2023-10-24 Kommersant - The pyramid lacked one presiding judge. The case of the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank will be considered by a panel of three judges. 24.10.2023 by Alexey Sokovnin, Oleg Rubnikovich
24 October 2023
The trial for a major fraud case involving the QBF investment company has commenced in Moscow's Presnensky Court. The defendants, including Stanislav Matyukhin, the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank, are accused of embezzling over 2 billion rubles from hundreds of depositors who believed their funds were being invested in legitimate financial portfolios. Roman Shpakov, the alleged mastermind behind the QBF group, is considered the organizer of the scheme. Only one of the four defendants appeared voluntarily in court, while the others were brought in under escort. After preliminary procedures, the presiding judge postponed a decision on a request for a panel of three judges. The court extended the defendants' pre-trial detention and property seizure. The next hearing is scheduled for November 9.
Roman Shpakov, the beneficiary of the QBF financial group, has fled the country and is on the international wanted list. Linda Athanasiadou, the company's finance manager from Cyprus, is also a primary suspect and remains at large. The cases against Shpakov and Linda Atanasiadou have been separated into distinct proceedings.
The pyramid lacked one presiding judge. A panel of three judges will consider the case of the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank. 24.10.2023 by Alexey Sokovnin, Oleg Rubnikovich:
The criminal trial of a major fraud case involving the investment company QBF has begun at the Presnensky Court in Moscow. The case revolves around allegations of particularly large-scale fraud (Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) committed by members of an organised criminal group (Article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
The case centres on allegations that QBF, operating from 2012 to 2021, attracted citizens' funds under the pretence of investing in legitimate financial portfolios but instead diverted the money to offshore accounts. These funds were subsequently transferred to non-resident companies believed to be affiliated with group members. The alleged scheme organisers then used the money for personal investments, including purchasing shares, real estate, and expensive cars.
The investigation indicates that while several hundred investors suffered losses of more than 2 billion rubles, documents seized during searches suggest that depositors may have been defrauded of as much as 5-7 billion rubles. This difference in figures is attributed to the presence of VIP clients who contributed substantial amounts but did not officially report their losses due to concerns about the legality of their funds.
The alleged mastermind behind the QBF group is Roman Shpakov, who is currently an international fugitive. The cases against Shpakov and Linda Atanasiadou, a Cypriot citizen responsible for the company's finances, have been separated into distinct proceedings. Stanislav Matyukhin, the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank, Georgy Matyukhin, is among the defendants and attempted to assist the group after it faced legal scrutiny. During interrogations, Matyukhin claimed that his involvement with QBF brought him problems.
In the initial court hearing, only one of the four defendants appeared voluntarily, while the others were escorted to court. After routine procedures, the presiding judge faced a request for her recusal made by one of the defendants' legal representatives. The judge postponed a decision on this matter. The prosecutor's office proposed extending the pre-trial detention for all four defendants, which was met with objections from the accused and their defence teams. Evgenia Rossieva, one of the defendants, strongly opposed the extension of her arrest, citing health issues developed during her two-and-a-half-year pre-trial detention. Despite the objections, the court supported the prosecutor's request and extended the preventive measures for all four defendants.
The court also extended the seizure of the defendants' property, including shares in various companies, land plots, and expensive cars.
The presiding judge ultimately recused herself from the case and announced that a panel of three judges would review it. The next hearing, during which the prosecutor is expected to read the indictment, is scheduled for November 9.
The pyramid lacked one presiding judge. A panel of three judges will consider the case of the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank.
24.10.2023, 01:06 by Alexey Sokovnin, Oleg Rubnikovich
Hearings of the criminal case on particularly large-scale fraud committed under the banner of the investment company QBF have begun in the Presnensky Court of Moscow. According to the investigation, the defendants, among whom is Stanislav Matyukhin, the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank, Georgy Matyukhin, stole more than 2 billion rubles from hundreds of depositors who believed that their funds were invested in serious financial portfolios. Law enforcement officers consider Roman Shpakov, the beneficiary of the QBF financial group who left the country and is on an international wanted list, to be the organizer of the crime. One of the participants in the fraud has already been convicted.
