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Wednesday, 24 January 2018, 11:40 AM GMT
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BUSINESS AND CORRUPTION. TREFILOV AND SVIAZ-BANK

 

PART I

“For Russia every entrepreneur is valuable, even the smallest one.”

 

2008 certainly became a turning point for Trefilov. In that year, he lost everything: the business, the Russian and German partners, gone was his market position, as well as the trust of many people who worked with him. The myth created by Trefilov about liquidity and benefits of his "super profitable" assets was destroyed in a few months.

It is necessary to recall that Marta Holding’s debt burden was steadily growing year after year. Numerous sources reported this at the time, noting that the debt of "Marta" was overtaking its profits. Aside from attracting more credit, from 2005 Trefilov additionally issued three bonded loans in volume of 3.7 billion rubles.

Trefilov conducted risky and aggressive regional expansion by acquiring for the purpose of resale dozens of retailers across Russia. From 2005 to 2007 the markets really did experience a sharp increase in prices for commercial real estate, but this moment was of short duration. Trefilov did not have money of his own, so his business was almost completely dependent on the availability of buyers, favours of banks and steady growth of the markets.

The money was brought in at a high interest rate, from 20% and above. Later, in an interview with RBC on 28/08/13, Trefilov recognizes that his investments "being structured as loans at 20% was madness", but since 2005 he has chosen this path and could not seem to stop.

The reinvesting of funds took time, so Trefilov started increasing the debt burden. By securing mortgage loans for acquired commercial property with equipment located within them (including that which belonged to the German partner), Trefilov temporarily covered the shortfall in funds. Apparently, to do this Trefilov sometimes made "empty" transaction, acquiring unprofitable properties in small towns, just "for the sake of quantity". Market analysts repeatedly questioned this practice and remained skeptical about the prospects of such a development.

For a long time Trefilov was certainly saved by having such a business partner like REWE., who helped Trefilov with money since 2004. Having the "Letter of Intent" with the giant company, the businessman could always go to any bank. Furthermore, while acting within the terms of the contract, REWE, held two large deals in the 4 years of cooperation with Trefilov. As a result not only was Trefilov able to reinvest his funds, but he also created a positive reputation in the eyes of the investor community. Other buyers for his retail chains were non-existent.

At the same time, the businessman’s appetites grew, as well as his debts. Quickly dealing with the situation, the Germans decided not to change the proven long-term development strategies for the ideas of instant enrichment of our "new Russian bogatyr" and refused to risk, or for that matter trying to save the unmanageable businessman by practically paying his debts. Meanwhile the situation was continuing to develop and became more aggravating with every year: Trefilov’s partners, including those from the Russian side, also openly opposed his strategy.

Since 2006 the ratio of debt to profit exceeded 7-11 times over, which was a critical indicator for the retail market. Many other market analysts and media talked about MARTA being on the verge of bankruptcy.

By 2007 the official debt amount by the Holding reached $ 550 million with revenue of $ 571 million. All of the year "MARTA" sought financial resources, to repay its existing credit obligations. To pay off old loans, new ones were made - the situation was becoming more dire. 

Since the end of the same year, the bondholders of "Marta Finance" began to dispose of said bonds in mass. Trefilov almost fully repaid the second issue bond commitments, paying 1 billion rubles, and in February 2008 a new queue of creditors was already waiting in line. He had to buy 2/3 of third issue securities for 1.3 billion rubles.

There was no money left, and therefore he had to actually sell 35.7% of RTM company shares to his partner E. Vyrypaev. On the other hand RTM was not only a key asset for Trefilov, but also a diversified one as well. Namely - a part of “Grossmart” stores were not included as part of RTM, but rented the retail space from it. So when the shares were sold to Vyrypaev, he received the definitive right to determine the value of the rent.

Of course all this did not suit Trefilov, since he had other plans and expectations for this asset. From September 2007 he persistently tried to sell “Grossmart” commercial real estate network to REWE at a clearly inflated price. After the selling of shares to E. Vyrypaev, part of the “Grossmart” stores that belonged to RTM were passed to Trefilov on legal grounds. 

Trying to climb out of the debt pit, which continued to grow deeper, Trefilov continued to risk and make fatal mistakes. Among them was a public scandal with Vyrypaev and subsequent legal actions initiated by Trefilov. The consequence of this were the collapse of share value for the OJSC (open joint-stock company) RTM, Trefilov’s bankruptcy and litigation that was known to be a lost cause for him.  

The sale of shares in RTM led to the loss of the best commercial real estate MARTA had, after which REWE naturally lost all interest in the disadvantageous deal and in Trefilov himself. Strictly speaking there was nothing left to buy, as the remaining capital had loans attached to it or was plain unprofitable.

In the same year (2008) Trefilov hastily sold the remnants of his business and real estate: gave up control of the store chain PUR PUR, sold KIT Finance, laid down internet trade, packaging plant "Pagoda" bought by his top managers…

In 2008 the total debt of all affiliated structures owned by Trefilov came close to 1 billion dollars. 

Five years later, in 2013 during an interview with the BBC, having apparently forgotten the facts of the case, Trefilov claimed he was the owner of a successful business, who did not have a motive "to steal one billion rubles from his own company, which was worth 45-50 billion rubles."

 

PART II

“There were some problems with debts…”

 

On May 22, 2008 a technical default was admitted on "MARTA" Holding bonds. The following day the money was "found", i.e. Trefilov was "rescued" by the then-friendly Sviaz-Bank. In the same month, on the website of the Moscow Arbitration Court, information was published about the 25 lawsuits filed in May 2008 by the creditor banks and suppliers of “MARTA”. The total sum of claims for May only was - $36,5 milloin

Despite the obvious, Trefilov misled the banks by saying he will be clearing the settlements with them soon, June - July 2008. But the banks were adamant this time and did not withdraw the lawsuits.

In late summer, there was a second default: on August 4th coupon interest was not paid to investors in the amount of 155.4 million rubles. Two days later the decline continued – the CJSC (closed joint-stock company) "Marta Finance" failed to repay the presented for redemption papers worth 1.202 billion rubles. The third instance was with the sixth coupon on the bonds of the second issue for the amount of 60 million rubles, which happened in winter, December 8th 2008. 

And he still needed to settle with the creditor banks.

According to credit obligations a substantial portion of the funds, received from Russian banks by providing false information (about the financial position of the borrower), was required to be returned in the second half of 2008. Moreover, the term payments on some of the loans were already previously postponed. 

For example, the Trade Finance Bank provided Trefilov with a right of repayment deferred for more than a year, from 2007 to 2008. The loan itself was received on 28th September 2006 with a repayment date being 28th September 2007. The amount of the loan was twenty-five million rubles.

The loan was not returned by Trefilov in due time, but instead (again) documents were provided containing false information for collateral purposes. The documents talked of household appliances and accessories, in an alleged trade turnover by the holding, worth 21,112,000 rubles.

Additionally, by entering into a supplementary agreement with one of the "daughters" of "MARTA", LLC "Interline", preferential credit conditions (a delay) were obtained, to return the already received credit for the period until 28th September 2008. 

