Ex-owner of Stella-bank accused of theft of $30 million from depositors

Ex-owner of Stella-bank accused of theft of $30 million from depositors
Photo: media office of the Federal Security Service Directorate of the Russian Federation in Rostov-on-Don region

Aleksander Erkhov is also being suspected of multibillion theft from Lipetsk regional bank, Bogorodsky municipal bank and Uralprivatbank.

Former co-owner of Stella-bank Aleksander Erkhov who was detained in early January has been accused of theft on an especially large scale (item 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), reports Kommersant. The investigation theory is that Erkhov organized theft of at least 2 billion rubles ($30 million) from the bankrupt bank. Funds were allegedly transferred via providing toss loans from late 2015 till April 2016 when the loan office’s licence had already been terminated. Erkhov pleads not guilty.

Kommersant sources report law-enforcement authorities possess data on Erkhov’s possible involvement in multibillion theft from three other credit agencies he had controlled: Lipetsk regional bank (licence terminated in 2013, owes depositors more than 2.3 billion rubles), Bogorodsky municipal bank (licence revoked in 2015, owes about 2.8 billion rubles) and Uralprivatbank that was attached to Binbank in 2017.

Erkhov was detained by officers of the Main Directorate for Economic Safety and Counteracting Corruption of Russia’s MIA and their Rostov-on-Don colleagues in his apartment on Moscow’s Mozhayskoye Highway, on January 30. The former banker was going to leave for Malaga where he owns a villa. Investigative and operational activities were carried out around 72 locations in Moscow, Moscow region, Rostov-on-Don and Ryazan regions. Accounting records, electronic media, secret ledgers and other evidence of malpractice committed by Erkhov and his accomplices were seized.

Besides his real estate on Mozhayskoye Highway, the former banker turned out to be an owner of an apartment in Moscow, as well as a mansion in a villa community Park Vill in a settlement of Zhukov. Moreover, Erkhov owns two Rolls-Royce and three Mercedes cars. The convicted used to travel around Moscow escorted by an off-roader with guards. Leninsky district court of Rostov-on-Don arrested all Erkhov’s property in compensation of the alleged damage.

The first criminal case into theft from Stella-bank was initiated in 2016 - soon after the credit agency was declared bankrupt. In July, 2018, Oleg Petrov who had been appointed the bank’s director on the day when the bank had been revoked of its licence was sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment. The 72-year-old Petrov was removed from office in 11 days. The damage within his case was never compensated.



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