High voltage. Marina Sechina and her partners share business in the 90s style
A conflict broke out between the ex-spouse of the head of Rosneft, Marina Sechina, and her business partners. Without losing time on negotiations, they immediately switched to armed fighting. The Kashirskiye Rodnichki health resort became both a bone of contention and the battlefield. What is hidden behind the illegal seizure of the resort near Moscow?
Can’t divide in three
September 16, 2017, gunshots were heard in the Moscow region's Kashirskiye Rodnichki health resort; as a result of the shootout, 16 people were injured. This was reported by Tatyana Romanova, who calls herself the director of the resort. Neither the MIA Department in Kashira, nor the regional MIA Department confirmed the fact of the shootout. According to Romanova, everything that has happened is an attempt to illegally seize the health resort. The illegal seizure, she believes, is organized by businessmen Yury Shulgin, Eldar Osmanov, and Kashirskiye Rodnichki’s former director Guzeev. At the moment, the health resort belongs to five companies involved in the electric power industry, and all of them are somehow connected with Igor Sechin’s ex-wife Marina. Shulgin and Osmanov are Marina Sechina’s partners in business projects related to energy business.
Law enforcement agencies have a lot of questions to these companies and their beneficiaries, but until now there have been complete mutual understanding between Sechina, Shulgin, and Osmanov. When the amount investigators’ questions grew too big, Shulgin started hiding. Presumably, he is hiding in the modest state of Saint Kitts and Nevis, the citizenship in which can be bought for $450 thousand. Being on the federal wanted list, Shulgin, apparently, decided not to waste time on courtesy. Soon after Romanova's statement, it transpired that gang warfare on the premises of the resort became a common thing. Over the past couple of months, several shootouts have taken place on the territory of the Kashirskiye Rodnichki health resort. According to local residents, cobblestones and hand-to-hand fighting is also put into play.
Yuri Shulgin has been declared wanted
The conflict could have been caused by disagreements regarding the resort. Three co-owner companies filed a lawsuit invalidating the decision of the extraordinary general meeting of the participants of Sanatoriy Kashirskiye Rodnichki LLC. Consideration of the claim on the merits will take place only on October 10. The corporate conflict regarding the Kashirskie Rodnichki is also indicated by the fact that formally Boris Guzeev is still the director of the health resort, not Tatyana Romanova, who reported about the raider seizure. On July 12, the Guzeev also called the held extraordinary general meeting an illegal seizure and claimed that the damage caused amounts to 1.2 billion rubles ($20.8 million).
Marina Sechina's lawyer insists that the general meeting in question was held "in a calm and peaceful manner," that is, completely in line with Sechin's interests. Meanwhile, on September 19, unknown persons shot the car of businessman Alim Daduev, another partner of Marina Sechina. Daduev, who was also injured by the gunshots, was taken to the Sklifosovsky Health Institute. Alim Daduev is one of the shareholders of Mosuralbank controlled by Sechin. To note, in the past, Daduev was sentenced to four years in a strict-regime colony for robbery and illegal acquisition of weapons. In Marina Sechina’s entourage, he actually could play the role of the power assistance for her business. The media immediately linked the attempt on Daduev with the conflict around the Kashirskie Rodnichki. However, it is difficult to believe that the businessmen would go back to bloody methods of the 1990s just because of the Moscow region's health resort. Shulgina, Osmanov, and Sechin have to do with much larger sums than 1.2 billion rubles.
The energy empire, now run by Marina Sechina, was established in the image and likeness of the infamous holding Energostream. Its starting point was the company Roskommunenergo, which until 2011 was headed by Igor Kozhin (the son of Vladimir Kozhin, the assistant to the Russian President and former head of the Department of Presidential Affairs). Under Kozhin’s chairmanship, Roskommunenergo started buying up regional retail electricity companies: Vologdaenergosbyt, Khakasenergosbyt and Arkhenergosbyt. When Igor Kozhin stepped down, his position of Roskommunenergo’s director was taken by Shulgin. The main owners of Roskommunenergo at that time were the Osmanovs and the same Shulgin. At the same time, Shulgin and Osmanov established a company called Mezhregionsoyuzenergo (later bought by Roskommunenergo) and Finenergoinvest, affiliated with all the energy retail. Through these intermediate structures, redistribution of shares in energy retail is conducted. The most striking example was the story of the purchase of Vologdaenergosbyt by Finenergoenergoinvest.