The loan still has not been returned to the “TFB” bank. The amount of damages sums up to 25 million rubles. What follows are some more relevant figures.

Amongst the affected by the actions of Trefilov:

Sberbank (Tverskoye Branch) - damages amounted to 86 million rubles.

RGS Bank - damages amounted to 140 million rubles. Loans to these organizations were to be repaid no later than August 1st 2008 and September 5th 2008, respectively. 

Total number of such episodes in the case of Trefilov is 16. The overall (official) amount for damages caused to Russian banks is 1.9 billion rubles.

Recently (2013) Trefilov connected the bankruptcy of his holding to the global financial crisis. He repeats in the media that the banks (because of the crisis) "demanded early repayment of loans", to which he was not ready. Obviously, Trefilov is manipulating the facts.

All financial "pyramid schemes", as it is known, share a common trait - in contrast to their "stony ancestors", they always collapse. The same fate befell "MARTA", which, despite favorable conditions for economic development and actual luck, could not exist in conditions of endless risks, debts and expenses, which were used as "tools" by its creator - Trefilov. 

The question of whether to consider such actions as a valuable enterprise for the country or something else entirely (?) is perhaps best left to the competent authorities. One thing is clear though – Trefilov’s activities from 2002 to 2008 caused major material damage to the state. Furthermore, thousands of people were left without work, having accumulated from their time working in the holding: company debt, damaged credit history and tainted employment records.

 

PART III

“He did not know that he would deceive them in advance…”

 

Perhaps that point is debatable. But admittedly, Trefilov really had a certain entrepreneurial gift; at least for his own purposes George attracted funds masterfully. And not just by taking out securities on commercial equipment or hiding behind the big names of his business partners, whom he openly used where necessary.

The current "fighter against corruption and illegitimacy" and fresh "political" exile, a victim of raiders "afraid to return to Russia, because of possible unfairness to him", clearly knew how to "negotiate". He definitely could get huge amounts of money on absolutely fantastic conditions. Not surprisingly, being in such a "fairy tale" and having grown so accustomed to easily receiving money, he could have decided that the money doesn’t have to be returned.

According to the default judgment of the Tverskoy court of Moscow on July 28th 2009, a year earlier, when Trefilov’s business regularly “agonized”, the following happened.

May 22nd 2008, Mr. Trefilov together with his wife, Ms. Trefilova, and two trustees, who chose to become guarantors under the loan agreement, signed with OJSC "Sviaz-Bank" the Credit agreement number 1362/2008, under which the Bank granted to the Borrower Trefilov a loan of 700 000 000 (seven million rubles 00 kopecks) at a 17.5% APR for consumer purposes with a final repayment term up to August 1st 2008.  

As security for the fulfillment of the obligations under the Credit Agreement three agreements were signed with guarantors, Y.B. Trefilova, S.A. Poretskiy and A.P. Tkachenko, as well as two Pledge Agreements for two... vehicles. The collateral for 700 million rubles became 2 automobiles, a BMW 7601LI and a Chevrolet Express, priced according to the collateral agreements at 1,364,930 (one million three hundred sixty-four thousand nine hundred and thirty rubles) and 1,442,563 (one million four hundred forty two thousand five hundred sixty-three rubles) respectively. It is also known that, among other things, the Bank was offered Trefilov’s Ferrari car. The guarantee was given to the Sviaz Bank by the well-known then company belonging to Trefilov - LLC "Elekskor", which declared bankruptcy a mere 1.5 months after the events described. And...That is all. 

Could a common man do so? No, of course! Not every entrepreneur (!) could do so. Be proud country with your "best people"! Further the following is known:

After issuing to borrower Trefilov (note - physical and not legal entity) for a two month period an "urgent needs" seven million rubles, not only did Sviaz-Bank not get it back, but also they have not "seen" any interest or penalties or fines. And only after waiting 9 months, during which they have repeatedly offered Trefilov to settle, in 2009 Sviaz-Bank went to court.

The same default judgment shows that: Trefilov has not responded to any of repeatedly received letters requesting to return the amount loaned, the debt was not repaid and no consents or objections were made by Trefilov to the claims of the bank. Guarantors also failed to fulfill their legal obligations (according to available information, other than the spouse, Ms. Trefilova, they were drivers of the businessman).  

Neither Trefilov, who was properly informed (as evidenced by receipts), nor his legal representatives, nor any other defendants in the case have shown up in court. Evidence of proper conduct during the period of the agreement are absent, or any evidence of circumstances preventing him from adhering to the requests of the bank (apparently the raiders story was not yet "born").

So simple it turned out to be - even without lawyers, without explanations, anxiety and self-doubt of their own "legitimacy", the process was over for the Trefilov family on July 28th 2009.

Russian citizen and a multimillionaire businessman, who, in his words, "tried unsuccessfully to intervene" in the workings of the government and criticized "that, which in his opinion, was wrong" in the economic structure of the countryThe same man has completely ignored his own legal duties and showed great contempt for the court.  

"He still was here..."

P.S. But what happened to the money? What of the court? After reviewing all the circumstances and calculating the sum of the damages, the court granted the plaintiff's claims and decreed:

Termination of the Credit agreement 1362/2008 of 22nd May 2008 and to collect in solidarity from G. Y. Trefilov, Y. B. Trefilova, A. P. Tkachenko, S. A. Poretskiy - One billion forty-three million six hundred sixty-nine thousand nine hundred twenty-nine rubles 31 kopecks;

As well as the legal costs - 24 000 rubles.

Repossession of assets belonging to the Guarantors A. P. Tkachenko and S. A. Poretskiy, i.e. the already mentioned BMW and Chevrolet Express, with a total cost of 2,807,493 rubles (initial sale price).

But what is to be made of the rest, the one billion forty million eight hundred sixty-two thousand four hundred thirty-six rubles 31 kopecks? Left for the government, the government will pay! 

SCREENSHOT Default Judgment.

 

04.02.2014

CORRUPTION AS IT IS

 

PART I

THE BIG STORY

The tale about Trefilov would not be objective if we do not recall the "corruption" scandal. The big story was the conviction of Victor Gvozdev on charges of fraud, which in 2013 became the main basis of Trefilov’s alibi in the Russian and British media.

In this tale of "blatant extortion" the central figure and the main villain was a mere pensioner and hapless fraudster Victor Gvozdev.

For a long time Trefilov tried to accuse other employees in Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department and General Prosecutor's Office of similar involvement in his case. According to his public statements, he was repeatedly subjected to systematic extortion attempts by the law enforcement agencies.

The British justice and a number of Russian media reacted to this episode rather harshly and one-sidedly; at best - officially, they would end up limiting themselves to statements of facts of the investigation and Gvozdev’s trial.

Let us recall that Gvozdev was convicted under Art. 159 Part 4 (large scale fraud) and sentenced to 4 years' probation, having spent 8 months in Moscow’s SIZO (pretrial detention center) during the investigation.

