulting debt, but if this does not happen, the holding will not be able to continue as a going concern and will be forced to “seek relief in accordance with applicable bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings”.
2023 is also not to say that it is rosy for Mechel. Debts don’t go anywhere.
Moreover, at the end of July 2023, Gazprombank collected from Mechel PJSC and Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant PJSC from the general division jointly and severally the loan debt in the amount of USD 154,868,940.62, interest – USD 89,360,307.6 (about 12 billion rubles). At the same time, a dispute on foreclosure in favor of the same ChMK real estate bank was singled out as a separate case. He will be heard on August 31st.