Servers returned to Berezin with sanctions
What is St. Petersburg billionaire Andrei Berezin trying to clean up the Internet from, who, according to rumors, prefers to love his homeland on the other side of the border?
Information about the searches in the office of Andrei Berezin’s large investment company Euroinvest in 2019 was later invalidated through the court, but we decided to double-check the information. During the investigation of The Sankt-Petersburg Post correspondent, a lot of interesting things were revealed - the story that formed the basis of the events of four years ago was continued in 2023. So, from what "haze" from the assets of the oligarch pulled?
Before moving directly to the investigation, I would like to note this strangeness - if you drive Berezin’s name in the Yandex and Google search engines, then some of the search results will be hidden. US Google even specifies that "some search results could have been deleted in accordance with local law." The oligarch cleans up information about himself, trying to create a certain reputation he needs? Has something to hide, Andrei Valerievich?
Berezin, who is ranked among the inner circle of the Governor of the Leningrad Region Alexander Drozdenko, has been very sensitive to his reputation in recent years, we have already managed to make sure. So, when in 2019 a number of media outlets, including the Fontanka publication, reported allegedly searches in the Euroinvest company of Andrei Berezin, indicating that they could be related to the case of the acquisition of servers from a German company for $15 million, the businessman was offended. And he went to court, demanding that the information be declared invalid.
The court satisfied the claim. In this case, it is not interesting that Berezin managed to prove that criminal cases were not initiated against him and LLC IK Euroinvest on the basis of materials from the Baltic Customs, but those details that, thanks to the case, were nevertheless revealed. None of the publications mentioned in the case included the case number, and the court materials explicitly state that "in the premises occupied by LLC IK Euroinvest of 06.02.2019, a search was made in connection with the investigation of criminal case No. 11804009715000094, initiated by the Baltic Customs on the grounds of a crime under paragraph" a "part 2 of Art. 193.1. The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was not produced. " It also clarified that "Berezin Andrei Valerievich, as of 06.02.2019, has no procedural status in the criminal case."
And in the media publications, an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation mentioned another. Thus, we can conclude that a certain case related to the execution of currency transactions for the transfer of funds on a large scale to non-resident accounts using forged documents (this article is mentioned in court documents) still took place? Otherwise, where did the number of the criminal case come from?
That’s what is curious, the same Fontanka.Ru mentioned in the publication of a large distributor of office equipment - Complit Company, which allegedly purchased Hewlett-Packard servers from a German company for $15 million in 2010, but did not receive the goods. The publication then wondered if the transaction showed signs of withdrawal of funds? Indeed, five years later, the fate of $8.5 million was also decided. So, in the arbitration there are no claims from this company to the media, which mentioned it in the publications of 2019. As there are no lawsuits from the mentioned business partner Berezin - Vasily Pavlov, about whom Fontanka reported as a manager in a German company, which was supposed to provide the mentioned servers to Complit Company.
A little more details of this story were revealed by foreign sites. For example, as the authors of the Weeklynewsreview website reported, the whole story began with checking bank accounts in Latvia, suspicious activity on which was noted by the German and Swiss authorities. A certain "Auditexpert Company" was also mentioned in the publication (we will return to it again).
What happens, after all, there was a kind of foreign investigation into transfers of funds from Russia under the guise of purchasing poltergeist equipment? Money, which means that they paid for it, and the equipment never reached the addressee?
Vasily Pavlov, who was mentioned in publications, is Berezin’s longtime business partner. According to Delovoy Petersburg, Pavlov is a member of the DP Billionaire Rating 2022.
Over the years, he was the owner of shares in 21 companies, including seven operating ones - LLC CD, LLC Rancho-Okhota, LLC Neoprint, LLC NPO Neoprint, LLC Drimkas, LLC RSI and LLC Udarnik. At the same time, the Drimkas company works in the IT sphere and in 2021 Roskomnadzor even tried to bring it to justice under the article "carrying out entrepreneurial activities in violation of the conditions provided for by a special permit."
From the materials of another legal dispute, it is known that Drimkas was also engaged in the sale of some equipment.
In addition, Pavlov’s RSI company also has an asset in the field of software production - a stake in SET LLC, as well as another RSI subsidiary, Crystal Service Integration LLC, which is among the top 5 largest IT suppliers in retail retail.
This all indirectly suggests that Pavlov could well be associated with the aforementioned deliveries of servers from abroad, since his business is also based in this area (three more later liquidated companies were related to the repair of computers and peripheral computer equipment). Moreover, VASILY V. PAVLOV appeared in the registers as the managing director of the German company Crysdorf GmbH. Namely, the unnamed German company, to which, judging by the publication of Fontanka, Pavlov was related, was supposed to supply the "Complit Company" with the servers for which it was paid. So maybe that was Crysdorf GmbH?