Despite the complete consensus with the negative assessment of ex-prosecutor’s crimes, it is hard to agree with this approach on the part of the media. Such attitude distorts the impartial proceedings in respect of Trefilov himself and his actions, not to mention casts a shadow of doubt on the Russian law enforcement employees, who were not involved in the crime of V. Gvozdev.

The scheme in itself is not new. It helps to avoid legal punishment and allows criminals to hide the traces of their scams by conducting compromising provocations against the investigating authorities.

If successful, it is always accompanied by loud media publications that create the public opinion so important for the customer - a victim of "lawlessness" in need of support. Without taking into account the personality and deeds of the "victim", the figurant is almost always guaranteed a public amnesty.

And in the end this does more harm to the country than good - as the routine approach and the journalistic pursuit for "hot" facts often are no help in fighting social evil. Rather, they contribute to the formation of an opinion on one side that corruption in Russia and the entire country's legal judicial system are supposedly inseparable, while at the same time making it appear to the other side that wanted criminals to avoid trial flee in droves to UK, by cleverly taking advantage of the opportunities in the European legal system.

Additionally it is insinuated that in Russia everyone is accustomed to this state of affairs and no one practically tries to punish the corrupt officials in uniform and bribe takers, who are being “concealed” instead (protecting the “esprit de corps”), which in itself is terrible and way worse than the frauds of Gvozdev and Trefilov put together.

With such a pitch, the truth does appear on the side of Trefilov and other dubious businessmen, providing them in turn with the moral rights to impunity, which they use as they please.

To better illustrate, let us quote from Trefilov’s interview with the Russian service BBC, where he tries to justify his position in life and his crime using “aphorisms”:
•    “Law does not work in the country, there is no legitimate base.”
•    “Law is like a shaft of a cart, it points wherever you turn it to”,
•    “Every official in his place invents his own law”,
•    “I always compare a businessman in Russia to a bogatyr”.
•    “… Go right – lose your horse, left – you will die, and if forward you go – both you and your horse will die. And here (in Russia) respectively, to the left – police, to the right – prosecutor’s office, in front – bandits; and then a voice from above: If you stay here, you will get it here…”

Armed with this "mantra” and using against his enemies (investigators and creditors) like a magic talisman the Gvozdev case, Trefilov is still at large and, furthermore, is sympathised with. Mostly so because he accuses Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department of bias in their investigation and corruption, while Gvozdev is presented as a full-grown blackmailer, who, from his words, is "concealed by the system that does not hand over one of its own."

 

EXTORTIONIST or FRAUDSTER?

As proof of him being a victim of Russian corruption, Trefilov introduced to the Westminster Court of London three audio records of talks with Gvozdev, which were made by his representative G. Usupashvili, and a video with his participation. These entries were also posted on the Internet.

 We learn the following from the published content - a former employee of the General Prosecutor Office, Viktor Gvozdev, after receiving in December 2011 an advance from Trefilov’s representative for providing possible assistance to Trefilov ($ 50.000), comes to a meeting with his relative Usupashvili; it is worth mentioning that at first (1st conversation, March 1 2012) he says that the process of "resolving the issue" is actively going ahead, but then the next time (April 2 2012) he postpones indefinitely not only the decision on this matter, but any and all negotiations about it.

The third and last conversation on the subject occurred after more than half a year between Gvozdev and Trefilov himself. At that time Gvozdev has already managed to safely retire from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

To recall, their discussion was about the requalification of an article in the charges against Trefilov for a less serious one. So the Article 159 "Fraud" would become Article 176 "Illegal receipt of credit", and Gvozdev promised to negotiate with the heads of the Interior Ministry to make this possible.

However, in every conversation Gvozdev would talk of some sort of circumstances in the way. He would sometimes show fake "sympathy" and even "concern", while continuing to come up with reasons why the decision about Trefilov’s issue should be postponed. Then Gvozdev would leave, apparently convinced that the situation is under his control.

These “negotiations” continued for a YEAR, and the longer Gvozdev was away from the affairs of the Ministry (Gvozdev retired in April 2012) the less encouraging became his generously interspersed with insults “consultations”.

In fact, on April 2 Gvozdev "closes" the subject by openly declaring its finality. He said: "Wait means wait". The conversation with Usupashvili ended with the phrase: "We have to wait. May, June, ... In the end there might be something I can do [on the condition that there will be a change in leadership of the Investigation Department - Yagudin, Lapshov and others]". This plainly tells of Gvozdev’s uncertainty in achieving the desired by Trefilov result and actually denies the statement given in the Westminster court of London about extortion on the part of said high-ranking officials - Lapshov, Churashkin (from the complete recording of the conversation it is made clear that they believe Trefilov to be a fraudster), and investigator Konovalova, who, according to Gvozdev, obeys the management and "does not decide anything herself".

*Full versions of the conversations can be found on Kompromat.ru. We only publish excerpts due to excessive levels of profanity contained in the texts.

The same officials of the Investigative Department and the General Prosecutor’s Office would at first allegedly “agree in principle to help, even without an appearance [by fugitive Trefilov in Moscow]”, then he would need to appear for questioning after all, and in the next conversation – Gvozdev’s only hope is a change of management.

For all the "wealth" of Gvozdev’s vocabulary (it is worth mentioning that his speech is a mixture of slang used exclusively in working-class suburbs and by employees of the penitentiary system), same could not be said about the quality of content that was given by the "savior - extortionist" in his information. From the point of view of legal norms of the Russian Federation, the advice that the "corrupt official" gave Usupashvili, and hence Trefilov, was confusing and illiterate, sometimes even illogical, and gave all the signs of a 100 percent fraud on the part of the former prosecutor. Yet it is difficult to suspect of legal ignorance a person with a track record of 30 years in the Interior Ministry.

In particular, it is noteworthy that the content of the Application (which is a Claim and an Appeal, from the words of Gvozdev, simultaneously. Note - in Russia these are completely different concepts and types of documents), that was to be prepared by Trefilov’s lawyer following Gvozdev’s "recommendations", is not only contrary to the law of the Russian Federation and does not have any actual power (about which Victor Pavlovich clearly knows), but also has to be transferred to Gvozdev directly, who by that time was already retired (!).

Everything must go through him alone. This requirement makes it doubtful that this way the documents would reach their destination, i.e. the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (apparently due to another obvious falsehood, the documents mentioned have not been submitted through the "reception" of Viktor Pavlovich, and neither the ex-official nor Trefilov’s relative  have anything else to add about the making of this questionable Application).

Furthermore, during two conversations Gvozdev carefully insists that Trefilov should still come to Moscow to give a truthful testimony and plead guilty to Article 176, even considering that it is such a high probability of arrest for Trefilov (he is wanted by Interpol since 2011). Thus, we can assume that Gvozdev was not going to help Trefilov at all or even provide a relatively innocuous legal support. According to an excerpt of their conversation, Gvozdev did not even read Trefilov’s Case (?).

