Scam due to VIP customers: as the collapsed pyramid of Vneshprombank

The total volume of requirements of Russia on 2 June was 214,9 billion roubles, have informed RBC in the press-service of the Agency on insurance of contributions (ASV) on Thursday. Compared with early April, when the DIA called the sum of the requirements of 81.1 billion rubles, it grew by almost three times. But to show the Bank the new requirements is already impossible: the register of creditors Vneshprombank closed on may 18.

What amount has accumulated, the DIA payout in the initial phase, the Agency’s representative not reported this information will be presented to the creditors ‘ meeting on 17 June. But in early April, DIA has disclosed that the payment is only 4 billion rubles By may 1, the cash balances on Bank accounts of the Central Bank and ASV increased to 7.5 billion rubles., and in the receivership estates 6.1 billion rubles. But not all these means will go on payment: they take into account the costs of ASV on the salaries of employees of the Bank, the maintenance of its buildings, etc.

According to a source close to the DIA, since April the situation with payments “virtually unchanged”. According to one of the largest creditors, the competitive managing Director is not yet won and 10 billion rubles. One of the VIP investors Vneshprombank told RBC that it expects to recover not more than 15% of their savings.

RBC versed in the history of the largest banking pyramid: how it was built and why he collapsed.

From Monaco to Russia

In September 2015, close to the waterfront of albert the First in Monte-Carlo has opened a wine bar Palace. The ribbon was cut by the Prince of Monaco albert the Second, standing next to George Bidjamov Russian businessman, President of Federation of bobsled and one of the owners of Vneshprombank. The New York Times called Begimova the owner of the Wine Palace.

The President of Federation of bobsleigh and skeleton of Russia Georgy Beglov  and Prince of Monaco albert the Second
Photo: screenshot from video on chiktv.com

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The President of Federation of bobsleigh and skeleton of Russia Georgy Bejanov and Prince of Monaco albert the Second Photo: a screenshot of the video on chiktv.com

About six months later, on 21 January 2016, the Bank of Russia revoked the license of Vneshprombank, and we find a hole in a record 210 billion rubles And in March Begimova announced on the international wanted list: he was charged in the case of withdrawal of assets from Vneshprombank more than 1 billion rubles In April, he was detained by the police of Monaco and is now in jail Principality.

As told RBC source in the Prosecutor’s office, the Agency sent a request for extradition Beglova in mid-may. The request of the Prosecutor General confirmed RBC and counsel Begimova Sergey Belchic. According to the source RBC, the document of the Prosecutor General contains guarantee that a businessman will be prosecuted only for the crimes specified in the address.

“The Prosecutor’s office promises that Bidjamov in jail will be kept in conditions that meet world standards”, said a source in this Department. The request will be considered by the court of appeal of Monaco, but the final decision remains the law of the Principality with Prince albert the Second.

At the same criminal case in December last year in Moscow was arrested the sister Begimova, President and co-owner of Vneshprombank Larisa Marcus. On may 17, the court extended the arrest of Marcus for another three months, RBC said her lawyer.

Vneshprombank, celebrated in July of last year 20-summer anniversary, turned out to be a classic pyramid. It can even be compared with the Bernard Madoff Scam if not the scale (pyramid Madoff owed his clients $50 billion), according to the nature of the activities Linden statements, calculations with the old money of new clients.

Vneshprombank President Larisa Markus, suspected of fraud, after being arrested in the Tver court
Photo: Sergey Bobylev/TASS

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Vneshprombank President Larisa Markus, suspected of fraud, after being arrested in the Tver court Photo: Sergey Bobylev/TASS

Many other pyramids it is different in that it was built on the money of large companies, officials, deputies and businessmen who had entrusted the Bank their money. They started to open a Bank account in the late 1990s. Private investors held in this Bank a large sum at the moment of revocation of the license, they had accumulated more than 20 billion rubles, which is almost a quarter of total deposits.

As the pyramid grew Vneshprombank why a Central Bank so long didn’t notice her and as she collapsed literally in a day?

Famous clients

“Marcus told everyone that to attract VIP clients to her good help when she started to have another in the Ministry of marine fleet of the USSR, many customers went on to meet another participant of the Bank Alexander Zurabov,” said one of the business partners Marcus.