Although this is far from the only company in the asset of Vasily Pavlov, registered in Germany. He, together with the director of Crysdorf GmbH Leonid Darevsky, were also involved in the firm Wäsch Etiketten Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung.
At the same time, Darevsky was listed in the leadership of a whole group of German (and not only German) companies. It is known from open sources that he received letters to an address in the UK, had Nationality - Uzbekistan and German resident status. It is very convenient to cut all the ends.
As for the connection with the oligarch Berezin, he and Pavlov had several common assets.
The first is Crystal Center LLC, where both owned shares. Now among the owners there is Andrei Viktorovich Pavlov (possibly a relative, since both patronymics and surnames coincide), as well as Elena Smotrova - Chairman of the Board of Directors of TELLUS GROUP, General Director of Tellus-Group Nikolai Inobinny. In 2021, the Kommersant newspaper reported that the Tellus-Group structures in April 2020 were included in the shareholders of the Rigel plant (created on the basis of the first Tudor battery plant in Russia, founded in 1897 by Siemens and General Electric). Andrey Berezin’s Euroinvest investment company has become a key investment partner for the development of Rigel.
Once again, Tellus Group was mentioned in connection with the sale of an asset by Almaz-Antey in St. Petersburg. It was about the object of the "North-West Regional Center of the Almaz-Antey - Obukhov Plant" concern. As reported by The Sankt-Petersburg Post, the building was transferred to Center Crystal LLC. The one where Pavlov and Berezin previously had shares. The editors have already reported on the role in the sale of non-specialized assets of the Almaz-Antey concern, Deputy General Director Mikhail Podvyaznikov, who is represented in the media as an expert in the field of the military-industrial complex and the military-space industry. But here is what is interesting: a certain Garter Irina Askoldovna was a shareholder of PJSC Svetlana, which is confirmed by both court materials and materials from the company’s PJSC website. Isn’t the relative of Mikhail Garter mentioned Irina Garter? There are too many matches in this chain.
Moreover, Andrey Valerievich Berezin was an affiliate member of the Board of Directors of PJSC Svetlana at the end of 2021. The Svetlana plant in an interview with Delovoy Petersburg was also called Berezin’s main asset.
In April 2022, the board of directors recommended that the shareholders of PJSC Svetlana sell the shares of ZPIF. And a few months later, the Closed Mutual Investment Fund (ZPIF) "Fifth Element" received 99.08% of the shares of PJSC "Svetlana," which was called the founder of the Russian electronic industry. At the same time, the Nevsky Prospekt website reported that ZPIF Fifth Element may be controlled by the same persons as previously PJSC Svetlana. The amount did not change from the rearrangement of the terms, but the ultimate beneficiaries were hidden? Very convenient!
Indirectly, this connection is confirmed through which chain. The trustee of ZPIF "Fifth Element" is LLC "Management Company" Stock House. " The same Criminal Code manages the share of another ZPIF in Tudor LLC, co-owned by Nikolai Disobedience’s Neptune LLC, which was related to the already mentioned Tellus Group. In addition, Stock House is the mortgagee of Vasily Pavlov’s stake in Neoprint LLC. You see how closely the connections are intertwined.
But there is more to come.
In the materials of one of the court disputes of PJSC Svetlana, LLC AuditExpert Company is mentioned, which was included in the circle of whether it is intended to place PJSC securities.
This is exactly what AuditExpert Company LLC mentioned in the history of 2019 about the supply (more precisely, the underdelivery of servers from Germany) and among the owners of this company, which was unexpectedly liquidated in 2022, both Vasily Pavlov and Andrei Berezin noted. The company IK Vek was also among the owners, which previously belonged to Felix Long, a shareholder of PJSC Svetlana. The Kommersant newspaper called Length a business partner of Russneft co-owner Mikhail Gutseriev.
Dlin also, together with Veronika Andreevna Berezina, was a co-owner of Petrogradskaya Management Company LLC, which, before liquidation, came under the wing of two closed-end investment funds - Petrogradsky and Balance Invest. The latter was managed by LLC UK Ingria and the same Ingria is managed by ZPIF Apart Development, which owns a 50% stake in LLC IK Euroinvest. At the same time, until October 2022, Berezin and his business partner Vasiliev owned Euroinvest directly, and later everything went under the closed-end investment fund. Just like with PJSC "Svetlana" was. Moreover, the second owner of Evroinvest Investment Company since the same October 2022, the Closed Combined Mutual Investment Fund Balance Invest, managed by the Stock House Management Company, already known to us from Svetlana. Leads, you know, to some thoughts.
