New Volokolamsk Mayor found extra billion rubles in municipal budget and appropriated funds

New Volokolamsk Mayor found extra billion rubles in municipal budget and appropriated funds
Vikharev took companies affiliated with him to the new workplace Photo: The CrimeRussia

Andrei Vikharev has been appointed the Volokolamsk Mayor in late March 2018. Amid the ‘waste protests’, the tarnished reputation of the official went unnoticed. Perhaps, somebody at the administration of Governor Andrei Vorobiev had hoped that the Mayor comes to senses. But Vikharev fell back into old habits.

All that is mine, I carry with me 

Six months ago, Andrei Vikharev was in limbo. The Mayor of Losino-Petrovskoe, Shchelkovo district, Moscow region was involved in corruption scandals and failed the objective set by the Governor – annex Sverdlovsky and Biokombinat settlements to the municipal unit entrusted to Vikharev. The residents were against the amalgamation – while the Mayor completely lacked persuasion skills and was too busy with his own business. As a result, Andrei Vikharev was facing a quiet termination. But then ‘waste protests’ broke out in Volokolamsk, and its Mayor Petr Lazarev had to resign – while Vikharev got a promotion. He took to the new workplace not only personal belongings – but companies affiliated with him as well.

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Petr Lazarev, ex-Mayor of Volokolamsk

For instance, Spetsstroymontazh construction company has followed Vikharev to Volokolamsk. The Mayor of Losino-Petrovskoe had always brought luck to it – in 2017, the company has got over 30 governmental contracts in Losino-Petrovskoe. After the relocation of Vikharev to Volokolamsk, the developer became interested in Volokolamsk-based projects as well – but without much success. Delta-Stroy company won all the three tenders involving Spetsstroymontazh and totaling over 445 million rubles ($6.8 million). Interestingly, Delta-Stroy has been incorporated on March 28, 2018 – a few days after the appointment of Vikharev the Mayor of rebellious Volokolamsk. Concurrently, Delta-Stroy felt itself pretty comfortable in Losino-Petrovskoe – in six months, the company has got contracts totaling 462.6 million rubles ($7 million). The nearly billion-ruble revenues of a novice developer were not coincidental. 

The seemingly fierce competitors – Spetsstroymontazh and Delta-Stroy – are united by some Pervaya Kompaniya (First Company) Limited Liability Company. Pervaya Kompaniya owns the control block of shares in Frilon Development whose founder is far-sighted businessman Vyacheslav Belyakov. He is the creator of Delta-Stroy that has earned almost 1 billion rubles ($15.2 million) in six months. The Director of Pervaya Kompaniya is Konstantin Gornostaev. 

Gornostaev has only indirect access to the 1 billion rubles ($15.2 million) received by Delta-Stroy – but he fully controls Spetsstroymontazh belonging 99% to his Pervaya Kompaniya. This explains why Spetsstroymontazh and Delta-Stroy always participate together in governmental tenders. The bidders don’t even bother to simulate the competitive struggle. Delta-Stroy reduces the price set by its ‘competitor’ by 0.5% – and voila! This is how they got almost 1 billion rubles ($15.2 million) from the municipal budget.

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Andrei Vikharev, Mayor of Volokolamsk

The name matters 

Of course, this was the Mayor’s fault. But Vorobiev had believed in him and named Vikharev “one of the most efficient heads of local self-government authorities”. In fact, Vikharev is closely monitoring the efficiency of the two affiliated companies. Above-mentioned Konstantin Gornostaev owns another construction company – Construction Material Plant. He purchased it from Promstroyproekt company. Promstroyproekt had needed construction materials to build Ramensky Residential Complex. Then the developer abandoned this idea, sold the plant, and froze the construction project. This landmark decision has been made in the British Virgin Islands where AFC Developer, Inс., the owner of Promstroyproekt, is incorporated. The offshore company belongs to Asfan Vikharev. Who is this person with a familiar last name? In fact, this is Andrei Vikharev himself. In 2006, he decided to start with a clean sheet and changed his name. Later he has repeated this trick several times with some twists. 

