Case over 1.3 billion rub theft initiated against owner of Blagovest pension fund
The owner of the private pension fund Sergey Shakhman is suspected of withdrawal of funds, including pension savings.
The ICR Main Investigation Directorate in Moscow initiated a criminal case under Article Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 Art. 159 of the Criminal Code) against the Head of the Blagovest private pension fund Sergey Shakhman, as reported by Kommersant. Last year, the Central Bank revoked the license of the pension fund due to violations of investments of the pension savings, as well as due to information hiding. On November 3, 2015 on the accounts of the Blagovest there were 4.2 billion rubles, 3 billion of which were pension funds.
The pension fund was founded in 2004. In 2012, the Blagovest started acquisition of other pension funds: the Personal Pension Fund, the Moscow Private Pension Fund (former Pension Fund of the Bank of Moscow) and the Stayer Private Pension Fund. However, the fund reveled information about 26.5% of its shares only, 22.65% of which belonged to LLC MKS-Garantiya, 3,76% - to Sergey Alimirzoev, another 0.1% - to the CEO Natalya Savina. However, the investigation found out 100% of shares of the Fund are held by LLC OrionSnab-ST, which belongs to Sergey Shakhman. According to investigators, he was engaged in fraud of the Fund’s pension savings trough the Sadko-Finance Managing Company, wich had agreement with the Blagovest. In spring of 2015, Shakhman actively withdrew money through the company. The investigation reveled the money was transferred in parts of 5 million rubles or less trough fictitious civil transactions with securities. According to the documents, half of the pension savings was transferred to brokerage accounts of the OJSC Novy Arbat, another 35% of the savings were invested in mortgage participation certificates, issued by the LLC Alliance Management.
Up to now, Shakhman is detained. His lawyers dispute the decision, noting the businessman’s actions bear the marks of a crime committed in the business sphere, so this measure of restraint for their client is not appropriate. Earlier, the lawyers also argued that the investigation had failed to provide evidence of involvement of Shakhman in the alleged crime.
The Russia’s Investigative Committee central office has taken the case of former Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Marat Oganesyan for investigation. However, the St. Petersburg’s Investigative Committee dept (regional dept where the case had been investigated previously) did not find state budget damage in the Zenit Arena fraud case.
Among his accomplices are a lawyer, who presented himself as the plenipotentiary of the self-proclaimed republic in the International Criminal Court with the United Nations, and an entrepreneur, already serving a sentence for attempting to seize a building.