But let’s return to AuditExpert Company LLC.
Andrei Berezin left its owners in September 2021, MegaCenter LLC became the new owner. And already in December 2021, all the remaining former co-owners unanimously leave the LLC and a tiny share goes to a certain Igor Tsvirko. The main owner remains MegaCenter. In February 2022, the authorized capital of AuditExpert Company LLC sharply grows from 10 thousand rubles to 944.8 million rubles. Thus, the share of MegaCenter grows to 944.7 million rubles. In another month - in March 2022, AuditExpert Company LLC becomes "liquidated" and liquidated in June of the same year. The liquidator was the same Zvirko.
The MegaCenter, which ceased to exist in July 2022, had the same fate.
But what we see - literally a month before the decision to liquidate, the authorized capital of the company and the share of the main owner grew (Tsvirko did not count with its 0.01%). The question arises - why such manipulations? The answer is hidden in the legislation. The fact is that all non-distributed profits and the remaining finances are shared by the owners of the LLC - the very MegaCenter, which was also liquidated, that is, it hid the ends in the water.
The most curious scheme for transferring almost 1 billion rubles to someone’s pocket. But here it is worth focusing on the fact that until March 2022, Valentin Glaznev, co-owner of LLC UK Ingria, which manages ZPIF, which owns a stake in LLC IK Euroinvest, remained the director of AuditExpert Company LLC. Tsvirko, on the other hand, is the general director of Hollywood Shopping and Entertainment Center LLC, whose owners include Berezin’s business partner Yuri Vasiliev, as well as Apart Development ZPIF under the management of Ingria Management Company. Berezin himself owned a stake in the Hollywood shopping and entertainment center from 19.11.2015 to 15.04.2020.
According to MegaCenter LLC, the picture was about the same: in 2021, Graviton Investments LLC becomes the new owner with a share of 761.5 million rubles. And both MegaCenter and Graviton Investments are liquidated in 2022, and also in the latter, before liquidation, they are increasing their authorized capital.
The head of Graviton Investments was Elena Vasilyeva. Is Berezin’s business partner a relative of Yuri Vasiliev? Despite the fact that the same Vasilyeva was at one time a co-owner of LLC Specialized Developer Euroinvest Development SPB, which is currently owned by LLC IK Euroinvest. Among the co-owners of the developer was Veronika Bloom, director of Konnogvardeyskoye LLC, which is owned by Veronika and Irina Berezina.
Legally, the owner of Graviton Investments was the closed combined mutual investment fund Element Development-1, which is managed by the already familiar management company Stock House. Moreover, in 2018, the Kommersant newspaper reported that Svetlana PJSC was creating a closed combined mutual investment fund Element Development-1 to manage and sell real estate on the territory of the enterprise.
You still have questions in whose interests could they actually manipulate the withdrawal of funds from AuditExpert Company, MegaCenter and Graviton Investments LLC?
By the way, the MegaCenter company was previously the founder of Ecopark LLC, which was headed by Artur Gaysin, the brother of Ruslan Gaysin, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region of one of the convocations, before liquidation. The last owner of Ecopark was City 78 Agroinvest LLC, controlled by HC City 78 LLC. In the latter, until January 2023, Ruslan Gaysin himself was noted among the co-owners. Gaisin is known to readers of The Moscow Post for publishing about the Snopki brothers - the owners of the bankrupt Phaeton.
Returning to Pavlov, who appeared in the case on servers, and oligarch Berezin.
On the above assets, their connection does not end. They are also connected by ownership of shares in Udarnik LLC.
It would seem, why stir up the affairs of the past days - the story of the servers of 2019? Everything is very simple - some persons involved in that long history again noted in legal relations with German companies - equipment suppliers, but already in 2022 and 2023. So let’s try to figure it out.
Task with two known
LLC "Company Complit," previously mentioned as a buyer of servers from a certain German company, has existed since 1996. She works in the wholesale of computers, peripherals to computers and software. The company was a supplier for at least 145 government contracts totaling over 1.1 billion rubles. Among its clients were the State Unitary Enterprise Petersburg Metropolitan (35 contracts for 266 million rubles), Rosalkogolregulirovanie (11 contracts for 326 million rubles), PJSC Rostelecom (ten contracts for 136 million rubles) and many others, including legal entities from the division of the state corporation Roscosmos, Ministry of Justice of Russia, regional departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You can roughly understand the degree to which a private firm is embedded in the IT infrastructure of large state assets and departments, as well as banks and large commercial companies in different sectors of the economy.