It is significant that Gvozdev, having "negotiated" with his superiors, suddenly brings the negotiations with Usupashvili to a standstill. He changes (usually upward) the requested amount of the "bribe", and then he immediately raises questions and protests against it, telling Usupashvili to "bargain, as this is a market", to "put the money into a [safety deposit] box, so as not to get tricked" and other similar nonsense.

It is obvious that if Gvozdev was really taking bribes, there would be a mechanism for transfer of large sums of money that was firmly-established and under serious control - none of the "exotic methods" involving banking institutions should even be brought up here. And if he wanted to get more money, he probably would not provoke a "customer" into debates about the value of a bribe to a mythical supervisor...

Besides this is about the transfer of bribes and not the selling of apartments (in Russia a widespread method for mutual settlements is the purchase – sale of real estate).

Using a bank in Russia in such circumstances is obviously impossible. Since we are talking about Gvozdev and Usupashvili, the transaction would not be legitimate; hence involving deposit boxes for bribe transfers is very risky (especially so for Gvozdev).

Remains completely unclear what these two parties, who both have access to the vault and the keys to it, could possibly prescribe in the mandatory tripartite Agreement with the Bank as a condition for admission to the deposit box with the money?

What documents could Gvozdev bring with him to the bank to withdraw money (for himself and supposedly his superiors)? Would it be the Decision to drop criminal proceedings against Trefilov under Article 159 or the Requalification of articles in the charges against Trefilov?

And if the access to the deposit box was left with one of them (for example Gvozdev’s trustee) until the issue has been solved, then how would the so-called "Transaction" between them be safer and what would prevent one of the parties being cheated?

The absurdity of this “business proposal” for the purposes of “security” needs no proof.

This may seem pointless. But there is meaning behind it – Gvozdev was trying to buy more time until his retirement, so that he could distance himself from this case. And that is why he imitated “activity” to deceive Trefilov, while in reality he wasn’t going to do anything. After receiving his “prepayment” through an intermediary, he would try to bury the unsolvable issue by tricking Trefilov, changing the conditions of the deal, talking about big payments to be made ($500.000 supposedly “for the bosses”) with no guarantees – thus complicating the “negotiation process” and forsaking his previous promises.

Note: There was never any pressure or threats made by Gvozdev against Trefilov. What’s more, at times you can clearly hear that the whole situation weighs on him. No wonder, in the course of conversation with Usupashvili he suddenly, without cause, strayed and started to talk with unnecessary detail about his financial problems (which are similar to the case, by the way, as Gvozdev is trying to return money too). He continued explaining that if it wasn’t for the debts, he would have never gotten involved in this matter, or literally “I’d rather have slept well”.

A quote from Gvozdev: “No money is needed then…” and “God forbid, there might be a set up too… All I want in this situation is to just get out” (from conversation on March 1 2012), - here he repeatedly and plainly states that he is afraid.

We believe that such kind of talk has nothing in common with cynical extortion or corruption, but is rather a consequence of Gvozdev’s uncertainty and stress from realising his situation and understanding what has happened, as a result of which he transgressed moral norms and committed fraud in its classic form. (This, by the way, is reminiscent of Trefilov’s “re-crediting”, where he attracted more and more new loans to pay off old debts, thus building a “Ponzi scheme”, which led to an investigation and then him fleeing to UK after being accused of fraud).

Trefilov’s relative Usupashvili tried to help by recording the two conversations and during the illegal meetings attempted to set Gvozdev "necessary" leading questions. He would also utter (out of place) names of those leaders of the Interior Ministry, which were within the scope of interests and conflicts to Trefilov, so that the recording was as convincing as possible when creating future evidence for Trefilov’s "innocence" in the eyes of the English court, which would be deciding the question of his extradition to Russia.

But during this task Usupashvili was timid and struggled to steer the conversation back on the needed track [and actually build a constructive conversation] when talking with an experienced and competent police official (Gvozdev). Because of that he was forced to agree with all of Gvozdev’s "inferences", align with him on the matter, apparently in order not to scare him off, and not dispute anything with his companion, even when Gvozdev [while watching him] talked complete nonsense.

Realizing that he won’t be able to independently gain from Gvozdev the full "invoice" for the charges, he nevertheless was able to persuade him to talk directly with Trefilov via Skype, after which the game moved into the territory of criminal and judicial proceedings in the United Kingdom and Russia.

This way throughout the year Trefilov tried to gather incriminating material on a group of employees of the Interior Ministry and the General Prosecutor’s Office. From his words, he was “trying to catch them in the act”[extortion] (RBC August 28 2013 “When I feel into a trap”).

But this version is refuted by the very questions he asked the ex-official on Skype. He literally pressured and took out of Gvozdev, as if with pincers, the names of Interior Ministry superiors, so that he could later allege their involvement in the “deal”. This makes the whole operation look more like a planned provocation than a gathering of evidence. And this in itself speaks volumes.

From all of the conversations we can conclude that an unlawful relationship was intentionally created between Usupashvili the mediator and Gvozdev, primarily in the interests of Trefilov himself. Among other things this is indicated by the length of “association”, as Trefilov gives the Statement about Gvozdev’s actions (in Russia and UK) only one YEAR later, after transferring him a large sum and not at the time of said transfer.

Trefilov couldn’t fail to notice that year that Gvozdev was “leading him by the nose”. From his own words, he had experience in negotiations of this kind, as he had repeat contact with the siloviki. Furthermore, by his own admission Trefilov, during the many years of doing business, paid for “protection” and so on. (See the story about the representatives of law enforcement agencies in BBC and RBC Daily).

Additionally, there is evidence from reliable sources that neither Gvozdev nor Konovalova have initiated the "dialogue" with Trefilov. The businessman's lawyer V. Oganesyan, who represented his interests, was the one to start the initial talks with Gvozdev, and then the rest of the operation was taken over by Trefilov’s relative.

The same lawyer represented Trefilov in the "Prodmak" case with Maxim Vasiliev and was also seeking to make a criminal case against the ex-politician (2007).

Obviously, Trefilov’s motive was to orchestrate the story with Gvozdev and obtain some necessary "evidence" (which was in fact just leverage on legal institutions) to defend his interests, especially in the case of the extradition request by the General Prosecutor's Office.

Seeing as no one else would deal with Trefilov, V. Gvozdev would prove enough, as well as all the essentially illegal and empty promises and just pure nonsense he told Trefilov on tape.

 

JUSTICE, TREFILOV STYLE

 

As follows from the same transcripts, for the money received Gvozdev has not provided any new or "confidential" information to Trefilov. The facts that he "gave" Usupashvili to pass along had hardly any operational value.

Trefilov knew without Gvozdev’s help the names of the department heads, as well as the fact that an active investigation and an article requalification (from Article 176 to Article 159 Part 4 of the Criminal Code) occurred in his case after Interior Minister Nurgaliyev received an official request in respect of the case against the MARTA Holding, which described the circumstances of the applicants asking to affect the slow and inefficient work of the investigation.