Markus directly owned 7,5% of the Bank. Zurabov (known financier, former head of “Aeroflot” and Bank “Menatep”, the brother of the Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov) was 8.2%. They influenced the activities of Vneshprombank, stated in its IFRS financial statements. Beglov was a shareholder of the company “Promstroyproject”, which the Bank owned a share of just 3.3%. “He was not a co-owner of the Bank and could not influence the decisions of the banks,” insisted the lawyer Begimova.

One of the VIP investors Vneshprombank said that was a customer of the Bank, when personally met Marcus. “We were introduced by a person close to the family of Alexander Zhukov (Deputy speaker of the state Duma. RBC), “he says. On friendship Marcus with Zhukov and members of his family, particularly his wife Catherine, told RBC a source close to the Central Bank, two of Vneshprombank and creditor familiar with Marcus banker. Son Zhukov Peter previously worked as Vice President of the Bank, told a VIP-investor. Zhukov himself Jr. told RBC that in Vneshprombank don’t work, and only trained when I was still a student until 2003. Alexander Zhukov only recognized the existence of a Deposit in Vneshprombank. “In my Declaration for 2015 stated that I have in Vneshprombank on 1 January 2016 listed 316 thousand rubles., and the wife 2,5 million rubles”, he said, refusing further comment. In 2011, according to the Declaration of Zhukov, he kept on Bank accounts of 2.7 million rubles.

First Vice-speaker of the state Duma of the Russian Federation Alexander Zhukov at the plenary session of the State Duma of the Russian Federation
Photo: Anna Isakova/TASS

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First Vice-speaker of the state Duma of the Russian Federation Alexander Zhukov at the plenary session of the State Duma Photo: Anna Isakova/TASS

Marcus maintained friendly relations with many VIP clients. As told RBC friends Marcus, the head of “Transneft” (the company has stated that in her accounts in Vneshprombank hung 9 bn) Nikolay Tokarev attended the funeral of her son, who died in the early 2000s. a Press-service “Transneft” have refused comments.

President of OAO ” AK “Transneft” Nikolay Tokarev
Photo: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

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President of OAO “AK “Transneft” Nikolay Tokarev Photo: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

Each year, the Bank arranged a celebration for my birthday. “Celebrating a big way, Marcus was invited clients, senior officials at the party could meet the Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich,” says a friend of Marcus and one of the creditors of the Bank. Press Secretary Dvorkovich alia Samigullina refused to comment this information.

Many firms are “moved up” to a Bank for large companies that were maintained and kept the deposits. For example, Welding and Assembly trust, opened the scoring followed by “Transneft” ten years ago. “We thought that once “Transneft” places in Vneshprombank means that we should not worry,” says the CEO of the company Valentina Belyaeva. The trust in the Bank hovered 3.5 billion rubles., it is accumulated over many years working capital that enabled the company to begin construction without attraction of credits.

One of the customers tells RBC that reasoned this way: if even half of the assets will be fictitious, then the balance of 270 billion rubles and the volume of deposits of 70 billion rubles of the money to pay the first-priority creditors accurately enough.

Who kept the money in Vneshprombank?

On January 1, 2016 on the accounts of individuals in Vneshprombank was 67,4 billion rubles. Deposits and individual entrepreneurs on 45 billion roubles have fallen under the insurance, the amount of private investors for RUB 22.4 billion was uninsured.

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In addition to private investors and companies lost their money, some banks only lend in the interbank market. The largest of them, according to the books of Vneshprombank on 8 December, the Bank “Globex”, placed in the Bank bankrupt 3 billion. he Managed to pull out their money, or not known: press-service “GLOBEKS did not respond to a request RBC. Among the creditor banks were also Swiss Safra Sarasin as of 8 December, his loan Only amounted to 600 million rubles.

The recommendation of the Patriarch

As Larisa Markus was able to convince high-ranking officials and heads of big companies to give her money? One of the creditors Vneshprombank who worked with him since the founding of the Bank, suggests that a significant role in the career of Marcus was played by the Russian Orthodox Church. In the mid-1990s, the Church needed money, it was necessary to restore the temples, many businesses helped the Church in this and later received the patronage of Patriarch Alexy, and with her it was easy to make contacts in the highest circles, says the interlocutor of RBC.