The owner of Complit Company LLC, which showed revenue of 820 million rubles in 2022, is Vitaly Kurduta - the person is rather not public. Kurduta has five computer and hardware trading and software development companies in its business portfolio. Companies, as well as the parent, are suppliers under government contracts.
Among the partners of the Company Complit, judging by the site, there are Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and the manufacturer of personal computers and printing equipment HP Inc. (created as a result of the separation of HPE).
The fact that Hewlett Packard Enterprise LLC (a Russian subsidiary of HPE) violated its obligations under contracts with the aforementioned company, says the arbitration base. For 2022-2023, the Complit Company filed four lawsuits against the company with German roots. From the materials of one case it follows that the defendant "unreasonably, in violation of the obligations assumed, ceased activities in the territory of the Russian Federation, which is confirmed by the notification of June 02, 2022."
At the same time, LLC has a contractual relationship with the company on services for the maintenance of equipment of end customers, including Megafon, State Unitary Enterprise Moskovsky metro, JSC Tikhvin Carriage Building Plant, JSC GK Etalon, State Unitary Enterprise Petersburg Metro. And, judging by the materials, the money in payment for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise as an advance went away, but the work was not completed. It is curious that one of the disputes between the firms - about the recovery of unjust enrichment in the amount of 75,154,924,41 rubles under partnership agreement No. 2BNZP of 21.07.2015 "- was considered by the court behind closed doors, because" the case file contains information constituting a commercial secret. "
Curious wording. And I immediately recall the reference of Fontanka to the 2015 deal, according to which $8.5 million sailed away from the country. Was it not about her? This case also revealed companies that sold equipment with technical support, but the latter was not provided in the end, although it was paid for through the HP Care Pack. The list of companies and departments is impressive.
Another legal dispute also mentioned a 2015 contract. His defendant terminated the technical support of the software and as a result, more than 128 million rubles of unjust enrichment were collected from him.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise LLC has been owned by offshore companies registered in the Netherlands all these years.
It would seem, and here "Hewlett Packard Enterprise" and Berezin, in addition to the fact that the business partner of the latter was allegedly involved in the case of servers? And then we observe an adulterous coincidence.
Previously, Mikoyan Alexander Nikolaevich was the director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise LLC. In open sources, Mikoyan was also mentioned as the vice president of the strategy, development and marketing group of SoftLine Group. It will not be superfluous to recall that the structure of SoftLine - Softline Trade was a defendant in the case of ex-Deputy Minister of Energy Anatoly Tikhonov, who is now being tried for alleged fraud worth more than 600 million rubles when creating the GIS TEK information system.
Softline JSC has been owned by Atalaya LLC since November 2022, which is owned by ZPIF Axioma Capital under the management of Tetis Capital LLC. In turn, Tetis Capital belongs to Oleg Belaya’s Trinfico JSC. In May 2023, RBC reported that Czech PPF Real Estate sold the Nevsky Center shopping center in St. Petersburg to Tetis Capital, the structure of the Trinfico investment company. But here’s what is interesting: literally in February 2023, Aptekarsky LLC, which owns the Vladimirsky Passage, Avenue and Cosmos shopping centers, was called a potential buyer. And what a coincidence: among the former owners of the "Pharmaceutical Garden," all the acquaintances are Andrei Berezin and his business partner Vasily Pavlov. The Sankt-Petersburg Post reported on the possible kinship of the mortgagee Maxim Zhukov with the authoritative businessman Vladimir Golubev, who received the nickname "Barmaley" back in the 90s. In addition, a certain Maxim Vladimirovich Zhukov was among the owners of the previously mentioned Auditexpert Company LLC. And at the same time, apparently, simultaneously with Berezin and Pavlov, since Zhukov left the participants only in 2021.
In April 2023, the Aptekarsky company was castled and today the owners are two closed-end investment funds - Quark 2 and Quark 3, whose beneficiaries are the secret behind seven seals. ZPIF is managed by Baltinvest UK LLC, which is owned by Alexander Vinnik (owner of Aurora LLC, which bought a dozen yacht club buildings in St. Petersburg in 2021) and Lev Nikitin. Vinnik’s assets also mentioned the Russian-Finnish enterprise Lipsanen Group.
So still, why did the deal between the Czechs and Aptekarsky fall through? Or did not fail, but just in the closed-end investment fund hid real beneficiaries? In this whole story, in fact, where you don’t spit - you will get to the closed-end investment fund. Convenient structure in order to hide assets and their beneficiaries.
As we can judge from all of the above, it is not only time to investigate the non-delivery of servers, but also the withdrawal of large sums, including through the liquidation of the entire chain of LLCs. And what is the role of the oligarch Berezin there, let the competent authorities decide.