As Gvozdev said, the offended Banks tried their best, as the amount of credit unpaid by Trefilov caused major damage, while the circumstances of obtaining that credit prevented the victims from compensating their losses with debtor’s property. The equipment within the outlets, which served as collateral, already had several loans attached to it or belonged to Trefilov’s German partner.

After the Appeal from bank executives the old investigative team was replaced with a new one, led by Lieutenant Colonel Irina Konovalova, an experienced investigator best known for investigation of resonant and complex cases. Other members of the newly formed investigative team were seconded from different regions of Russia.

Thus active investigation work has begun: gathering of evidence, expert analysis of documents and cross-examination of MARTA’s staff. And the results after six months did not speak in favor of Trefilov. In autumn of 2010, when the charges were changed by Konovalova, he hastily left the country (he was warned about the presentation of the new charges and possible arrest).

Several examinations were still to take place. But judging by the comments of Gvozdev, the possible results of these examinations would be “alarming” for Trefilov.

Konovalova, however, in 2 years’ time managed to find abundant evidence, which made the businessman use great effort to try and remove the inconvenient investigator from the case.

You just need to try and understand Trefilov’s logic - when he initiates an Appeal as a result of his business-problems and conflicts with M. Vasiliev - it's legal, but when the Banks and other partners demand to investigate where their money is - it's illegal.

When M. Vasiliev and his co-workers are put behind bars, regardless of disputable evidence or newly discovered facts (which are in favor of the accused and their defense) - it is a triumph of justice (?). Then when Trefilov himself might be imprisoned – he says things like: - "I am not a hero, so in such a situation I could not remain in the country" (RBC August 28 2013 "When I fell into a trap").

There is probably some justice (legitimacy) in the fact that the Official Appeal was sent by the already familiar with the situation Gennady Gudkov, who was asked to help this time by the deceived representatives of the largest banks in the country, which raises the question: on what basis does Trefilov always talk about bias in his case?

Some mass media have provided a platform for Trefilov to launch attacks on disliked by him investigators, witnesses in criminal and civil cases, ex-partners. They all but actually took over the functions of lawyers by confirming unproven facts.

And despite the fact that he has nothing but conjectures of lawyers and opinions made by Judge Nicholas Evans, about the involvement of Gvozdev’s colleagues in "extortion", Trefilov still tried to look for ways to collapse his criminal case, not hesitating to do anything.

Therefore, next thing to happen was pouring of dirt on Russia, investigators and former colleagues in the media, as well as the Westminster court; folk sayings, confabulations about ministers, public calls to country’s rulers, well-known names, that have little to none relation to Trefilov, and even the 79th position in the ranking of FORBES (2011), which doesn’t belong to him.

Trefilov is bankrupt since 2008. The history with the ranking is hardly a coincidence, since the image of a bankrupt businessman is simply not compatible with the format of some publications, in which he gave "exclusive" interview. The fact of long-term bankruptcy does not give weight to his words and statements, especially in the West, even under such information pretext as the use of a false passport in the country that provided legal support.

 

MISSLEADINGS AND SEMANTICS

 

Let us return to Gvozdev. All of the outlined circumstances and findings were taken into account when the court in Russia made its judgement against him. Gvozdev (logically) was recognized guilty of fraud, to which he already agreed during the investigation.

Among the facts is the Skype call with Gvozdev recorded by Trefilov. Quite noticeable is the evasive behavior of Gvozdev. He would always cover his mouth and glance around: firstly, the gesture speaks of dishonesty and cowardice; secondly, he may have suspected that Trefilov was recording the call and attempted to complicate the possible future identification of his speech. When talking on a street with Usupashvili, Gvozdev would more than once lower his voice and ask to talk “quietly" and "without names", telling his companion - "What if someone is listening?".

Such quirks raise the question of how can Gvozdev appear to be a raider or even a confident of impunity, brazen and corrupt official, who is supposedly "backed up" by the top brass that endorses his actions?

Gvozdev’s behaviour is not typical of an experienced bribe-taker - he is unsure in what he is saying (can’t remember what he said last time?), very unclear and has a guilty look about him.

In addition, he is already a pensioner (about which he prefers not to tell Usupashvili or Trefilov), and, accordingly, he does not have the former authority and influence in the Russian Interior Ministry. And most importantly - he names large sums of money ($ 1 million), but the process for their transfer is left incomplete; throughout the year Gvozdev did not make any serious attempt to get the money (actually, there was no compelling justification to do so). On the contrary, it seems that having received the "advance", Gvozdev tries to avoid contact with Trefilov and his representative.

But the British Justice issued an unambiguous verdict in favor of Trefilov, calling everything that to him happened "a horrific example of corruption in Russia". And we think that's because...

Of course, not knowing the infinite variety of the Russian language (and thinking in English), Judge Nicholas Evans, who lives in the monarchical UK, could not, by definition, understand all of the existing nuances and fully comprehend what was happening.

The situation, that we describe, is unambiguously clear only for native Russian speakers and in this case is a lot like a bad anecdote from the life of prosecutors, a silly "tale" or maybe a small-criminal story from a second-rate American film about the life of a scam artist. Everything said by Gvozdev is in fact so absurd and stupid, that it can cause nothing but same silly laughter in a Russian that listens to it, except maybe for outrage that a police official would even allow himself such an act and a clearly criminal "game".

But a Brit, who is also a lawyer and a judge, would not share such an opinion, if only because of the difference in thinking and mentality, and most importantly, the variance between the Russian and European legal logic and other important legal principles and basis.

We assume, that the direct translation of the idiomatic expressions used by the ex-prosecutor (!) would make him lose consciousness all together, especially considering the descriptions of possible abuse, in perverted form, to be done to Trefilov [in case he agrees to the charges against him according to Article 176 of the Criminal Code and signs written confessions upon arrival in Moscow] and the threats to the lives of intermediaries representing his interests. These are the conclusions that the experts had to reach after the direct English translation of Gvozdev’s speech.

Culture experts and linguists are not involved (except in very difficult situations) in such cases. Considering that the explanation was given by Trefilov and his lawyers, when submitting evidence in court (which can be seen from the Notes to the published records made by them), the opinion of the British court was formed under serious influence of a stakeholder.

Of course, it is impossible to explain to any judicial system the terminology used by the part of mankind that works in law enforcement of our country. Not to mention, the mentality, that forms this language with all its nuances, "black" humor, and sometimes absolutely infantile "cynicism".

It is also a well-known fact that in UK Trefilov used the services of an international law firm «Peters & Peters», which specializes in such matters. The cost for legal representation, of course, is not cheap – £500-700 per hour, but freedom - is priceless... The experienced lawyers wisely took advantage of the definite ambiguity of the situation. And so Trefilov was not handed over to the Russian authorities, because the court was guided by the fundamental principles of the law and the presumption of innocence.

In any case, Gvozdev’s actions are not justifiable by these arguments. The reputational damage that he has caused the country, and the mentioned individuals, has, unfortunately, been dealt by the very fact of such "relationship" between the ex-prosecutor and the defendant, as well as the fraud committed by Gvozdev in the amount of $ 50,000.

