About 1 bln rubles may be confiscated from Serezha-Two-Percent’s gang of cashiers

About 1 bln rubles may be confiscated from Serezha-Two-Percent’s gang of cashiers
Sergey Magin (Serezha-2%)

Social security asks from 6 to 15 years in prison for members of the cashing-out organized crime community (OCC) depending on the role played by each participant.

Deliberations between the parties have begun in the Presnensky District Court of Moscow in connection with a high-profile economic case on the withdrawal of around 170 billion rubles overseas by cashier Sergey Magin’s crime community (Serezha-2%). 

As Kommersant reports, the Social Security has requested from 6 to 15 years in prison for the defendants, depending on the role played by each. In addition, during the deliberations, prosecutor asked to confiscate more than 1 billion rubles seized during searches to the public domain. It has also demanded that Sergey Magin and his closest associate Vadim Rybalchenko be recognized as organizers of a criminal community on Illegal Encashment (part 1 of Art. 210 of the Russian Criminal Code), organizers of Illegal Banking Activity (Art. 172) and founders of Illegal Entities (Art. 173.1). However, all defendants deny involvement in the OCC. Lawyers also insist that initially, the Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin had not seen signs of OCC in this case. Therefore, the cashiers may only be tried under Art. 172 of the Russian Criminal Code.

Sergey Magin’s organized crime community was liquidated in July 2013. It was one of the most high-profile cases in the carrier of then-Head of the General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting the Corruption, the Lieutenant General Denis Sugrobov. It was believed that Magin’s OCC had become the biggest cashing-out platform in Russia under the guise of Panorama Homeowners Association. The partners in crime were efficient due to the low interest – Magin had set a minimum fee, i.e. 2%, for his services; hence the nickname. MIA considers Magin the actual owner of a number of commercial banks, including Oksky Commercial Bank and Mast-bank.

The gang of cashiers’s trial began about a year ago. However, it was not until a month ago that law enforcement authorities arrested two more alleged accomplices, namely the former Chairman of the Mast-bank’s board Aleksandr Chemetov and one of the former employees Natalya Zhelobaeva (who currently heads the Arsenal bank’s Credit Management). Most of the defendants have already served almost 3 years in a pre-trial detention center; only a few people who had collaborated with the investigation have been placed under house arrest; some have been released on their own recognizance — despite the fact that none of the defendants had filed a plea bargain. Nina Cheutina had been the only one to agree to cooperate, but then refused from coping a plea.

Materials of the criminal case comprise of 292 volumes of key documents, 19 volumes of physical evidence, and 34 volumes (more than 9 thousand pages) of indictment. Initially, the investigators pointed out that 200-300 billion rubles had been transferred via Serezha-2%. Then the amounts indicated decreased by 10 times; however, in its final indictment, the Prosecutor General's Office reported that OCC members had cashed out more than 169 billion rubles as a result of illegal banking operations through legal entities controlled by the criminals. Their total revenue in the form of commission has amounted to more than 846 million rubles. 



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