Fugitive banker Bedzhamov accused of creation of scheme of transferring of assets to offshore

Fugitive banker Bedzhamov accused of creation of scheme of transferring of assets to offshore
Georgy Bedzhamov

Russia’s deposit insurance agency asked the court to involve an offshore company Clement Glory in a case against a fugitive banker and an ex-owner of Vneshprombank Georgy Bedzhamov. Clement Glory turned out to hold Bedzhamov’s real estate in Great Britain in pawn, reports RBC.

The banker’s villa in France was also sold to the offshore. The total value of Bedzhamov’s assets owned by Clement Glory is $30 million. The deposit insurance agency believes that the disposal of the real estate to the offshore was faked.

In spring, Vneshprombank that demands for $1.75 billion from Bedzhamov in front of the High Court in London reached the freezing order on the former banker’s assets. After the court delivered its decision, it was found out that Bedzhamov’s real estate was burdened with a debt before Clement Glory. In Russia, the banker was arrested in absentia. His sister Larisa Markus who had been a head of Vneshprombank was sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment for embezzlement of 113 billion rubles ($1.7 billion).

In spring, 2015, before the license was revoked from Vneshprombank, Bedzhamov purchased a right to dispose of long continuance (up to 2034) of 2 London-based houses for $43 million. The lawsuit says in case the houses are renovated, the right can be prolonged for 129 years. At the present time, the real estate is estimated at $7.5 million. If there’s a go-ahead for renovation, the value of the houses will grow up to $35 million; and upon its completion - up to $75 million. The city council of London reports that Bedzhamov almost received the authorization. The banker had to pay extra $1.8 million to receive it.

Due to the fact that Bedzhamov’s real estate is pledged as security of Clement Glory, the offshore will receive the priority rights on it in case legal complaints appear. The deposit insurance agency that goes after Bedzhamov’s assets believes the bargain was faked.

In 2012, the banker borrowed $30 million from a Cuprus-based offshore Felarco. Later, the offshore reassigned the debt in favor of Clement Glory registered in Great Britain’s Virgin Islands. The loan repayment was expected on August 31, 2017, however Bedzhamov and Clement Glory entered into a settlement agreement and postponed paying off the loan till September 25. $10 thousand were charged every day. By the time of the settlement agreement, Bedzhamov’s debt was $35 million. It could grow up by $4.3 million in case of default. Meanwhile, Bedzhamov’s London-based real estate was given to the offshore as collateral. On September 25, 2017, the banker let the default go.

The deposit insurance agency’s theory is that Bedzhamov did not need to borrow the money from Felarco in 2012, as then, he owned a fortune worth of $500 million, and his everyday expenses were $2 million. The banker entered into the 2017 settlement agreement when he did not have a possibility to pay for it, and there was no evidence of controversy with Clement Glory. deposit insurance agency believes that the creditor could not have covered losses from Bedzhamov’s default by increasing the debt up by $4.3 million. Besides that, the complainant suspected the offshore of the fact that he did not behave as a real beneficial owner of the banker’ real estate: for instance, he did not start paying for the renovation project in London.

The beneficial owner of Clement Glory is Eduard Golodnitsky. The real estate pawn is registered in his name, as well. In his testimonies, Bedzhamov said that he had known the director of the offshore and his son Maksim Golodnitsky for a long time. With that, he owned $56 thousand to the latter. The court did not let the banker to sink that debt.

Investment subdivision of Alfa-Group - A1 - that had been hired by the deposit insurance agency for the purpose of exposing the scheme believes Clement Glory is a “practical company,” and its goal is concealing of Bedzhamov’s assets from the creditors. Representative of A1 says that Clement Glory was founded shortly before it bought out Bedzhamov’s debt.

The deposit insurance agency asks court to admit that the papers related to the bargains between Bedzhamov and Clement Glory have no legal effect, as they were made to conceal the banker’s assets. In case the agency’s application is granted, it will become possible to seize Bedzhamov’s real estate in Great Britain and France in full.

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