But we are past talking about him (he got his just sentence and returned the money to the victim). It is time we talk about Trefilov, the groundlessly discredited by him employees of Interior Ministry and other participants of the case.

 

I. KONOVALOVA and the attack on those, who “vex” Trefilov

 

On December 13 2012 Gvozdev was arrested. Then on December 15 Tverskoy court extended the arrest of the ex-prosecutor.

Trefilov erupted with dozens of angry publications both in the mass media and on the internet. By receiving, through efforts of Usupashvili, compromising materials on the senior (albeit former) official, he won not only the court in Britain for his extradition, but also won a moral victory – the British authorities have imposed a penalty on Russia in favor of Trefilov in the amount of $ 1 million. Russia did not pay this penalty, having disagreed with the imposed burden. But having achieved a further investigation of the case and using the scandal in the Interior Ministry, Trefilov decided not to rest on his laurels and continued the attack.

Indeed, Trefilov would not be Trefilov if he didn’t try to go further.

For 2-3 months there were continued discussions and fabrications, which at time became slander on the internet, in relation to I. Konovalova, P. Lapshov, S. Churashkin and others. And all of them came down to same point - "London Court is in horror" or "The signal came from London". The story was mostly picked up by tabloid and yellow press.

Within the "slim version" again begin to appear the names of his former business partners as the commissioners of the "persecution" against Trefilov and, interestingly, all at once too.

The theme was picked up by the journalists of liberal media and then affiliated bloggers, who would replicate and distribute the information that Trefilov needed, but which did not correspond to reality at all or was presented in a favorable for him light.

From these materials only one conclusion follows - Trefilov has nothing close to criminal about him, only honor, truth and accomplishments.

While accusing of all his troubles the Investigative Department, they always refer to the verdict of Judge Evans, who had not (and could not have) anything to do with the investigation in respect of Gvozdev or other employees of the Interior Ministry, and only solved the issue of Trefilov’s extradition.

And so, against the background of the scandal and in good information conditions, the Mediavirus has spread.

As part of the investigation of the V. Gvozdev case, investigators and employees of the Investigative Department were brought in to testify, including I. Konovalova, who was given the status of "suspect" for a time.

Since Konovalova was the leader of the investigative team, which was actively engaged in the Trefilov case since the end of 2009, it was natural to assume that Trefilov would want to refute all the results of the investigation by using compromising materials and dramatic statements (he had nothing to lose anyway).

Konovalova retired at the end of 2012. Trefilov needed Gvozdev, apparently, in order to cast a shadow of doubt on her in the first place (they knew each other link http://pasmi.ru/arcgive/78426). And so to this end they recorded every word of the ex-prosecutor, taking advantage of his talkative nature and financial dependence from the situation.

During the interrogation Gvozdev confessed that he wanted to cheat Trefilov out of selfish motives and could not really help him in reality. In the examination with Konovalova he testified that his actions were not coordinated with anyone and conducted alone. After a thorough investigation, in autumn 2013 all suspicions against Konovalova were assuredly dropped. ("Kommersant" 04.02.2014).

But the press hounding did not stop there. A dozen voices could probably gain momentum, but solo performances could not become a chorus – as luck would have it, 2 months after his victory, Trefilov gets put behind bars. What else can be said here, except as the saying goes - "A guilty mind betrays itself…"

 

GONE IS THE “THEME”

By the time of his arrest, Trefilov got himself a kind of "public defenders", mostly some journalists and bloggers. One of them, a journalist from "Novaya Gazeta", Irek Murtazin was apparently passionately interested in his own significance, and so came up with a kind of alibi and an excuse for Trefilov’s crime  - saying, the businessman had to secretly meet with this reporter to give him secret information about corruption in Russia and then, because of fear of arrest, he used another person’s passport.

It turns out that Trefilov in early February 2013 complained to I. Murtazin that "Gvozdev’s case is nearing full stop", that they do not want to accuse Gvozdev of extortion, etc., all because within the Interior Ministry there is, apparently, some sort of corporate conspiracy.

MEDIAVIRUS

"Explanatory notes" of Murtazin. SIGNATURE: MEDIAVIRUS. All underlined is false information. 79th ranking in FORBES 2011 belongs to A. Kosogov, and not Trefilov. None of the existing financial ratings for 2011 even mention G. Trefilov. The last time Trefilov was seen in the rankings was in 2008 (see. Media section)

Irek Murtazin Minzakievich - a journalist and blogger of Tatar descent, a political activist and a special correspondent for "Novaya Gazeta". Gained a reputation as a specialist in "media propaganda" and black PR, as a result of a major scandal that arose after he deliberately posted on his blog false information about the sudden death of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev (September 12 2008). Among other things, the message contained information that made the company shares of "Tatneft" crash on the stock exchange in the same day. In September 2008, following a statement by M. Shaimiev about bringing the journalist to justice for his defamation and dissemination of discrediting information, a criminal case was made - firstly against the unidentified persons, and then in December 2008 against Murtazin. He was charged with "inciting hatred or enmity, as well as the humiliation of human dignity on the basis of belonging to a social group "government officials" committed publicly, through use of media with the threat of violence, defamation and breach of privacy". Murtazin was found guilty of defamation (Part 2 of Article 129 of the Criminal Code) and inciting hatred or enmity on grounds of belonging to a particular social group (Part 1 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code). He was sentenced to serving the sentence for a term of 1 year and 9 months in the penal colony settlement. Murtazin was released in 2011.

See below comments to the underlined text.

Trefilov did not support this crazy idea (preferring to use his wife’s illness instead) - so ridiculous was the version proposed by the journalist. Not only was there nothing preventing them from conducting their meetings in Britain but also in the 21st century there are hundreds of ways for secure transfer of information over a great many distances.

There is cynical deceit right on the surface – because Trefilov was detained upon ENTRY into UK, which means on the way back from his trip to Spain - respectively, what could in this case prevent their meeting [with Murtazin] outside the UK?

The written material was the result of ignorance and misinformation on the part of Murtazin – the Russian news agencies did not confirm the information and at first reported that Trefilov was arrested while trying to LEAVE the host country - UK (e.g. IA Rosbalt March 29 2013).

Especially strange is his phrase about the close cooperation with Trefilov and his lawyers...

Nevertheless, the "honest" journalist and guardian of the law, without hesitation, wrote: "Our meeting with Trefilov was thwarted (?! Rather odd way to think) by the British border guards when Trefilov tried to LEAVE (?) the country...” Then he added to it, saying that Gvozdev was arrested, but "only on charges of mere fraud”.

To note, it is a shame that they disrupted your meeting, but is it not common practice in this case to write a refutation. And tell us, in your life full of human rights wars have you not heard of civil rights, such as the presumption of innocence?

Or are these rights supposed to be enforced only in the case of Trefilov? Do Gvozdev and other members of the Interior Ministry not have these civil rights?