ROC and approximate it structure for many years used Vneshprombank account to collect donations. In particular, in 2008, on accounts at this Bank, the Church collected money for the victims of the hostilities in South Ossetia. Even earlier, in 2005, the Moscow Patriarchate invited everyone to help the victims of the tsunami in South-East Asia by transferring funds to their accounts in Vneshprombank. And in 2006, the Foundation “the Orthodox Christian charity” organized the collection of donations to the Lebanese refugees, again through the account in Vneshprombank.

Was engaged in charity work myself and Marcus. The journal of the Moscow Patriarchate reported that Marcus and Begimov responded to the call of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to make donations to victims in South Ossetia. At the February meeting of the Moscow city court, which upheld the arrest of Marcus, her lawyers presented the positive characteristics of the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofy.

According to friend Marcus, her sometimes jokingly called the counter of the Patriarch. “We are talking about the late Patriarch Alexy, as when Kirill, the Church began to reduce its presence in the “Vneshprom” he said. As previously wrote RBC, at the time of license revocation, Vneshprombank Church kept it to 1.5 billion rubles.

Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II
Photo: Vladimir Sindeev/TASS

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Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Alexy II Photo: Vladimir Sindeev/TASS

The source of RBC in the Russian Orthodox Church said that the Church is really beginning to open a Bank account 20 years ago, but the Bank of the Church was recommended to “government”.

The press service of the Russian Orthodox Church refused to answer questions about RBC relationship of the Church with the Bank and personally with Marcus.

Fringes of the owners

In Church-related organizations Markus crossed paths with the head of Transneft, Tokarev. In 2014, donations to the Donbass through Vneshprombank was collected by the Imperial Orthodox Palestine society (IOPS), with the support of the Foundation saints Constantine and Helena. Palestinian society and this Fund is not formally linked to the Church. The Board of Trustees of IOPS included Nikolai Tokarev, as well as former owner of “Transaero” Olga Pleshakova. Son-in-law last Sergey Ryazantsev Vice-President of Vneshprombank.

As told RBC Vsevolod Chaplin, a Fund equal to the apostles saints Helena and Constantine had no relation to the ROC. “With the Fund Manager Anastasia Ositis we have repeatedly communicated she takes part in the activities of the Union of Orthodox women. System communication was not between us we spoke at various events, interacted in the framework of the Union of Orthodox women. As far as I know, is not an organization that was systematically created by the Church,” says Chaplin.

The company “Russdo”, the control package of which belongs to Ositis, her daughter Irina Fedulovoy and the daughter’s husband, Vladimir, were previously included in the number of participants in Vneshprombank. Also a share in the Bank in the early 2000s, she owned Fedulova. The founder of the company Ositis ASVT “Sofrino”, company for the production of Church utensils, established by the Patriarchate. Ositis refused to discuss the topic of her relationship with the Bank and personally with Marcus.

As the pyramid grew

Before the crisis of 2008 Vneshprombank was a real business, believes the VIP depositor of the Bank. “The Bank earned on loans, which he gave to the business, including related parties, but after the crisis could not be reconstructed, and the customer had to pay,” says the investor. Then, according to him, the Bank began to build the pyramid: money new creditors was extinguished by obligations to older. About it RBC was told by another creditor Bank.

Indeed, from the statements shows that the Bank began to rise sharply in 2009 for the year, its assets doubled, to 44 billion rubles, according to “Interfax-CEA”. And in 2010 grew another six times. In the end, for almost five years, the Bank moved to the 136-th place by assets on the 37-E. the Bank grew by leaps and bounds both in the corporate and in the retail business: in the three years before the revocation of the volume of loans to business has increased 2.5 times, the retail portfolio in 2 times.

The Bank raised funds in all areas: deposits of companies and individuals, interbank loans and debt securities, which in December 2015 amounted to 35.7 billion rubles, the Central Bank loans and subordinated loans of foreign companies.

Friend Marcus and the lender Vneshprombank says that Marcus was a personal friend to many of its customers, but not only that attracted VIP investors: the Bank is not very strictly checked the source of funds, Deposit rates were above market, all the major investors have been provided with individual approach and services are not only banking. “Someone helped Marcus to find a doctor abroad, someone gave her a plane,” he adds.

