Runaway head of Kosmos prevented from becoming Italian winemaker
Andrey Chernyakov’s villa has been given to his creditor.
Former Head of Kosmos Scientific Production Association Andrey Chernyakov, persecuted first by Russian, and then by British justice, has lost one of his main Italian assets. According to Kommersant, Villa IL Poderino near Florence will be transferred to VTB Group, which is now the owner of the previously affiliated Bank of Moscow. Chernyakov’s debt in favor of the latter is at least 31 billion rubles ($524 million).
The creditor’s representatives and the former Russian businessman had been fighting over the five-story villa with an area of more than 2 thousand sq.m and four smaller buildings located on the territory of four hectares for several months. The turning point came in July this year, when the court in London declared the former head of Kosmos bankrupt at the request of the Bank of Moscow, appointing bankruptcy trustees to its assets. Prior to that, the Russian court had also adopted a decision on debt recovery. In addition, in October this year, the High Court of London sentenced Chernyakov to two years in prison for concealing his assets from the creditor. His wife Anastasiya Erokhova was sentenced to four years of imprisonment for assisting her husband. However, the couple opted to escape rather than go to the English prison; currently, they are said to be hiding in Germany.
Villa IL Poderino (photo by Sotheby's international reality)
October 12, 2017, the Court of Florence admitted managers in IL Poderino for inventory of the property attached. Upon arriving to the territory of the Russian ‘latifundist’, they discovered a production of olive oil and wine under the brand name Andrey Torner e figlio David (for some reason, the villa owner did not want to be called Chernyakov. David is the name of his son) from the local olive trees and the vineyard. However, the goods produced by father and son Chernyakovs was not intended for sale, but would be presented as gifts to their guests.
It should be noted that had gone to considerable expense to repair the building of the XV century and the site itself. In the estate, there are statues, an ancient well, and a modern pool. Today, the price of the villa can be much higher as opposed to 14.5 million euros, at which the international real estate agency Sotheby`s estimated it a few years ago. According to preliminary data, the inventory of all property by bailiffs will take several weeks.
In addition to the estate, the bankruptcy supervisors in Italy were given control of the runaway head’s yacht called Holy Apostle Andrew Pervozvanny. Now it is moored on the coast of the Ligurian Sea at the quay wall (once owned by Chernyakov) in the bay of Poets of the picturesque La Spezia. According to preliminary estimates, its cost is at least 5.5 million euros. The trading on Italian assets is expected to be held in the first or second quarter of 2018.
Original wine and olive oil from Chernyakov’s Villa
To recall, in Russia, the former head of Kosmos is accused of fraudulent Embezzlement in Lending (part 4 of Art. 159.1 of the Russian Criminal Code). According to the investigation, as president of the scientific production association, in 2011, Chernyakov signed a loan agreement with the Bank of Moscow for the construction of the Alabian-Baltic tunnel “with the intent to steal money.” The bank transferred 11.5 billion rubles ($193 thousand) to the association, but the latter did not fulfill its obligations; Chernyakov did not return the money and left for the UK. As a result, the businessman was put on the international wanted list, and the Meshchansky District Court decided to recover Kosmos’s debts from Chernyakov. Later, as Chernyakov’s lawyers reported, the Bank of Moscow transferred the debt to an unknown company Kosmos-M LLC, as a result of which both the credit organization and the commercial structure require payments from Chernyakov.
The VTB noted that they will continue selling Chernyakov’s seized assets as part of the repayment of Kosmos Scientific Production Association’s debts to the bank. By now, Chernyakov's property in the UK has already been seized and partially sold. In particular, the creditor received about £300 thousand from the sale of cars, including Rolls Royce, household appliances, utensils, and a collection of alcohol. Chernyakov’s apartments in Dubai, which cost more than 1 million dollars, are pending sale.
In addition, interim measures in respect of money and other property of the Kosmos ex-head have been taken in Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. The shares of one and a half dozen companies registered by the entrepreneur and his wife in these countries, as well as two jet aircrafts, have also been seized.
Saburova believes that the Russian authorities violated articles 2 and 5 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, guaranteeing the right to life, as well as the right to freedom and personal inviolability.