At the first substantive hearing of the criminal case on particularly large-scale fraud (Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) committed by members of an organized criminal group (Article 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), only one of the four defendants arrived on his own — the former director of the branch network of LLC "IK QBF" (a subsidiary of the QBF financial group) Vladimir Pakhomov is under house arrest. Three other defendants who are in pre-trial detention — former CEOs of the investment company Stanislav Matyukhin, director of the St. Petersburg office Alexey Golubev, and head of the legal department Evgenia Rossieva — were brought by a convoy. About fifteen victims gathered in the courtroom.
After the traditional procedure of identifying the defendants, the presiding judge, Katerina Kirichenko, suggested that the parties submit petitions and immediately receive a request for her own withdrawal. Evgenia Rossieva stated that she requires the case to be considered by a panel of three professional judges for greater objectivity of the proceedings. The prosecutor objected, and in the end, Judge Kirichenko postponed consideration of this issue. After that, the prosecutor's office proposed extending the terms of the preventive measure chosen for the defendants for six months. The accused and their defenders protested, albeit not very actively. The exception was Ms Rossieva, who spoke out strongly against the extension of her arrest. She reminded the court that she has been in pre-trial detention for two and a half years, and, according to the accused, her health has deteriorated during this time; in particular, she has severe vision problems, due to which she may become disabled.
However, the court supported the prosecutor's position and extended the preventive measure for all four.
The arrest of the defendant's property was also extended — their shares and shares in various companies, land plots in multiple regions, and expensive cars.
After that, the presiding judge finally retired to the deliberation room to decide who would further consider the case. She took about half an hour to ponder, after which Katerina Kirichenko announced her decision: to terminate the judicial investigation and appoint a new consideration of the case by a panel of three judges. The next hearing, at which the prosecutor is expected to read the indictment, is scheduled for November 9.
As previously reported by "Kommersant", the criminal community, according to the criminal case materials, operated from 2012 to 2021. The company's head office occupied several floors in the "City of Capitals" complex on the Presnenskaya Embankment and also had many branches in different regions of Russia. According to the investigation, the investment company attracted citizens' funds under the guise of investing in financial severe portfolios. Still, instead, the money ended up in offshore accounts, from where they were subsequently transferred to the current accounts of other non-resident companies affiliated, according to law enforcement officers, with the group members. The alleged organizers of the pyramid disposed of them at their discretion, investing in the purchase of shares, real estate, expensive cars, and the like.
As the victims attended in the courtroom told "Kommersant", they began investing money in the projects of the investment company back in 2009 — many were attracted by the high-interest income they were promised. Sometimes, according to the victims, it was about 15–17% per annum.
Investors' problems began when they tried to withdraw their money from the investment company (whose license was revoked on July 8, 2021). The case materials indicate that several hundred investors suffered damages of more than 2 billion rubles. However, from the documents seized during the searches, it follows that the depositors could have been robbed of about 5-7 billion rubles. This discrepancy in the figures is explained by the fact that among QBF clients, many VIP persons contributed massive amounts but could not prove the legality of the origin of this money and, therefore, did not officially register their losses.
Law enforcement officers consider Roman Shpakov, the beneficiary of the QBF group, to be the organizer of the scam. Cases against Roman Shpakov and Linda Atanasiadou, a Cyprus citizen responsible for finance in the company, have been separated into separate proceedings. After leaving for abroad in January 2021, the grandson of the former chairman of the Central Bank, Georgy Matyukhin, tried to "save the sinking ship," as he put it. At the same time, during interrogations, he claimed that his participation in QBF brought him nothing but problems.
It should also be noted that another defendant in this case, the founder of LLC QBF, who previously headed the Cypriot branch of the company, Zelimkhan Munaev, fully admitted his guilt. On September 21, 2023, he was sentenced to eight years in a general regime colony in a particular manner.
Alexey Sokovnin, Oleg Rubnikovich