Police raid offices belonging to Orthodox billionaire
Police investigators raided offices belonging to Konstantin Malofeev, the founder of the international investment fund Marshall Capital Partners, and Dmitry Skuratov, Malofeev’s his legal representative and the son of Russia’s former attorney general.
The raid was a part of an investigation into the theft of a VTB bank loan worth more than $225 million. Malofeev and Skuratov are witnesses in the case.
The newspaper Kommersant learned about the search from a ruling by a Moscow appellate court, where Malofeev and Skuratov challenged the legality of the raid, after failing to get a court in Tver to rule in their favor. On February 11, the Moscow court, too, upheld the legality of the raid.
Kommersant was unable to get a comment from Malofeev, but Skuratov told the newspaper that his legal standing in the case, as well as Malofeev’s, remains the same. “We’re witnesses,” he emphasized, refusing to answer questions about the new raid, investigators’ actions, or their court appeals, citing a nondisclosure agreement. VTB has also refused to comment on the investigation.
The witnesses [Malofeev and Skuratov] appealed investigators’ actions, but the Moscow court upheld [the raid] as legal.
Police have been investigating the $225-million VTB theft case since 2011.
In 2007, Russagroprom received a loan from a VTB subsidiary to purchase dairy factories from the Nutritek International Corporation, which Malofeev previously controlled through Marshall Capital. Ultimately, however, not a cent of the loan was ever repaid, the factories were never purchased, and the shares in Russagroprom, which VTB received as collateral for the loan, proved illiquid.
The case’s witnesses include Konstantin Malofeev, the co-owner of Marshall Capital, Dmitry Skuratov, Malofeev’s legal representative, and Alexander Provotorov, their former partner and later a senior executive vice-president at Tele2. Evgeny Kremnev, Russagroprom’s CEO, is accused of stealing the $225 million.
In 2012 and 2013, investigators searched the homes of Malofeev and Skuratov. After the searches and several interrogations, however, the case stalled, with almost no new developments until late 2014.