Criminal case without evidence: methods of work of Vekselberg’s servicemen
Victim of the criminal scheme of employees of T Plus on cashing in of money for bribes to officials of Komi is in the pre-trial detention center on fabricated accusation for more than a year. Details in exclusive material of the CrimeRussia.
Investigation of case of the top managers of the Renova company accused of giving multi-billion bribes to a management of the Komi Republic on behalf of Vyacheslav Gayzer and his confidants lasts for already nearly half a year. Only key moments of this story are known, however details – who, where, how and whom transferred money – remain a riddle. Story of Elena Karelina, by whose hands they tried to realize the corruption scheme discloses details of the criminal plan of heads of Renova.
Top managers of Renova are under an investigation of case of giving multi-billion bribes
At the end of 2014 the head of PJSC T Plus (enters into Renova holding) Boris Vaynzikher decided to sell structure, affiliated with the head company, – YES.Garant, belonging to the Cyprian offshore T Plus Merol Trading Limited. The buyer managed to be found on acquaintance – 25-year-old Elena Karelina. She learned about the advantageous offer from the common-law husband Daniil Grechko and his brother Ruslan Grechko who worked in "T Plus". On November 7, 2014 Karelina purchased LLC YES.Garant at par value of 1 million rubles. Former employee of T Plus Konstantin Stefanenkov ‘performed’ the sale from Merol.
According to Karelina, the unique request from the previous owners of the company was for some time to leave as the CEO Vladislav Kolesnikov so that he remove all clients of the company in JSC Energosbyt Plus (belongs to T Plus). However this process was very slow. Clients were not removed therefore the YES.Garant company managed to receive dividends in the amount of 308 million rubles. Karelina disposed by her unexpected income at discretion – namely charged to Kolesnikov to transfer funds to her accounts that he also made.
After big money big problems appeared – as Karelina declares, safety officers of T Plus turned to her, demanding to cash all received money and transfer them to the board member of the Komi power supply company Vladislav Sadykov. Representatives of the company declared that they decided not to transfer clients to JSC Energosbyt Plus, so, all received money belongs to them. Karelina understood that she became a part of the criminal scheme, but refused to play the part assigned to her. Understanding that influential people will not accept the answer ‘no’, she replaced the place of residence and a phone number. From this moment the conflict between her and T Plus started with the fight against judicial bureaucratic machinery.
According to father and lawyer of the girl Yury Karelin, the staff of the company used the broad communications in law enforcement agencies to begin criminal prosecution of Karelina. According to his data, safety officers of T Plus provided her problems with the law - former investigating officer Sergey Rogachyov, Sergey Alekseev and Sergey Grudinsky.
On August 3, 2015 CEO of YES.Garant Kolesnikov submitted the application to law enforcement agencies in which he reported that 308 million rubles were illegally sent to Karelina's accounts from accounts of the company. However, how exactly was the law violated is unknown - the unique owner took away the dividends which were legally transferred to him. And CEO Kolesnikov also performed transaction on money transfer, i.e., on own logic, was an assisting offender. During the further investigation he confirmed the fact that he performed the transaction, but it did not confuse investigating officers at all.
According to Kolesnikov, despite the facts and signed documents, YES.Garant was handed from Merol Trading Limited not to Karelina but to Energosbyt T Plus, i.e. to Victor Vekselberg. Respectively, those 308 million rubles withdrawn from account of YES.Garant allegedly were stolen from the oligarch Vekselberg. The director did not have answer to the question, why all official rights to the company belonged to Elena Karelina.
Despite absurd arguments and lack of responsible proofs from allegedly injured T Plus, on December 7, 2015 proceedings were initiated against Elena Karelina, however, only from the fourth attempt – three times the prosecutor's office did not find an actus reus in her actions. According to Karelina’s lawyer, the last ‘successful’ attempt was paid by top managers of T Plus.
A month later, on February 2, 2016, the girl was detained in Ufa. The next morning Karelina faced tougher problems: according to the girl, unknown 8-9 people without any documents and resolutions took her away from the police and transported to the Moscow Region. Within 20 hours thieves violently held her, did not allow to eat, drink and sleep. Demanded from the girl to give money, threatening life and freedom. As a result Karelina, being enable to sustain pressure, signed a number of documents, including the agency agreement for 2014, the receipt on transfer of 308 million rubles to the employee of T Plus Gornostayev and 50 empty sheets. There are no positive confirmations of this story yet. However, even if it really happened, employees of T Plus, holding the papers signed by the girl under pressure did not risk to show them in court.
Initially on judicial session Gornostayev denied the fact of kidnapping of the girl, however later recognized that T Plus “provided a car to police agencies for transportation” of Karelina. Is it possible that law enforcement authorities have no own transport therefore they ‘borrow’ cars at private structures? All this causes suspicions about close ‘partnership’ between employees of T Plus and local security officers.
But it is not the unique case when employees of T Plus gave non-paid support to “helpless” law enforcement bodies. In particular, the employee of security service of T Plus Sergey Grudinsky “took part in survey of the apartment” the suspect and her cohabitant, employee of T Plus Daniil Grechko, what he mentioned when gave testimonies. How was Grudinsky ‘inspecting’ housing of the colleague, he did not mention. The CrimeRussia’s source provided to the editorial office the copy of indications.
By the way, in his indications there are some more interesting moments. It became clear that Grudinsky has photographic memory: not only he managed to list all phone numbers of his colleague Grechko and his common-law wife Karelina right away, but also remembered their IMEI numbers (a unique code for each phone). It is ironic that the worker of T Plus before calling more than ten numerical combinations on memory, modestly added “if I am not mistaken”.
