Businessman trying to sue $750 thousand from Sberbank and German Gref in US now arrested

Businessman trying to sue $750 thousand from Sberbank and German Gref in US now arrested
The lawsuit against Sberbank and German Gref was filed in the US

According to the investigation, having taken a five-billion loan ($88.7m) from Sberbank in 2008, the owner of Pavlovskgranit deliberately split up the assets of the company so that creditors could not bring a charge against him to court.⁠

The Presnensky District Court in Moscow arrested Sergey Poymanov, the former owner of Pavlovskgranit JSC. At the request of the investigation he will be in custody until July, 7.

The businessman was detained on May, 22 in his house in the Moscow region. After a day of detention in the temporary detention facility he was charged under part 2 of Art. 201 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, after which Poymanov was taken to court.

The beneficiary of the largest crushed stone producer in Europe is accused of abuse of authority, because of which the management company Pavlovskgranit-Invest lost assets worth 930 million rubles ($16.5m), Kommersant reports.

The investigation assumes the crime was committed in order to withdraw assets from the control of the largest creditors of Pavlovskgranit – Sberbank and Sberbank Capital. In 2008 Pavlovskgranit-Invest took a loan in Sberbank for 5.1 billion rubles ($90.5m), which it stopped to repay in two years.

According to the investigation, Sergey Poymanov committed criminal abuses in 2011 in two stages. At the first stage Poymanov is suspected of diluting the share of Pavlovskgranit-Invest in the authorized capital of Cyprus offshore PNH Limited. The offshore was a key link in the holding's shareholding structure – it owned 29.46% of the shares of the crushed stone producer.

The investigators believe that the company intentionally lost control over the stake, which the investigation estimates at 760 million rubles ($13.4m). First, offshore entirely belonged to Pavlovskgranit, but in August 3,000 shares were sold to another BVL offshore company, which reduced the share of Pavlovskgranit in PNH assets by 40%, and then to 1%.

Sunsequently, according to the investigation of the ICR Main Investigations Office, "continuing to fulfil his criminal intention", in September Poymanov instructed the general director of Pavlovskgranit-Invest to conclude an agreement with Rosgranit LLC on the sale of 150 railway wagons worth 257.3 million rubles ($4.5m). However, the counterparty did not pay the whole amount, and the enterprise lost another 170 million rubles ($3m). According to the findings of the ICR, the deliberate actions of Poymanov made a dent to the company worth 930 million rubles ($16.5m).

Given all these reasons in 2012 Pavlovskgranit-Invest was declared bankrupt. The withdrawal of the company's property made it impossible for main creditors of Pavlovskgranit – Sberbank and Sberbank Capital – to apply to it to collect the money.

Kommersant notes that the initiator of the investigation against Poymanov was bankruptcy manager of the company Kiril Nogotkov, who in March appealed to the Head of the ICR Alexander Bastrykin, and also to the Head of the ICR Main Investigations Office for Moscow Alexander Drymanov and public prosecutor of the capital Vladimir Churikov with a statement about the crime committed. It also stated about the $750 million lawsuit filed by Poymanov in the US against Sberbank and its Head German Gref, according to Nogotkov, on false grounds. In it Poymanov accused Gref and the companies he led in losing control over Pavlovskgranit.

Sberbank has not commented on the arrest of Poymanov yet, but earlier German Gref called filing the lawsuit by the businessman "a new way of avoiding responsibility".

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