Lawyers of banker Antonov consider embezzlement criminal case a frame-up

Lawyers of banker Antonov consider embezzlement criminal case a frame-up
Vladimir Antonov Photo: Stefan Rousseau / PA Photos / TASS

According to the lawyer, he does not know about ten banks connected with Antonov, investigators say.

The lawyer of the banker Vladimir Antonov, who was detained the day before on suspicion of stealing money from the Sovetsky bank, called the criminal case political. Igor Kopenkin believes that they are trying to put across and hang up the bank problems. According to RBC, "the people who restored financial state of the bank abused the trust of the regulator and committed their own crimes." Now they are trying to "hang it all up," adds the lawyer.

"Indeed, he planned to buy this bank in due time, but when he asked about the assets, he realized that there is a very large hole, and the bank does not need any money. He refused," said Kopenkin.

At the same time, according to the lawyer, he does not know about ten banks connected with Antonov, investigators say. The only project that was considered by his client was the acquisition of the Sovetsky bank, Kopenkin noted.

Recall, Vladimir Antonov was detained in the suburbs on suspicion of embezzling money from the Sovetsky bank, with which he had never had anything to do. Under escort he was taken to St. Petersburg. Simultaneously, searches were carried out in residential and office buildings in the Moscow region, St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Chelyabinsk regions.

According to the investigators, the businessman regularly created schemes to steal money from credit organizations. First of all, we are talking about the theft of 150 million rubles ($2.4m) from the Sovestky bank. In 2015, former bank executives issued a deliberately non-refundable loan to a one-day firm, connected with Antonov. The money was withdrawn through organizations controlled by the entrepreneur and subsequently stolen. The banker is going to be checked for involvement in fraud in 10 banks.

Sovestky bank was rehabilitated in 2015. The Central Bank introduced an interim administration, and then commissioned the rehabilitation of the Kazan Tatfondbank, which later lost the license itself, and criminal proceedings were instituted against its leadership. Criminal cases related to embezzlement in the Sovestky bank were instituted in late 2015. Employees of the Main Department of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region detained former head of the credit department of the Sovestky bank Kuznetsov and three businessmen who are, according to the investigation, nominee directors of shell companies. This is former employee of Impexbank Semenov and some T. Chernysheva, D. Tolstoukhov. And 17 more suspected participants of the criminal group, involved in a major fraud with bank loans in the criminal case of the bank, were detained.

As it became known, investigators became interested in Vladimir Antonov after detained Chernyshova agreed to cooperate with the investigation. In her testimony, she pointed to Vladimir Antonov and former shareholder of the bank Vladimir Mitrushin, as the organizers of the fraudulent scheme. The latter is hiding abroad and wanted.

Vladimir Antonov is also put on the international wanted list at the request of Lithuania, where he was doing business. He owned the Lithuanian bank Snoras and its Latvian subsidiary Latvijas Krajbanka, which were nationalized. Antonov and another co-owner of the bank, Raymond Baranauskas, were accused of stealing €565 million.

According to the lawyer, Vladimir Antonov believes that his arrest is connected with the story in Lithuania, "where he got himself into money and is now trying to sue the Baltic countries". According to Kopenkin, Antonov believes that Lithuania took away these banks.

"Yes, he is really wanted, but Russia refused to extradite him, and he lives in the Russian Federation on legal grounds," says Kopenkin. According to him, this is a political matter, and that "political metastases" could rise in St. Petersburg.

Note that during the searches in the Antonov mansion outside Moscow, a fake Latvian passport in the name of Broks Andrejs, which, according to The CrimeRussia, he used for international travel, was also found.

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