‘Vodka king’ Sabadash faces trial for embezzling from Tavrichesky Bank

‘Vodka king’ Sabadash faces trial for embezzling from Tavrichesky Bank
The former senator has been sentenced to a 6 year-long custodial sentence for attempted stealing of budget money

In St Petersburg, the Smolninsky District Court has begun hearing a criminal case regarding transfer of 190 million rubles ($3.4mn) from the Tavrichesky Bank to a foreign bank account.

Former Tavrichesky Head Sergey Somov, former member of the board Dmitry Garkusha, and former ‘vodka magnate’ and Federation Council of the Russian Federation member Aleksandr Sabadash are the defendants. They all are accused of swindling on an especially large scale and face up to a decade each in prison.

Specifics of the criminal case have first been outlined during a hearing on March 31, according to rosbalt.ru. The case was opened in early 2016. The defendants are accused of breaking article 193.1 (“Transfer of Money (both Russian Federation and Foreign currency) to Bank Accounts of Non-Residents Using Forged Document”) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Defendants Somov and Liviz Company owner Sabadash colluded with each other in March of 2012, according to the prosecution. They did it before Tavrichesky got into financial problems. Garkusha joined them later on.

Tavrichesky signed several loan agreements with a Milan Company. Milan did not run any business operations. The money were allocated for procurement of foreign-made bottle-manufacturing equipment for the Liviz Plant owned by Sabadash. The way the agreements were executed violated an established procedure for loan granting and damaged Tavrichesky’s financial stability, according to the prosecution.

Then, the stolen 189.5 million rubles ($3.4mn) were transferred to the Renaissance Premier Company’s banks accounts in the Czech Republic upon a forged international contract.

May we remind you that Tavrichesky stopped serving customers in December of 2014. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation did not revoke its bank license; the Lenenergo and MRSK Severo-Zapad Electricity Distribution Companies had 20 billion rubles on deposit accounts in Tavrichesky. The Central Bank bailed Tavrichesky out, allocating 28 billion rubles.

The Central Bank appointed temporary Tavrichesky Administration – the Deposit Insurance Agency of the Russian Federation - on February 11, 2015. Tavrichesky began serving private individuals again on April 24.

However, in the summer of 2015, Tavrichesky was searched in the framework of a case concerned with transferring of more than 1.4 billion rubles worth of assets from Lenenergo. The police searched Lenenergo, too. Head of the Lenenergo Financial Department Denis Slepov was arrested after that.

Former Tavrichesky Head Sergey Somov and former member of the board Dmitry Garkusha were arrested in September of 2015. First, people thought a criminal case against them had something to do with Lenenergo. However, the investigation called Aleksandr Sabadash the main suspect in early 2016. Sabadash had begun serving a 6 year-long prison sentence for 1.87-billion-ruble VAT fraud by then.

The defendants did not plead guilty. The next hearing is going to be held in mid-April. Several dozen witnesses are going to be examined, according to the defendant’s attorneys. Many of them are Tavrichesky employees.

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