All criminal case over swindle was based on testimonies of employees of T Plus, who were personally interested in the specific outcome of the case. The main argument – Karelina was a nominal company executive of YES.Garant, which she together with all the money should have given to JSC Energosbyt T Plus. There were no documentary confirmation for it - only draft agreements, not signed by any of the parties. What was ‘nominal’ about its management is not clear.
Answering a logical question why T Plus in general neede these ‘dancings’ with nominal chiefs, the strange answer followed: thus the management of T Plus wanted to accelerate process of the transfer of YES.Garant from Merol to Energosbyt T Plus. In case of direct sale Energosbyt allegedly should approve sale with Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and transform Ltd company to closed joint stock company that would bring to “tightening of term of consolidation (assets) at least for 4 months”. To avoid processes at law, T Plus involved a third-party agent. According to employees of Energosbyt, for operation on involvement of Karelina to the transaction she was monthly paid 50 thousand rubles which were transmitted to her through her common-law husband. These means were allegedly given by deputy director on safety and regime of PJSC T Plus Maxim Gornostayev from a personal salary, then money was compensated to him in the form of an award. Gornostayev's testimonies are also available at the disposal of editorial office.
The swindle imputed to the girl, according to the investigation, consists in "confidence abuse of unknown persons" from a management of PJSC T Plus and JSC Energosbyt T Plus – this while, according to witnesses, nobody from T Plus was personally familiar with Karelina. The particular person from a management of the company who so precipitately trusted in the girl is not called. In this plan testimonies of Grudinsky mentioned above are very interesting. He claims that “Karelina according to Grechko D. N. recommendation was a temporary formal participant, without the right of adoption of any decisions, LLC YES.Garant. At the same time he possesses this information “according to words of colleagues, whose exactly I don’t remember”.
Maxim Gornostayev also shared his opinion on the situation. According to him, he infinitely trusted his employed Grechko, therefore he sent him to his common-law wife to ownership the multimillion company. However, as Gornostayev claims, Karelina was “a temporary participant who won't have independence in case of decision making, and is obliged to sign the documents provided to it for the signature”. Perhaps, such is there was a plan in the head of his creators – however formally it was not snugged in any way. Gornostayev confirms that Karelina was a full owner of the company in the indications: “Karelina signed decisions on behalf of the only (!!!) participant of LLC YES.Garant”.
Other illogicalities also occur in Gornostayev's testimonies: for example, he claims that he initially gave the assignment to Grechko (so, and Karelina) to open the account in corporate Metkombank on which 308 million dividends shall arrive. However, according to him, Karelina refused to do it, allegedly being afraid of checks from the state instances as “she does not have the official income and a place of employment”. Of what checks could Karelina be afraid if she officially was an owner of the large energy company? But Gornostayev, “based on trust to Grechko D. N. and his civil spouse”, remained satisfied with this answer therefore allowed them to open the account in Sberbank. It is obvious that checks because of the account in Sberbank frightened nobody.
Justice from Renova
In fact, accusation of T Plus looks so: “we wanted to break the law, and for this purpose involved the person from outside. With it agreed not upon the law, and ‘upon concepts’, but he did not keep the word therefore punish him under the law”.
But actually the facts are showing other picture: Merol Trading Limited company sold to Elena Karelina LLC YES.Garant then she became his unique and full owner. All other oral arrangements and promises even if they took place, have no legal force. But it does not confuse the investigation – and legal investigation of embezzlement is well under way.
The paradox of a situation is that sale of YES.Garant to Energosbyt does not make a sense as both companies belong in various ways to T Plus, so – Renova. Communication between Renova and Merol is not advertized, but not concealed as well. It is possible to give the fact that earlier Gazprom conducted negotiations with Renova on purchase of power assets, one of which was just a Merol company, as the proof of their affiliation. Also work materials of KES-Holding (which became subsequently T Plus), in which YES.Garant openly is considered as a part of energy holding were at disposal of the CrimeRussia.
If Merol Trading Limited, and YES.Garant initially belonged to Renova, then what sense in “restacking” of the company “from one pocket in another”?
The unique logical explanation seems such: the management T Plus on behalf of Olkhovik and Vaynzikher wanted to remove 308 million rubles from accounts of YES.Garant so that they could not be tracked then was going to transfer by hands of the stranger an enormous bribe to the top officials of the Komi Republic. However top managers did not consider a human factor – they did not expect that the certain person will throw down a challenge to the whole system. As a result it was possible to transfer a bribe, but the company executives did not want to leave money at disposal of the careless owner. In such cases ‘rebels’ are usually found killed by unknown persons, and the case remains unsolved. But in this situation 308 million would be unavailable to T Plus therefore the they chose ‘semi-legal’ way.
Meanwhile Karelina is in custody for more than a year – since February 5, 2016. The regular meeting on consideration of its appeal should have been taken place on February 8, but was postponed for March 2. By a court decision, YES.Garant replaced the director and already passed under the control of Energosbyt T Plus. The most part of the amount is already paid – there is a debt in the amount of 116,3 million rubles. The future of Karelina remains foggy. According to the p. 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation she may face punishment up to 10 years of imprisonment. However the girl, as well as her father lawyer, carry on and continue fight against a colossus under the name Renova.
On September 21, kingpin Vladimir Vagin, aka Vagon, hanged himself. Two years earlier another thief in law Max Pioner also committed suicide. Vagon's lawyer does not believe in the version of suicide and intends to apply for a forensic medical examination.