Fortuneteller confesses to persuading Nota-Bank managers to embezzle $56k
55-year-old Nona Mikhay would advise Nota-Bank managers throughout the whole affair, investigators believe.
Fortuneteller Nona Mikhay was accused of being involved in embezzlement of almost 2.2 billion rubles ($35.6 million) of Nota-Bank money. Nota-Bank managers fully trusted her; she basically was the one who came up with the plan to take a loan and not pay it back, a representative of prosecutors said at the Ostankinsky District Court of Moscow. The Nota-Bank embezzlement case first appeared in the Court on Friday, May 25.
Mikhay was accused of involvement in one of the crimes investigated as a part of the case; it caused 350-million-ruble damage. “I plead guilty and regret my actions,” the defendant said during the hearing. The 55-year-old fortuneteller said she has only the basic education and is a pensioner in the beginning of the hearing.
The other two defendants are former Nota-Bank Chairman of the Board Dmitry Erokhin and his brother and former deputy Vadim Erokhin. They pleaded not guilty. “I don’t understand charges against us. I saw the indictment. However, I pleaded not guilty,” Dmitry Erokhin said. His brother told the judge virtually the same thing.
The bank’s debt was more than 26 billion rubles ($421.6 million) when its license was revoked in November 2015, according to the Central Bank.
Mikhay was not directly related to Nota-Bank. However, she is friends with Larisa Marchukova whose sister Galina worked there as the CFO. Mikhay took advantage of the influence she had on the sisters and persuaded them to commit embezzlement. Galina Marchukova then persuaded her boss to participate.
The bank employee found Farmster, a company in the need of a loan. They persuaded its management to sign a contract for supply of medical equipment with Elit-Proekt, a front company they controlled. The bank employees told Farmster CEO Ivan Tarlykov signing the contact was a mandatory requirement for the loan. The company transferred the necessary money to the front company. However, it never received the equipment; Nota-Bank management embezzled the money.
Mikhay came up with the plan, investigators believe. She took advantage of being friends with Marchukova to advice the bank employees and give them orders throughout the whole affair, knowing about all illegal activities, prosecutors claimed.
It is worth mentioning that Mostotrest, the largest Russian road building contractor controlled by the Rotenbergs, committed the biggest embezzlement. The embezzlement caused more than 1.5 billion rubles ($24.3 million) worth of damage, the prosecutor said during a hearing. Igor Rotenberg sold his Mostotrest stock in 2015. Arkady Rotenberg’s representative announced buying it in February 2018. The transaction went through in April.