Collapse of Tatfondbank: Robert Musin siphoned off funds from state-owned bank
For years, the Deputy was siphoning off millions of rubles via dummy companies unchecked.
New episodes have appeared in the criminal case against detained Robert Musin, Chairman of the Board of Tatfondbank and Deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan. To refresh background: he has been charged under part 4 of Article 159 (Swindling committed on an especially large scale) and part 2 of Article 201 (Abuse of Authority, which has involved grave consequences) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
In August 2016, Tatfondbank managers provided to the Bank of Russia false information about a readily marketable asset secured by credit agreements with other joint stock companies in order to take up a loan and embezzle the money. The borrowed funds in the amount over 3 billion rubles ($49.7 million) have later been transferred to organizations affiliated with Tatfondbank Public Joint Stock Company. This is only one chapter in the criminal case against Musin. The more does the investigation progress, the more episodes involving embezzlements of clients’ funds through various schemes are being uncovered. In fact, the banker had been using clients’ money as his own.
According to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR), Robert Musin, the Chairman of the Board of Tatfondbank, was siphoning off millions of rubles and transferring those to his own accounts via a chain of dummy companies. Money had disappeared from the bank without a trace. To cover the tracks, the funds were transferred from one account to another several times and ultimately ended up in the pockets of Deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan Robert Musin. For years, Musin was siphoning off millions of rubles from his bank unchecked.
Robert Musin at the opening of a new Tatfondbank branch
The outrageous embezzlement episodes have been uncovered during the investigation of the criminal case against Robert Musin. According to the ICR, on December 24, 2014, Tatfondbank has approved a loan for some Aida I D Limited Liability Company (by some coincidence, the name of Musin’s daughter is also Aida – The CrimeRussia) in the amount of 133.7 million rubles ($2.2 million). The bank has granted a huge loan to a commercial company without any security of guarantees. What could be the reason behind such a charity? Ultimately, 60 million rubles ($992 thousand) were transferred to Aida I D Limited Liability Company; the sum has been immediately transferred to Novaya Neftekhimia (New Petrochemistry) Limited Liability Company and then returned back to Aida I D. 40 million rubles ($661.4 thousand) out of the loan amount were transferred by Aida I D Limited Liability Company to the personal account of Robert Musin, Member of the Board of Directors of Tatfondbank. The Investigations Directorate in the Republic of Tatarstan of the ICR believes that Musin had used the funds at his own discretion. Then the trace of the money disappears.
In January 2015, the banker has pulled of another similar operation with additional 40 million rubles ($661.4 thousand) received by Aida I D as the next loan installment.
In fall 2015, Tatfondbank has won a tender to reorganize the collapsing Bank Sovetsky Joint Stock Company. The Deposit Insurance Agency has entrusted Tatfondbank to perform the financial restructuring of that bank; Robert Musin became a member of its board. Bank Sovetsky received a special-purpose loan in the amount of 10 billion rubles ($165.3 million) to ‘patch the holes’. But Musin managed to make a hand of this. The financial operation has resulted in an inter-bank credit agreement between restructured Bank Sovetsky and Tatfondbank. Contrary to the special purpose of the loan, upon the receipt of the credit, its entire amount, together with deposits of clients of Bank Sovetsky Joint Stock Company (at least 15 billion rubles ($248 million)), were transferred to Tatfondbank Public Joint Stock Company.
Later the St. Petersburg Arbitration Court has annulled this deal.
Hoodwinked clients storm the bank
In fall 2016, Musin has pulled off another operation to siphon funds off. IntekhBank Public Joint Stock Company controlled by the ex-Deputy, on the basis of loan agreements with Timer Bank Public Joint Stock Company and Bank Sovetsky Joint Stock Company, has received Tatfondbank bonds for the total amount of 3.9 billion rubles ($64.5 million). Then the Tatfondbank management have instructed the IntekhBank management to make a deal with the Bank of Russia to place in these bonds. As a result, the IntekhBank received from the Bank of Russia some 3.6 billion rubles ($59.5 million) that were later transferred to NOSTRO IntekhBank Public Joint Stock Company subordinate to the bank chaired by Musin. Tatfondbank was supposed to return the funds upon first request – but Robert Musin hasn’t returned those.
Following a motion brought by the investigation, Musin has been remanded in custody and charged under part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Swindling committed on an especially large scale). Obviously, the banker could not pull off all these machinations alone, so the investigation is currently identifying the persons from the Tatfondbank supreme management implicated into the illegal transfers of money.
Fake citizenship and access to state secrets. Former Ukrainian officials get supreme posts in Crimea
More and more questions arise with regards to the staffing policy of the Crimean authorities. This summer, Roman Podsudevsky has been appointed in charge of the Yalta Commercial Port – a strategic objective. The former Ukrainian border guard officer wanted at home for divulgence of state secrets and corruption easily gained the Russian citizenship and made a successful career in Crimea. In March 2017, he was a senior security specialist in Genbank; in the same period, he attempted to become the Head of Shchelkino Municipal Administration but lost in the competition; and since December 2017, Podsudevsky became an aide to Sergei Aksenov. The CrimeRussia was figuring out how former Ukrainian enforcement officers and officials become supreme functionaries in Crimea.
Three officers of the Moscow FSB office, detained in June 2017, are defendants in the criminal case heard by the Moscow Garrison Military Court along with the retired MIA Major-General Viktor Trutnev. The official prosecution asked 7 and eight years’ imprisonment for them.