Case of ex-advisor to Nash Bank chairman reopened due to "historical value" of sold building

Case of ex-advisor to Nash Bank chairman reopened due to "historical value" of sold building
Alexander Devonin Photo: Kommersant

Former advisor to the head of Nash Bank stands trial once again on charges of fraud on a considerable scale.

The Moscow Basmanny Court is about to finish the trial against Alexander Devonin, former advisor to the Nash Bank chairman of the board, Kommersant reported. Devonin have already been involved in cases of financial crimes, but was never a suspect. However, last year the banker was accused of withdrawing 125 million rubles from the credit institution. Investigators believe that on his advice, the chairman of the board acquired an office of the failed Volga-Don bank at an inflated price. After that, the difference between the real price and the price paid was cashed out and stolen.

The embezzlement of funds was discovered during an inspection by the Central Bank carried out in early 2011. At first, the sum in question was 350 million rubles, but then it was adjusted to 125 million rubles. Following the inspection, MIA officials opened a criminal case under Art. 196 of the Criminal Code (Deliberate Bankruptcy). The prime suspects were former chairman of the board Vladimir Cheban and Alexander Devonin.

According to the investigation, Devonin persuaded his boss to buy the building of the former Volga-Don Bank, where Devonin had previously been one of the owners, for 130 million rubles from the Etalon-Avto company, which belonged to Devonin’s father-in-law. At the same time, the real cost of the building could not be more than 6.5 million rubles. It is worth noting that the Volga-Don bankruptcy also took place amid illegal withdrawal of funds, although Devonin was not considered a suspect.

Investigators traced the flow of money paid for the purchase of the building: first, they were transferred to the account of Etalon-Avto, and then — to the account of the defendant's mother. After that, the money was cashed out and stolen.

Both bankers have been charged with Swindling on a considerable scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code). However, because of Cheban’s illness, his case was separated. The investigation against Devonin was completed at the end of 2015.

In the spring of 2016, Devonin was found guilty, but in September, the Moscow City Court of Appeals overturned the verdict. The case is now being considered anew and Devonin was staying under house arrest until November. But on November 16, he was placed in custody once again.

The suspect refused to plead guilty. He claims that the purchased building is of historical value and therefore worth the money spent. These statements are supported by a certificate stating that the acquired property was built on the banks of the Volga in 1913, on the money of merchant Artamonov, and that it indeed presents architectural value. The qualified appraiser said that his analysis had been made without taking into account the building’s historical and architectural value. Following these words, the detainee's lawyer Inna Buntina requested to discontinue the criminal case due to lack of corpus delicti. However, judge Karpov judge refused the request.

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