Criminal case against ex-Yugra bank owner Khotin initiated after letter of CB head to Putin 

Criminal case against ex-Yugra bank owner Khotin initiated after letter of CB head to Putin
Aleksey Khotin Photo: A still from the video

Aleksey Khotin is accused of embezzling 7.5 billion rubles ($117 million).

The criminal case against ex-Head of Yugra bank, Aleksey Khotin, who is accused of embezzling 7.5 billion rubles, was initiated after Head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin. This is reported by Vedomosti referring to a source familiar with the documents in the case. 

According to Vedomosti, it was the Central Bank that initiated the case. The applicant was Yugra’s bankruptcy commissioner, Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA). The publication’s source notes that the case was set in motion “at the very top.” 

When asked by Vedomosti whether the president had received a letter from Nabiullina and ordered the FSB to take action in connection with the situation surrounding the bank, Putin's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said “No comment.” The ICR and the court have also refused to comment on the case. 

In the course of the bankruptcy proceedings, the Deposit Insurance Agency revealed actions that contained signs of particularly large embezzlement (part 4 of Art. 160 of the Russian Criminal Code), “expressed in the theft of property belonging to the bank under the guise of issuing loans to legal entities.” This is reported in a letter sent by the agency to the Federal Security Service. From December 29, 2016 to March 30, 2017, the bank entered into lending agreements with such companies as Building Group, Vostok, Glavtekhkomplekt and Kapstroy, which in total received 7.83 billion rubles ($122 million). The companies transferred these funds to a bank account of Kayum Neft JSC and then used to their advantage. After the license was revoked from Yugra, the borrowers did not repay the loans. The amount of outstanding principal debt amounted to 7.58 billion rubles. The loans were issued against security, however, as indicated in the letter, its liquidity does not guarantee repayment of the debt. 

The loan’s guaranty for Building group was provided by a company Khortitsa that dealt with construction of oil reservoirs in Multanovskoye deposit in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District. Later, according to a letter by ASV, Khortitsa was deprived of its license on this deposit. According to the register of the mineral resources and deposits, in December, 2017, the license was registered in the name of OOO Multanovsky.

The loan’s guaranty for Glavtekhkomplekt was the real estate of AO Severnaya zvezda, Rentestategroup and Solorenta. The afore-mentioned companied were affiliated with head of Yugra Aleksey Khotin. The real estate was provided to the bank as guaranty related to other loans despite the fact that its refund value had been less than necessary.

As for 2 other loans, security deposits were provided. However, the agency notes that these contracts were dissolved subsequently. Shares of ZAO Kirensk neftegaz worth of 3.53 billion rubles ($47 million) were provided for Vostok. APS reports its market value is 60 million rubles ($935 thousand). The agency notes that it has reason to believe that the borrowers do not do financial and economic activity and do no possess property sufficient to pay off the debt.

ACB summarizes that theft of property worth of 5.8 billion rubles ($90 million) was made under the guise of loan granting. This amount is the outstanding debt minus 1.71 billion rubles ($26.5 million).

Since 2013, Vostok has been owned by a Cyprus-based company Seneal International Agency Ltd controlled by Khotin. It also owns Exillion Energy Plc which is a beneficial owner of Kayum Neft. ACB notes that this is not the only instance of embezzlement. It was chosen for application submission due to the fact that it has a conclusion by lawyers of the state corporation. The agency stated that the rest of the instances are at work.

Representative of ACB says that the loan portfolio of Yugra is 250 billion. With that, 99.9 per cent of the loan has not been served for more than 1.5 years. As of April 1, 118.6 million rubles ($1.8 million) have been added to the bank’s bankruptcy estate. 3.1 million out of the total amount was paid off voluntarily.

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