AND, ACTUALLY, THE MAIN QUESTION TO YOU: DON’T YOUR VIEWS HINDER YOU WHEN FIGHTING AGAINST LAW VIOLATIONS, if the actions of the Border Service in the UK are accompanied by your questionable comments, while the information about the alleged direct involvement of the Investigative Department and the Prosecutor General's Office in the scandalous case you are trying to pass off as the absolute truth, pending the court decisions in Russia?

Upon reading Murtazin’s articles the following questions arise:

What does "the case is nearing full stop" mean? Gvozdev was arrested on 13 December 2012 and was put in the pre-trial detention center, nothing more could be done. Does this mean that contrary to the wishes and interests of Trefilov the only one arrested was Gvozdev?

The article is clearly an attempt to put pressure on the investigation.

To confirm this, Murtazin quotes Trefilov: "What kind of objective investigation can be discussed if it is under the control of the very employees of the Interior Ministry, which Gvozdev referred to when he extorted money from me?"

Could it be that neither Trefilov nor Murtazin knew that in principle this is legally impossible?

And what about the fact that the employees (whose names Trefilov and Usupashvili rather extracted from Gvozdev, than have him "refer" to them) by the beginning of 2013 haven’t worked in the Investigative Department for at least six months and could not control the investigation into Gvozdev’s case? Was this also not known to them?

Konovalova left at the end of 2012, Gvozdev was arrested, while already on pension and P. Lapshov (who right now has a law practice) retired in the fall of 2012, being on sick leave up to that point.

Also in early October 2012 the entire Investigative Unit of the Interior Ministry has been removed in connection with the "organizational and staffing changes". This was reported in detail by the media, including Rosbalt on October 29 2012, in the article "Magnitsky case was left without investigators".

It is obvious that Trefilov mistimed, when he was asking a leading question about the possible involvement of Lapshov in the "case", during the conversation with Gvozdev on Skype. The video shows that during this last conversation Gvozdev was sitting in a car, warmly dressed (in a winter jacket) – so most likely this was in November-December of 2012.

There is another interesting detail - between the lines was “thrown in" a piece of disinformation - "A GROUP OF POLICE OFFICIALS WAS INVOLVED IN EXTORTION" - meaning, not just Gvozdev, but the whole department.

Aside from this, - different types of media have repeatedly pointed out several facts indicating contradictions in Trefilov’s position about the case.

1. Once Gvozdev was arrested, in an article from Novaya Gazeta 19 December 2012, written by I. Murtazin, Trefilov commented with the following: "I think that only Gvozdev will be convicted. Frankly I feel sorry for him, because he was just a switchman... now if they managed to unwind the whole chain...”

2. In the beginning of February 2013, he proceeds to seemingly complain to Murtazin that “Gvozdev’s case is coming to full stop", because "It is in the control of those who Gvozdev referred to when extorting money ..."

3. From BBC May 16 2013 Trefilov - Antonenko: "I believe that the charges against me are still yet to be proven, as a series of assessments were not carried out.”

4. RBC August 28 2013, Trefilov pointed out that "really nothing has changed in his case, no new examinations set, nothing at all."

5. At the same time, it was repeatedly noted in the media that the investigation of the Gvozdev case was complicated by the fact that Trefilov, despite the requests sent by the General Prosecution to Britain, refused to take part in the investigation as a victim, either during the inquiry or during court.

6. When the time came to sentencing (suspended sentence) in Tverskoy court, on January 24 2014, in respect of Gvozdev, it was taken into account that Trefilov was fully reimbursed for damages and that Trefilov personally asked the court for leniency to the ex-prosecutor.

Now it becomes clear that Gvozdev was not the target (and therefore, no extortionist and no group of conspirators). Trefilov aimed for someone else and missed.

The whole activity was built, as can be seen, around the "bargaining" with the investigation, conducting examinations (the importance of a "safety net" with these examinations was emphasized by Gvozdev among others), reviewing of the case, the cancellation of the international search. It seems that the media pressure on the authorities of the Interior Ministry was done with a specific purpose.

As for the "sensational news" and "the tug of war", judging by only two materials from Trefilov’s typical PR support – a saying comes to mind: "Like father, like son."

Stuff like the fake ranking in 2011’s richest, the three times “bloated” by “lawyers” prices of long-dead assets (all official sources denied the estimate of $ 1.5 billion by at least 2-3 times), the supposedly “accidentally” said phrase “Trefilov owned RTM”, - all of these become no longer worth mentioning. It is quite clear now that all of it is just cheap tricks.

ALL OF THE PRESENTED FACTS CAN BE FOUND IN THE OPEN ACCESS ARCHIVES OF VEDOMOSTI, KOMMERSANT AND ROSBALT.

 

PART II

A FIGHT WITHOUT NONSENSE

 

In May 2013, after the trial in Lewes Trefilov was released, receiving a mere 18 month suspended sentence for his use of two fake documents.

He commented on the infamous incident with a look of a “tired celebrity” – “Well, of course, it was stupid,” and then he continues to stick to his lines.

BBC May 16 2013 in the article "G. Trefilov talks about the false passport and the extradition”, he says, that he was repeatedly extorted for money, and not only by Gvozdev, but by a whole group of co-conspirators from the Interior Ministry. Then he would rattle on about some nameless FSB officers, who apparently offered him for money", 10, 20, 30 percent of the lost assets, to return his business (?). Having no evidence to present for this event, he only goes on to "threatening" to say their names.

Still NO evidence was brought forth to this day.

And what percentage would address the issue of not returning tens of millions ($) in debt by MARTA? Perhaps someone “approached” Trefilov with such proposals.

Three months later, on August 28 2013 in an interview to RBC Daily appeared an ominous title “When I fell into a trap”. (Link) There are a total of 2 versions for this fusion of dark fantasy (by Trefilov) and unethical journalism – one for the newspapers, one for online. It reminds less of RBC and more of tabloid press – an artificially inflated “sensation”, huge portraits reminiscent of a decade ago, front page without news, unconvincing for a business newspaper content. “The gaps have been filled in” as follows:

1. There are 10 differences between these versions, but we will focus only on two.

In the newspaper Trefilov’s tone with respect to Konovalova and other investigators balances "on the brink" and full of characteristic for a criminal mind insults towards the investigators ("most of them are - greedy, dishonest people who are used to earning on everything"). He also says that Gvozdev was introduced to his lawyers by Konovalova, because she too wanted to "pocket" some money. At the same time, he develops a theory that Konovalova was "working on his capture" with a group of officers of the FSB ("this" can be seen on the page 4 of the newspaper RBC Daily, August 28 2013 in the conclusion of the interview. For the full text version of the newspaper see Media heading).

2. But in the online version this "classic" proceeds to change from an analysis to slander. Becomes evident Trefilov’s desire to put pressure on the court through public opinion (Gvozdev case had its first hearing two weeks before the article was published).

Completely different to the newspaper [the original] is the first part of the interview, where in the second paragraph Trefilov states with absolute certainty that Gvozdev and Konovalova fully admitted during the interrogations that the case against him was fabricated, that it was, from his words, “contrived”.

All the while, the investigation in Moscow has, apparently, been doing nothing. That is, as if there is no investigation.