In the same year, Vikharev has acquired Garantiya-Stroy company. He became amazingly lucky in the construction industry after the alteration of his name. Too bad, but the luck of Vikharev was based on misfortune of others. Take, for instance, Ramensky Residential Complex built by Garantiya-Stroy. To attract potential co-investors, the developer had named itself a holding and flaunted its own construction materials and commissioned housing projects, including Il’insky, Kratovo, and Borisoglebsky residential complexes. This advertisement was an outright lie.

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Ramensky Residential Complex

Even after the sale of almost all apartments in Ramensky Residential Complex, Borisoglebsky Residential Complex was pretty far from completion. In late 2017, the co-investors of the fourth line of Borisoglebsky have moved in their units without ownership documents. This happened because Garantiya-Stroy had no permit to connect the building to engineering networks – so, it has been connected illegally. 

A year before the illegal occupation of Borisoglebsky, the developer had tried to get rid of the co-investors using methods invented by its owner. Zhukovsky-based GarantiyaStroyProekt Limited Liability Company, that had directly signed contracts with co-investors, has been renamed into Stroyfinans and relocated to Ramenskoe. The trick was successful – Motherland Veterans’ Association established by Pavel Zhemerev drove the developer to bankruptcy. Interestingly, Pavel Zhemerev was familiar with Andrei (Asfan) Vikharev and even was in charge of one of his companies. Zhemerev was so kind to offer the co-investors of Borisoglebsky to reassign the developer’s obligations to his Tekhnostroy company.

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Borisoglebsky Residential Complex

Cemetery of hoodwinked co-investors

Some co-investors signed the proposed agreement – and were suggested to seek the recognition of their ownership right to shares in the unfinished construction project through court action. This is how the former developer and weird veterans’ association were getting rid of unwanted creditors in the bankruptcy case. But not all co-investors have taken the bait; therefore, in 2017, Tekhnostroy had to obtain a construction permit. At that time, another company – GarantiyaStroyProekt – had been extending its construction permit as well. Its founder is Promstroyproekt controlled by Andrei Vikharev from the British Virgin Islands. The company was building Ramensky Residential Complex.

The owners of apartments have been preparing to the housewarming party since 2013. However, the co-investors haven’t moved in their new residences – neither in 2013, nor in 2014. Instead, Andrei Vikharev, a Deputy of the Moscow Regional Duma, has moved in the office of the Mayor of Losino-Petrovskoe with an excellent reference from Vorobiev: “a good crisis manager”. He has dealt with crisis-ridden Ramensky by transferring the construction project to FSK Lider (Leader). The main condition set by FSK Lider was the bankruptcy of its predecessor. A bankruptcy claim has also been filed against Promstroyproekt controlling GarantiyaStroyProekt – the company owed 120 million rubles ($1.8 million) to Sberbank. Having no room for maneuver, the newly-appointed Mayor of Losino-Petrovskoe decided to pursue a new perspective idea.

There was a never-ending construction project in Losino-Petrovskoe – Svetly (Bright) Residential Complex. Bastion Real Estate Agency has undertaken the task to complete it. The company has winterized the site, obtained required documents, and was ready to commence works in December 2014. But in October 2014, Andrei Vikharev joined the Administration of Losino-Petrovskoe and decided to ‘milk’ this ‘cow’ himself. He has suggested unknown Losino-Petrovsky DSK as the developer and Nord Star – that, based on its financial parameters, could go bankrupt any time – as the investor. With a charter capital of 10 thousand rubles ($152), Nord Star has assets worth 200 million rubles ($3 million), while its liabilities amount to 1.5 billion rubles ($22.8 million).

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Oleg Fetyukov, Acting Head of Losino-Petrovskoe

The co-investors rejected the generous offer made by the Mayor – and Vikharev stripped Svetly Residential Complex of the ‘troubled construction project’ status, thus, making the hoodwinked co-investors in Losino-Petrovskoe officially non-existent. Two of them have already ceased their existence in the direct sense of the word – the people died while waiting for their housing. Six more people died hopelessly waiting for the commissioning of Ramensky Residential Complex. Oleg Fetyukov, the current Acting Head of Losino-Petrovskoe, said as follows in relation to the transfer of Vikharev to Volokolamsk: “I think that Andrei Gennadievich is ready for big stamping grounds”. Amid the deaths of co-investors, these words seem really ominous.

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