2021-12-01 Kommersant - Police Followed the Branch Network - Top managers of QBF detained on suspicion of fraud By Oleg Rubnikovich,
1 December 2021
Police Followed the Branch Network (Published by Kommersant on 01.12.2021):
The police have detained two former top managers from the QBF financial pyramid in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The court is set to deliberate on the arrest of Vladimir Pakhomov and Alexey Golubev. QBF's beneficiary, Roman Shpakov, currently evading authorities abroad, is reaching out to VIP clients, offering to return their investments in exchange for their silence.
Police Followed the Branch Network - Top Managers of QBF Detained on Suspicion of Fraud (Published by Kommersant on 01.12.2021):
Two more former high-ranking officials from the QBF financial pyramid, operating under suspicion of a significant scam, have been apprehended in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Vladimir Pakhomov, director of the company's branch network, and Alexey Golubev, head of the Saint Petersburg office, are the recent detainees.
Victims and Damages:
The number of victims and the magnitude of the financial damage are constantly escalating. The elusive beneficiary of QBF, Roman Shpakov, allegedly in hiding overseas, is said to be contacting VIP clients, proposing to reimburse their investments if they abstain from involving law enforcement.
Golubev was arrested in Saint Petersburg, while Pakhomov was apprehended in Moscow. It's highlighted that Pakhomov had been restricted from leaving the country since the initiation of the criminal case last spring. During this period, other associates, Zelimkhan Munaev and Evgeniya Rossieva, were also implicated and have since spent eight months in pre-trial detention.
Documents and electronic storage devices related to QBF's operations were seized from both Golubev and Pakhomov during the searches. Golubev's statements to the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were reportedly based on rehearsed templates intended for QBF executives, while Pakhomov reiterated his prior statements concerning his roles in various regions.
QBF enticed clients with prospects of earning approximately 20% from investments. While some clients received dividends, these payouts were funded exclusively by new depositors. Clients were consistently assured of their funds' profitability through fabricated monthly and quarterly email reports. However, when clients attempted to withdraw their funds, they were met with excuses or were ignored outright.
The principal orchestrator of this elaborate scam, believed to have defrauded investors of an estimated 5-7 billion rubles under the pretense of genuine financial portfolio investments, is identified as Roman Shpakov, the QBF founder. Currently on an international wanted list, Shpakov managed to flee to the UAE before the criminal case's initiation. Rumor has it that from the UAE, after a publication revealed that ballerina Anastasia Volochkova was recognized as a victim, Shpakov initiated contact with other deceived VIP clients, promising to reimburse their investments in return for their silence.
While Shpakov might genuinely reimburse renowned clients, average victims view this as a PR move, anticipating these VIPs might advocate for his new ventures. Despite the revocation of QBF's license in July 2021, the management that remains at liberty continues to solicit funds, albeit now under different corporate names. Even a week ago, clients received calls with propositions to invest their money lucratively.
Police Followed the Branch Network Top managers of QBF detained on suspicion of fraud
By Oleg Rubnikovich, 01.12.2021, 15:27
As "Ъ" has learned, in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the police detained two more former top managers of a major financial pyramid operating under the QBF brand. On Thursday, the court is set to consider the investigative department's petitions for the arrest of the company's branch network director, Vladimir Pakhomov, and the head of the Saint Petersburg office, Alexey Golubev. The number of victims and damages in this case is growing almost daily. QBF's beneficiary, Roman Shpakov, who is hiding abroad, is allegedly calling VIP clients, promising to return their money in exchange for not contacting law enforcement agencies.
Within the investigation of the high-profile criminal case regarding particularly large-scale fraud (Part 4, Article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code) involving QBF financial group depositors' funds, new arrests have taken place. In Saint Petersburg, on Nevsky Prospekt, an investigative team from Moscow detained the head of the local group office, 31-year-old Alexey Golubev. At the same time, in Moscow, in his apartment on Rublyovskoye Highway, officers from the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Corruption Control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Western District Police arrested 33-year-old Vladimir Pakhomov, who was responsible for the entire QBF branch network. It's worth noting that the latter has been under a non-departure order since last spring when the criminal case was initiated. Back then, alongside him, 30-year-old co-founder of QBF LLC, who previously headed the company's Cypriot office, Zelimkhan Munaev, and the company's lawyer, Evgeniya Rossieva, became defendants. The latter two have been in pre-trial detention for eight months.
During the searches, documents and electronic data carriers related to QBF's activities were confiscated from both Golubev and Pakhomov. Both suspects were interrogated in the investigative department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs until late evening.
According to "Ъ", Alexey Golubev responded with rehearsed templates specifically written for QBF management. Such notes were found on every desk during searches last spring in the "City of Capitals" complex in "Moscow City," where the company leased several floors.
Vladimir Pakhomov, according to "Ъ," basically reiterated to the investigator his previous statements about his responsibilities as the head of the branch network in the Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, and Murmansk regions, as well as in Bashkiria and Tatarstan. On Thursday, the investigation plans to appeal to the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow with a petition for the arrest of both suspects.
As "Ъ" previously reported, QBF managers lured clients with the opportunity to earn about 20% from investing. Some clients were indeed paid dividends, but solely from the funds of subsequent depositors.
Almost everyone who trusted this financial pyramid was convinced that their money was working and generating profit, as the managers sent them fictitious monthly and quarterly reports via email.
However, investors faced problems when they decided to withdraw their funds from QBF. Clients were denied for various reasons, and when the excuses ran out, they simply stopped answering phone calls.
The organizer of this massive scam, during which around 5-7 billion rubles could have been stolen from investors under the guise of serious financial portfolio investments, is considered by the investigation to be QBF founder Roman Shpakov, who is currently on the international wanted list. Before the criminal case was initiated, he managed to leave for the UAE. Allegedly, from there, after the publication in "Ъ" about the famous ballerina Anastasia Volochkova being recognized as a victim (QBF owes her 1.7 million rubles), Mr. Shpakov began to call other deceived VIP clients, who are not yet rushing to contact the police. In exchange for not turning to law enforcement agencies, the businessman allegedly promises to return their invested funds. However, this seems more like a PR stunt. At least that's the opinion of the average victims.
They believe that Roman Shpakov might indeed return the money to well-known clients in hopes that they will share this information with their friends and acquaintances.
Those, in turn, might invest in his new projects, as the management that remains free continues to collect money, but now in organizations under different names.
Moreover, even after July 8, 2021, when the Central Bank revoked QBF's license, there were still calls to clients a week ago with offers to profitably invest their funds.