Initially, the owners of Finenergoinvest were the three retail electricity companies named above. Vologdaenergosbyt paid 1.539 billion rubles for its participation in the capital of Finenergoinvest (its share was 25.3%). Then, Finenergoinvest acquires 83% of Vologdaenergosbyt for the same 1.539 billion rubles. At the same time, the retail companies were taking multibillion-dollar loans which literally evaporated in the air. The public learned about the gray schemes of Roskommunenergo thanks to the abovementioned Tatyana Romanova, who was a member of the company's board until 2009, and then became the director of the Kashirskie Rodnichki.
Criminal cases against Vologdaenergosbyt were initiated both before Romanova's statement, and after. The investigators started criminal proceedings against the owners of Roskommunenergo. None of them affected the lives of Osmanov and Shulgin. The open conflict between Romanova and the owners of Roskommunenergo led to an attempt on her life. It was probably Shulgin and Osmanov's enmity that helped her maintain the post in the Kashirskie Rodnichki resort. Marina Sechina could only unite the repugnant parties, but only against herself.
Cherchez la femme
Igor Sechin’s ex-spouse joined the energy business in 2013. Through the companies Konsaltenergoservis (KES LLC) and Consortium Energopromfinans LLC, Marina Sechina entered the capital of Vologdaenergosbyt and Arkhenergosbyt. Shulgin and Osmanov had high hopes for the new partner. Marina Sechina's only last name promised to settle many problems of their financial and energy pyramid. The changes did not take long to take place.
Marina Sechina clearly revived schemes for withdrawing funds from energy companies. With her arrival, the electricity retailers controlled by Mezhregionsoyuzenergo strated to drown lawsuits. By the beginning of 2017, the company owed to Rosseti, that is, to the state, 10.5 billion rubles. And this is only the debts of Vologdaenergosbyt, Khakasenergosbyt and Arkhenergosbyt. Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Igor Orlov tried to replace the guaranteeing supplier in the Region, but Marina Sechina immediately wrote an open letter to the President of the Russian Federation, and Orlov's benevolent intentions ended in nothing.
Despite the financial difficulties, in 2016, Sechina and Shulgin bought two more retail companies, Tagilenergosbyt and Chelyabenergosbyt. The purchase of the latter was explained by deoffshorization of the company: the managers insisted that the ownership in Chelyabenergosbyt was not subjected to any change. 15% went to KES controlled by Sechina, another 45% − to structures affiliated with either Sechina or Shulgin. By the way, the indebtedness indicators of Chelyabenergosbyt after these manipulations went up and now reach 3 billion rubles.
If the ownership structure of Chelyabenergosbyt did not really change, then behind the Cypriot offshore company called SV Property Management, whose share in the Chelyabenergosbyt‘s capital decreased to 17.39%, there is Marina Sechina. In this regard, the receivables of the deoffshorized company look suspicious. Of the more than 5 billion rubles of accounts receivable, 1.4 billion rubles ($24.3 million) accounted for the item 'other debtors', which may well turn out to be offshore companies. Especially since Sechina’s Consultantenergoservis is affiliated with the Cypriot offshore Taplitoria Holdings Ltd. The remaining electricity retail companies of Mezhregionsoyuzenergo, contrary to the legal requirements, do not publish financial statements.
Having spent enough on purchasing new electricity retail companies, Shulgin on behalf of Mezhregionsoyuzenergo took loans in the already sanitized ROST-bank for a total of about 8 billion rubles ($139 million). Credit lines were opened for the main retailers (Vologdaenergosbyt, Khakasenergosbyt and Arkhenergosbyt) and Roskommunenergo. The size of each credit line amounted to 1.9 billion rubles. Particular attention should be paid to Mezhregionsoyuzenergo’s position voiced by the press service of the company. The debts of the company controlled by Roskommunenergo were attributed to consumers-debtors, calling all the claims to the Roskommunenergo fictions and insinuations.
The well-targeted withdrawal of funds from the sinking bank was obvious, whereas with beneficiaries it was all more difficult. And if, while 'getting' the loans, Marina Sechina’s connections for Shulgin were priceless, then, finding himself on the federal wanted list, he clearly changed his opinion both on the situation and Osmanov with Sechina. What is going to be a result of the spontaneous war between the two businessmen against Marina Sechina is not yet clear. Only be one thing can be predicted: electricity tariffs in the regions under the control of Mezhregionsoyuzenergo will grow.
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