Begimova friend says that some clients used the Bank to withdraw money abroad. “Customers used the so-called scheme back-to-back client opens a Deposit in a Bank, then affiliated with the Bank company provides loans, such as the company of his wife,” says RBC top Manager of one of the banks.

As the collapsed pyramid

November 6, 2015 the Bank of Russia has completed a planned inspection of Vneshprombank, the results of which demanded to accrue reserves of 6.2 billion rubles.

The Bank had to charge allowance in the amount identified of the Central Bank of problem assets. As explained RBC, the first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Alexey Simanovsky, during inspections, the Central Bank checks banks ‘ assets selectively: a solid validation would require increase in resources of the inspection several times. If the test results taking into account extrapolation of assets that are not included in the perimeter of the verification show a threat to the financial stability of the Bank, the Central Bank is considering measures to prevent its bankruptcy, he says.

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After the accrual of reserves the Bank on December 1, violated all norms on capital. Then Marcus turned for help to his friends. As told RBC friends Marcus and customers of the Bank, it requested money from the owner of the BIN group Mikhail Shishkhanov, was going to sell the house. “There was a feeling that was raising money for the penny to save the Bank,” says friend Marcus.

Shishkhanov has offered to give Only 5-10 bn secured loan portfolio, but when the staff came to check BIN portfolio, we were shocked: it turned out that as collateral they could take loans for only 600 million rubles, says the source of RBC, close to the BIN group. The deal did not materialize. The press service of the BIN group has not commented on this information.

Part of the money Marcus had found another of his friend the owner of O1 Group Boris mints, with whom they were acquainted for about ten years. O1 put in the Bank a subordinated Deposit of 3 billion roubles under 12% annual. These funds were enough to restore the standards.

<p>the Owner of O1 group Boris mints</p>
Photo: Ekaterina Kuzmina/RBC

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The owner of O1 group Boris mints

The Bank’s balance sheet looked good, most of the assets were loans to trading companies and VIP-customers of the Bank, an impressive amount was in Citibank. “No one could not imagine that there was a hole more than 200 billion rubles”, tells the familiar mints. In addition, by this time, O1 Group already owned the Bank’s bonds for RUB 7 billion in These securities group bought in April 2015, enticed by the yield of 17%. “The securities were to an offer through the year, so the group was interested if not to save the Bank, then at least to extend his life until April 2016,” says a friend of the mints.

After the appearance in Russia of provisional administration of O1 Group was trying to negotiate a reorganization with creditors. “The Central Bank said that the Bank bailout will cost 300 billion rubles, but it’s too expensive,” says a friend of the mints. The scheme of rehabilitation with the participation of the creditors assumed that the Central Bank gives to reorganize 150-170 billion rubles under 1%. The remaining amount will be collected by the creditors of the Bank”.

According to Simanovsky, the possibility of rehabilitation of Vneshprombank with the use of a voluntary bail-in were discussed, but the amount of problems in the Bank ruled out interest to creditors of its implementation.” In other words, the lenders are unable to negotiate and collect the required amount.

According to the books of Vneshprombank on 8 December, most of its assets were loans to companies RUB 173 billion, of which 107,3 billion rubles loans to affiliated companies without collateral. At 25 billion rubles. the Bank has granted loans to affiliated companies, but with security deposits. Among their borrowers of the Bank were such companies as “Transaero”, JSC “Rosgeologiya”, as well as a lot of builders LLC “Imperio-Grand”, OAO “Glavmosstroy”, LLC “Stroynovatsiya” (belongs to the group “Amount”). The use of credit in Vneshprombank confirmed only “Rosgeologiya”, the rest of the company did not respond to a request RBC. “The volume of cooperation were small, and currently all debt is extinguished”, said the Advisor to the General Director of JSC “Rosgeologiya” Anton Sergeev.

According on the December 8, Vneshprombank showed a very low delay on the corporate credits a total of RUB 956 mln (0.6% of corporate portfolio).

A large part of corporate portfolio of the Bank is loans to companies that are not leading real activity, but there are those that are payments, says Simanovsky. The volume of retail loans, according to the balance of Vneshprombank, amounted to 16.5 bln RUB, most of these loans is the borrowing feature on VIP-clients.

