Searches carried out at Ulmart online store's owners
A criminal case over swindle in the credit sphere connected with the debt of the company in the amount of 1 billion rubles ($17.1 million) to Sberbank became the reason.
Employees of the Investigative Committee and Administration for Economic Safety and Combatting Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region on the morning of October 10 carried out searches at co-owner of the Ulmart company Dmitry Kostygin, ex-CEO of the company Sergey Fedorinov and its formal creditor Oleg Morozov. Fontanka.ru reports about it. Searches are connected with a criminal case under part 4 of Art. 159.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Swindling in the sphere of crediting on an especially large scale), which was initiated in the middle of July 2017.
Ulmart company was founded in 2008. Till 2016 Ulmart was considered as the largest online store in Russia, however later it gave way to Wildberries. The company is operated by Ulmart Holdings Ltd registered in Cyprus, co-owners of which are Svoboda Corp. of American Augustus Meyer, Koshigi Ltd of Dmitry Kostygin and also Donna Uion Foundation of Mikhail Vasinkevich.
In 2015 the company had had financial problems in connection with which it has lost the status of the leader among the Russian online retailers. The conflict between co-owners became the reason of Ulmart’s problems. Kostygin and Meyer, despite an economic crisis, wanted to invest money in business development whereas Vasinkevich supported expansion turning. After an exchange of claims, Vasinkevich asked Alfa Group investment company for help. Lawyers of the last have joined the board of Ulmart and have blocked adoption of strategic decisions in the company. After that several claims for bankruptcy were submitted on the legal person of the company. Claimants Oleg Morozov and the Baltic electronic platform claimed that the debt to them was conceded by Kostygin.
Later, Sberbank has entered the fight for Ulmart, in 2016 it borrowed to the company 1 billion rubles ($17.1 million). The bank declared the credit as problematic and demanded from Ulmart to return money ahead of schedule, however the court has forbidden to write off the money before the settlement of the dispute. Then in March 2017 Sberbank demanded directly from owners of Ulmart to return one billion, those were Kostygin, Meyer and Vasinkevich and also former CEO of the company Sergey Fedorinov. The criminal case is connected with the money which was lent by Sberbank. According to the investigators, in the application for the credit from the NAO Ulmart there was no information on already available Dmitry Kostygin's debts.
The investigation believes that Kostygin and claimant Oleg Morozov, who a month before the transfer of the credit from Sberbank had signed the assignment agreement (a concession of the right of the requirement of a debt) on the basis of which Morozov has submitted claims against Ulmart later, are involved in plunder.
According to the Ulmart’s defence, Sberbank could not but know about the available debt of the company. According to conditions of the credit agreement, the company has been obliged to provide all financial statements and interpretations of receivables and payables to the bank regularly. The bank could demand any documents having values for implementation of the contract at any time.
Lawyers of Ulmart also noted that Sberbank’s knowledge of debts of the company is confirmed by the decision of Smolninsky district court which has nullified the assignment agreement between Kostygin and Morozov. According to the text of the decision, the bank recognizes that Ulmart reported in the application both about the existence of a debt and about its size.
Now Kostygin, Morozov and Fedorinov are brought to the Investigative Committee. Interrogation of the suspects is conducted.