Extortion, Chechen collectors featured in Seryozha Bentley’s case

Extortion, Chechen collectors featured in Seryozha Bentley’s case
Sergey Asatryan, Gennady Ivankov, and Eduard Asatryan at the Napoelon restaurant, December 2012, Moscow

The case of Sergey Asatryan, known in the criminal world under as Seryozha Bentley and Osetrina Mladshiy (Jr.) and his uncle Artur Baghdasaryan is now tried in court.

Crowned thief Sergey Asatryan and his uncle Artur Baghdasaryan have been charged with extorting $ 1.2 million from businessman Karen Mkhitaryan. It is noteworthy that the victim himself ignores the hearings, while the testimony of witnesses provides for an epic criminal drama with a mysterious death, Chechen collectors, and a daring murder.

The victim of extortion Karen Mkhitaryan was only present at the first hearing of the case, but the Nikulinsky court was unable to question him anyway. Due to unclear circumstances and some confusion with the convoy documents, Sergey Asatryan was not delivered in court at the time. He attended all subsequent meetings, but Mkhitaryan was no longer there. The businessman was even granted state protection. Shortly before the trial began, he and two OMON police officers had tried to break into the Moscow office of the Rosbalt news agency, claiming that he had needed to talk to the journalists. Having been refused, he threatened to come again, but with a much larger number of riot policemen. Rosbalt believes this daring act was provoked by one of their articles, which Mkhitaryan disliked.

As for all subsequent hearings, they all had the same pattern: every time the judge asked the prosecutor, where Mkhitaryan was. The latter from time to time replied that he would figure it out by the next meeting. This went on and on.

It is also noteworthy that during the court proceedings, despite the absence of the victim, prosecution witnesses still testified and the case materials were ushered. One of the witnesses was lawyer Natalia Chekmeneva, who worked for the victim’s father-in-law Aramais Khumaryan for more than 10 years. Her testimony, as well as the previous pieces of information, merge into a single crime story.

By matching all the information, it was possible to establish that this story has been ongoing for more than five years, and it began when the owner of Kotlyakovo LLC, a businessman Gagik Makvettsyan went into prison on charges of smuggling. According to witnesses, while he was in the Krasnodar detention center, his friend Aramais Khumaryan took over all his assets, which included large plots of land registered on Kotlyakovo LLC, as well as an electric substation with a capacity of 2 thousand KW (its market value was more than $ 4 million).

After Makvettsyan had been released, he started to fight for the return of his assets, developing a conflict with Humaryan. As a result, in the spring of 2013, Makvettsyan was shot in his own Audi on the Shelepihinskaya naberezhnaya.

Khumaryan began to sell assets he had acquired almost immediately after the death of the competitor. He received a deposit of $ 1.2 million from the company that wished to buy his assets, but failed to complete the deal and died under mysterious circumstances. After that, all the assets, including land and power substation, went to Khumaryan’s daughter Madeleine and her husband, Karen Mkhitaryan.

At the same time, the company, which paid $ 1.2 million in advance to Khumaryan, demanded to complete the transaction or to return the money. According to witnesses. Khumaryan’s daughter and her husband refused to do both.

After that, representatives of the affected company turned to Chechen collectors, who were ready to take decisive action against Mkhitaryans.

Fearing the possible consequences, Madeleine turned to her distant relative, a crowned thief Sergey Asatryan. He met with the Chechen collectors and tried to resolve the conflict. Sergey Asatryan then told Madeleine that he had persuaded the collectors not to use force against her and her husband, but the money should be returned, as her father had indeed taken $ 1.2 million from the company in advance, and the second side of the transaction had documents to prove it.

After that, according to witnesses, Mkhitaryans started looking for the necessary amount. According to the son of the late Makvettsyan, Madeleine and Karen told him that when they were assorting Khumaryan’s documents, they stumbled upon a promissory note by Gagik with a large sum, and demanded to repay the debt. The man refused to do this and appealed to the Nagatinsky Court with the lawsuit demanding the return of his father’s illegally seized assets.

At the same time, Artur Baghdasaryan put up for sale a plot of land and a building that belonged to his company for $ 1.2 million. The intermediary in the transaction was Mkhitaryan, who was to receive $ 200 thousand as interest.

"Artur trusted him and listed among the people who had access to the safety deposit box, where the money from the transaction would go. The bank assured him that the access to the cell is possible only in the presence of Baghdasaryan. However, Mkhitaryan somehow managed to pick up [the whole sum] and paid off his debts. Apparently, that very debt of $ 1.2 million," a source familiar with this crime story told the media.

After several unsuccessful attempts to recover the lost money, Baghdasaryan revealed details of this unpleasant story with his nephew Sergey Asatryan. After that, Asatryan also entered into negotiations with Karen Mkhitaryan and demanded the money back.

Unfortunately, the crowned thief ran out of luck — his telephone conversations were tapped by law enforcers, who investigated a string of armed robberies on cash couriers. After the police had recorded several telephone calls about Mkhitaryan’s debt, they invited the businessman for a talk, and he, in turn, wrote a statement about extortion.

From that point, Mkhitaryan acted on orders of law enforcers and pretended that he was ready to repay the debt. As a result, on November 19, 2015, Sergey Asatryan and Artur Baghdasaryan were detained by Moscow Criminal Investigation Department and charged with extortion (Art. 163 of the Criminal Code).

During the investigation, Mkhitaryan said that Sergey Asatryan’s father — an influential kingpin Eduard Asatryan, known in criminal circles as Edik Tbilissky (‘of Tbilisi’) — had also threatened him.

Edik Tbilissky was transferred for questioning to Moscow from the prison, where he had been held for illegal possession of drugs. During the interrogation, he refused to plead guilty and claimed to be in Greece during the conflict. Moreover, he even urged the parties not to make hasty steps and intended to resolve the situation "as a family member." During the confrontation with Edik, Mkhitaryan confirmed this testimony, and the convict was sent back to the colony to serve his old sentence.

It should also be recalled that Karen Mkhitaryan, who is a distant relative of Eduard Asatryan, earlier demanded $ 400 thousand from the kingpin’s wife in exchange for changing his testimony.

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