Runaway fraudster Slobodin takes variety of assets with him

Runaway fraudster Slobodin takes variety of assets with him
Photo: RIA Novosti / Pavel Lisitsyn

This articles serves to analyze how much money the former CEO of VimpelCom manage to siphon abroad, and what assets he had to leave behind.

Apparently, Mikhail Slobodin decided never to return to Russia, where he was put on the federal wanted list, and where he is likely to face trial and detention. He is currently in Europe and may already have moved from Nice to London, searching for another, more private place of residence. Does he have enough means to play hide and seek with the authorities? Life decided to count the movable and immovable assets of the fugitive businessman.

70 million USD in bonuses and kickbacks

The Ex-CEO of VimpelCom is now 43. After graduating with honors from the Faculty of Economics of the Ural University and obtaining a postgraduate degree, he began his career as an engineer in the Sevuralboksitruda company, located in the native city of Severouralsk, the Sverdlovsk Region. Later, the company joined the SUAL (Siberian-Urals Aluminum Company), and Mikhail started his successful climb up the corporate ladder.

In 2002-2010, Slobodin was running the notorious T Plus, whose leadership is of particular interest to investigators. This subsidiary of Renova is engaged in the power industry in 16 regions, including the Komi Republic. Back then, the company was called Kompleksnie Energeticheskie Sistemy (Integrated Energy Systems).

It remains unknown how much Mikhail Slobodin received in the Renova subsidiaries. Still, the investigators claim that it is possible to count how much money the citizens and enterprises of the republic lost from collusion between IES and Komi authorities.

In total, the Komi Republic pays about 11 billion rubles a year for electricity (revenue for the local power supply company, according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities). The report provided by the republican prosecutor's office showed an unreasonably high 18% loss of power in the region — the kindness of the authorities allowed the power companies to avoid upgrading the network. Average loss is usually about 8% (figures provided by the Moscow United Power Grid Company for the Moscow Region). The additional 10% equal about a billion rubles of inflated payments for the year. According to prosecutors, informal relationship between the power industry and officials lasted eight years, from 2007 to 2014.

However, Slobodin worked in the Renova subsidiaries only before the beginning of 2011, which means he could be a part of that scheme for four years only. If we divide four billion for the three suspects, then we will receive about 1.3 billion for each of them. Exchanged into dollars at the pre-crisis rate it gives us some 43 million USD for each of the alleged perpetrators.

After Mikhail Slobodin left the Renova subsidiaries, which is ultimately the cause of his urgent departure to Nice, he became the executive vice president for gas and energy services of TNK-BP in 2011.

If we refer to the disclosed information on the income of the Rosneft top management (according to media reports, they were paid almost twice as much as any of their colleagues in the oil market), then in two years at TNK-BP, Mikhail Slobodin managed to earn about 300 million rubles, which equals 10 million USD at the pre-crisis rate.

Mikhail Slobodin spent almost three years as the Head of VimpelCom, from October 2013 to September 2016. The average income of Russian cellular operators’ executives, according to Forbes magazine in 2014, accounted for about $ 6 million a year. That is Mikhail Slobodin managed to earn about 18 million USD over three years.

It is possible that he has not even spent most of the sum, given his tendency to save money. Employees of VimpelCom still recall the story with the toilet paper.

- The quality of toilet paper should be the same regardless of the floor and the level of management situated there, - blogger and CEO Slobodin wrote to employees, outraged by the inequality in VimpelCom. As a result, the toilet paper on all floors became equally awful.

Thus, since the beginning of his work in the Komi Republic and to this day, Mikhail Slobodin could earn a total of about 70 million USD. We can assume that he will not be broke any time soon.

However, in this case, it remains unclear why he sent his ex-wife a message, saying that she could rely only on herself.

Maybe he is simply not sure he will be able to earn money in the coming years. Given the claims of investigators, such a scenario is quite likely, and for a few years Slobodin may have to live abroad. For this, one needs to settle down, spending a few hundred thousand dollars on housing. After all, the apartments and houses in London are pretty expensive.

Expected losses

Though the former Head of VimpelCom could easily transfer the money to a foreign account, he cannot do the same with real estate and cars. Moreover, it is likely that all of it will be confiscated in profit of state.

The investigators may soon apply for the seizure of Mikhail Slobodin’s property, who is considered a suspect in the case of energy industry workers. Life learned that the real estate in question is the mansion with an area of 700 square meters and a plot of land with an area of 3000 square meters, all in the elite district of the Moscow Region.

The approximate cost of the land and the house is estimated at about 400 million rubles. The house of Slobodin and his second wife Anna Bleyer was built two years ago in the village of Rozhdestveno, the Barvihinskaya settlement near Moscow.

This area has become a cottage settlement named Barvikha XXI and is under the 24-hour security.

It is reported that recently Bleyer and Slobodin sold another mansion in the Istra district of the Moscow Region, where they had lived before moving to Barvikha. In addition, Slonodin’s family garage holds at least 6 cars — Aston-Martin, Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover, Range Rover, Honda-Acura, Hyundai H1, and BMW X5 — all of them registered on Slobodin and Anna Bleyer. Besides, the ex-head of VympelCom officially owns half of the apartments on the south-west of Moscow, on the Namyotkina Street. The three-room apartments is currently inhabited by the parents of the former spouse.

- Most likely, in the last 5 years, Slobodin has been withdrawing his assets abroad, which is why in Russia the former Head of VimpelCom has no real estate, except for one mansion and an apartment, - the investigators explained.



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