Assessment Simanovsky, real assets in the Bank about 30-40 billion roubles, mostly corporate loans. However, one of the creditors of the Bank estimates the real total assets at 8-9 billion rubles.

Where was the Bank?

Clients of Vneshprombank met by RBC, asking the same question: as the Central Bank for several years never noticed growing in his eyes the pyramid?

“Do the Central Bank is not seen as one-day firms taken out tens of millions of dollars?” asked the Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, representatives of the Central Bank at the meeting of the interregional banking Council under the Federation Council on 29 February. “You have to be blindfolded”, was indignant it.

In response Simanovsky said that the Central Bank is conducting an internal investigation regarding the situation with Russia. “Not yet, individuals who have suffered for it in the Bank of Russia”, he said.

First Deputy Chairman of Bank of Russia Alexey Simanovsky
Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS

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First Deputy Chairman of Bank of Russia Alexey Simanovsky Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS

As said Simanovsky RBC, in Vneshprombank were checking in 2011 and 2014, and they showed that Bank loans do not lead real activity of the enterprise. Usually thus heralded the withdrawal from the Bank. Then the Bank of Russia could not require the establishment of reserves for such loans, and the Bank insisted that the activities of these borrowers is real, says Simanovsky. In 2013 appeared the normative act authorizing the Central Bank to require provisioning on such loans, if they are issued after 2013. And in 2015, the regulator has given the right to claim the creation of technical reserves on all loans, regardless of when they were issued. Accordingly, the Central Bank and forced Russia to build up these reserves.

In addition, the Bank’s management, according to Simanovsky, urged the oversight that caused doubts among the Central Bank loans guaranteed by third party companies for 50 billion rubles., then in the financial statements, the Bank recognized the amount allegedly received guarantees and sureties in the amount of 152 billion rubles. the Bank’s Management has shown the deposits as “safe”, that is, as agreement with a particular mode of access to them. This made it difficult for the test, but she eventually revealed the presence of a Bank document with questionable legal status in the amount of 25 billion rubles, says Simanovsky. “These documents certainly was not “margin” and could not be considered as collateral,” he notes.

Another scheme Vneshprombank associated with fake funds in the Citi. The Bank showed a balance of more than 50 billion rubles on account in the American Citibank. In reality, there were 250 million rubles. According to Simanovsky, the trick was distinguished by a clearly criminal character and special adventurism: false reporting was evident.

Vneshprombank has provided a “swiftouch” from the Bank indicating the amount in the balance sheet. According to Simanovsky, when confidence in the Bank and his leadership has been undermined, the regulator is required to immediately transfer funds to Russian banks, which he pointed out, the Bank did not comply with the requirement. The interim administration has established the true picture the real amount on correspondent accounts in foreign banks and falsification “svitavka”. A source close to the Central Bank, said that the Bank has hidden the servers on the production of false documents on behalf of the international banks.

Many VIP investors Vneshprombank was his borrowers, and the amount of their debt to the Bank exceed the amount of the Deposit. In particular, Belyaeva from the Welding and mounting trust found that there was a loan twice the amount of her Deposit.

What happened to the money

Forbes wrote about the yacht Begimova, its share in the luxury five-star badrutt’s Palace Hotel in Switzerland, luxury properties in Europe, USA, etc. As follows from the claim that one of the creditors Vneshprombank Panamanian company Panabroker filed in the court of new York, Marcus owns eight companies in new York, owning real estate in different neighborhoods of new York. In this document (there RBC) says the company was created in 2008 to 2015, the real estate owned by these companies, was located on West End Avenue, Broad Street, Riverside Boulevard and other streets. Panabroker requires Vneshprombank $1.57 million plus interest and argues that real estate in new York was purchased with money derived from Vneshprombank.

“It’s hard to believe that all 200 billion roubles were spent on yachts, real estate and beautiful life is, perhaps, the money flowed somewhere else, it will find out the consequence and the regulator,” says a source in the Central Bank.

With the participation of Svetlana Reiter, Alexandra Galaktionova, Yulia Polyakova, and Ilya Rozhdestvensky