Posted 3 августа 2020,, 13:07

Published 3 августа 2020,, 13:07

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Back in business: the case of Zuyev and Tri kita took an unexpected turn

Back in business: the case of Zuyev and Tri kita took an unexpected turn

3 августа 2020, 13:07
The businessman Sergey Zuev, who gained fame in the mid-2000s thanks to the high-profile case of furniture smuggling, regained control over the Tri Kita ("Three whales") shopping center after a long struggle and imprisonment.

Ivan Petrovsky

The other day on the website of the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region was published the decision in case No. А41-2455 / 20. The full text of the court decision is 13 pages long. But the main thing is that the court returned to Sergey Zuyev the legal right to participate in the disposal and management of all the assets of the company Lamax, which had been taken away from him, which owns the Tri Kita trade empire.

At the same time, the court invalidated the appointment without the knowledge of Mr. Zuyev as the beneficiary of the new management of the company managing the TC. The entrepreneur himself turned to the police and the TFR with a statement about bringing to justice the alleged raiders, who, he believes, seized the business, estimated at $ 350 million.

Recall that the Tri kita case began in 2000 and it affected high-ranking security officials from the FSB, customs and the Prosecutor General's Office. Mr. Zuyev categorically denied his guilt in smuggling (Article 188 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), but the court sentenced him in 2010 to eight years in prison. In July of the same year, after the rejection of the appeal, he was sent to serve his sentence in IK-5 in the city of Koryazhma, Arkhangelsk region.

At that time, the business of Sergey Zuyev was in the hands of Igor Romanov, who withdrew and re-registered all the assets, "the representatives of the" furniture king "say.

At the end of 2011, Sergey Zuyev was released from serving his sentence in connection with the decriminalization of the article under which he received a sentence. And once free, he began a struggle for the return of property, initiating an investigation both in Germany and in Russia.

“He was convicted of smuggling 37 containers of furniture, but this is just a one-day turnover of Tri kita”, - one of Mr. Zuyev’s lawyers told Kommersant, noting that for 2005 auditors estimated Tri kita at $ 350 million.

However, investigations both at home and abroad by the end of 2012 ended in nothing. And in the fall of last year, Mr. Zuyev unexpectedly learned that now, even on paper, he has nothing to do with the shopping mall he created.

It turned out that Igor Romanov manages all the assets, and Alexander Mordkovich became the general director of LaMax. This was done on the basis that the company, as it turned out, has been owned by the Monte Cristallo Foundation from Liechtenstein since October 2012. At the same time, information from the tax inspection about the scheme for transferring rights to this fund disappeared.

The last decision on the appointment of the new management of LaMax was drawn up by a power of attorney by a citizen of Ukraine Serhiy Moroz. As it turned out, according to the documents, he is a resident of Kiev, and works as a simple huntsman in one of Mr. Romanov's hunting farms in the Tver region.

All these circumstances became the reason for Sergey Zuyev's appeal to the arbitration court with the requirement to declare these transactions invalid, and after a year of litigation he won the process. Among other things, the decision of the Moscow Region Arbitration Court notes that... "The plaintiff is the ultimate beneficiary of LaMax LLC with a 70% share, which is confirmed by a consistent chain of corporate ownership structure through foreign entities".

“It is clear that we won the first stage and there is still a struggle, but the key decision that put everything on the shelves has already taken place”, - Stanislav Akimov told Kommersant.

Tri kita sank many interesting characters from the early 2000s. - State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin comments on the situation. - In June 2006, Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov resigned ahead of schedule. A month before the arrest of Zuyev and other defendants, the leadership of the FCS changed. The Tri kita case, in addition to customs and the prosecutor's office, affected almost all power structures and courts. However, which is typical, only those who had no relation to the authorities were sent to jail: the business owner, Zuyev, and top managers. None of the officials and security officials, who have been feeding on this business for many years, sat down..."

According to Mr. Rashkin, the decision of the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region, which was adopted on July 15, draws a thick line under the whole "geological era" of Russian statehood and the relationship between government and business. And what is there, under this line, in the end?

Well, first of all, it becomes obvious that Zuyev's “landing” in 2006 was nothing more than a tool to take over the business. Here, for some reason, the current "Furgal case" comes to mind. Secondly, it turns out that the Tri kitas case and even this business itself have safely stepped into the next stage of Russian history, having “outlived” many “heroes” of the early 2000s. Thirdly, it turns out that if officials and high-ranking security officials stop participating in such cases, Russian courts become quite capable of sorting out all the intricacies of property ownership structures, the interweaving of business interests and corporate conflicts and can make a completely objective decision that does not cause any who have indignation and questions. But the most surprising, of course, remains the fact that 14 years after his arrest and 8 years after his "imprisonment" businessman Zuyev managed not only to prove some of his rights in a Russian court, but also to regain what was taken from him!