In reality, Konovalova was cleared of all suspicions, while on August 9 2013 there was a first hearing of the Gvozdev case. During the hearing, despite the protests from the General Prosecutor’s Office, the court changes the punishment of 61-years old Gvozdev to house arrest, due to aggravation of his diabetes and worsening of his health in general.

Ordered media "propaganda". Note the following detail - the front page of the newspaper version contains accusations against former partner and managers. While the online version - "sincere confessions", supposedly made by Konovalova and Gvozdev.

One shot two birds?

Furthermore, having "forgotten" that he himself repeatedly over the past years commented on the circumstances of his bankruptcy, Trefilov laments: "there was a lot of untruths written before, based on the comments of third parties with unclear information sources". What did he give to confirm his words? Nothing, except the words: - "I did not have such legal opportunity like now [to comment, to respond] - I was attacked from all sides."

The Laws of the Russian Federation do not limit anyone, under any circumstances, to the right of free speech, including in the media. This is especially true when the case is of great importance to the citizen (except for information constituting secrecy of the investigation, this kind of disclosure is limited by a subscription). But if Trefilov left the country during the investigation and violated his parole, what legal barriers could there be for this person?

When reading the interview our attention was drawn to the comments of Trefilov’s former partner - Boris Vasiliev, who answered questions posed to him by the journalist A. Levinskaya. Vasiliev was not aware of what his opponent, that is Trefilov, was saying in relation to the events under discussion (those are the rules of journalism).

Not one answer, given by the former shareholders, matched, which can not be random or be ignored. Meanwhile, Boris Vasiliev along with other lead managers was to blame for his misfortunes, according to Trefilov. Oh, this habit of seeking “someone to point the finger at".

Blaming all of his former partners and colleagues, in fact Trefilov can not hide his disappointment - being witnesses in the litigation against Trefilov in Austria since 2008, his partners have completely refuted his testimony and took the principle position in the case. (See Colleagues and Partners, part 2)

It is curious that Trefilov claims to the media that he is the one suing, that is he positioned himself as a claimant (A. Mamontov’s show "On the run", October 2013). Nevertheless, in 2008 he tried to blame one of the German managers P. Dietenberger of breach of trust, but he was refused (and without the typical for Austrian justice time delays), since he could not provide to police or court any of the needed evidence.

But the fact that this episode happened means, we can talk about it in the press for years.

In RBC, once more after 5 years, he insists that the same people, in the interests of REWE, ruined his enterprise, obstructed the deal, “aggravated the creditors” and then “ordered” the charges on him, so that he would “not interfere” with the plan.

3. Among other things the interview touches on the story of the already mentioned lead manager of the German partner – P. Dietenberger, who, from words of Trefilov, for a long played a big role in the joint venture.

Trefilov informs that in the early 2005 he allegedly caught Mr Dietenberger embezzling funds from the company. The sum of these supposed funds reached 5.5 million dollars (!). Having found this out, Trefilov said that he recorded the manager’s confession on video and then met with Fanderl, Dietenberger’s former superior, who [according to Trefilov] was involved in this incident.

From Trefilov’s account what followed was a difficult discussion between them, where they managed to come to some sort of agreement, and so the cooperation actively continued until the beginning of 2008 (in particular, Mr Dietenberger was authorised to handle important negotiations on behalf of Trefilov)

If the above is true, then this raises the question – why has this become a subject of interest only in 2013 and at an interview to the press no less? At the very least, this appears to be a vengeful gesture, a reputational blackmail or an attempt to apply pressure on the mentioned individuals through a public medium. Or it might be that Trefilov had no news or evidence and in their absence decided to compensate by making “shocking” statements.

Upon closer inspection of these suggestions an explanation can be found.

4. In the newspaper version, to the question of A. Levinskaya:
“Why haven’t you appealed to the competent authorities?”
Follows Trefilov’s response:

“I held a certain position then, believing that I should use a wait and see tactic. Fanderl (head of development in Russia in 2005) hinted that all is well, that we (REWE) will start to invest soon; it was only 6 months since the start of the venture.”

It looks like the businessman shows no hesitation when he expects investment – the described situation is a prime example of corruption.

The coolly expressed thought, that a hint of benefit is enough to make a president of a holding hide a gross misconduct and then use the information for possible future blackmail (by collecting dirt on those responsible), does not fit any legal framework. The excuse that the purpose was to gain their support for lobbying in his financial interests does not make the situation any better.

It won’t amiss to recall that all of the activities were done with borrowed funds.

5. After following a similar thought process, the online version’s text was changed, softened by an additional question. And a new answer by Trefilov to Levinskaya’s question:

“Why did you not go to the investigative authorities?”

now it looks like this:

“How would you imagine it going down? REWE’s managers were the ones at the helm, and they would destroy the joint venture. And in view of me signing the contract on weaker terms, they would take away my business.”

As you can see, the meaning has changed. He was just confused which evidence was “against them” and which was “against him”. The rest of the interview’s text was left untouched.

BRIBED OR AFRAID? 

There is nothing written that could confirm what was said in the interview, including the comments about the management, and so there is nothing that would "revive" Trefilov’s version of the story too (neither of them in fact, as there are two to choose from). The 2.5 page interview does not contain or even mention any evidence.

There is no mention of the contract-trap that "destroyed" Trefilov; No oral legal arguments in favor of the very possibility of such threats, like bankruptcy or a takeover of Trefilov’s business, as by 2005 he only managed to cover his previous debts and issue the first of the corporate bonds.

On the other hand there are time-proven facts that in 2005 the "Elekskor" group was already on the verge of bankruptcy. This situation resulted in litigation surrounding the sale of "Prodmak", the payment for leftover inventory and M. Vasiliev.

There are also no documents or comments from lawyers, showing that the contract with REWE was bonded or concluded with law violations.

There is no logic, no consistency (and that is “the crux of the matter”), but most importantly – there is no answer to simple questions: - Why was it done in such a way, if there was no profit, not enough competency or capacity to develop and manage the business, no suitable partnership, absence of trust and growing debts?

 

AN OPEN SECRET

 

What guided Trefilov, who had no intent to steal money, while he made extensive use of credit to a loss-making business, at the same time referring the Banks to this, as he now calls it, "Contract-trap", the name of his German partner, his connections and the big future deal, which it seems no one was going to conclude?

Particularly absurd sounding are admissions of fear that the German managers apparently “put into” Trefilov. The same fear revealed to him, the President of the Company, weak and "illegal" items in the signed with REWE contract.

To the next question from A. Levinskaya Trefilov says the following (quote): "The German management in Russia did not have the authority to make such decisions; to invest even 50,000 euros  they would have had to coordinate their actions with the executives in Vienna and Cologne. And so we lost a lot of promising opportunities. "

What kind of threat could there be? And by whom?

Whatever it is, the incomplete deal for the sale of Grossmart and rumors of impending bankruptcy (by whomever spread them) are not a criminal offense, and certainly could not by themselves be the only factors leading to the bankruptcy.

All of the above in relation to Trefilov, starting from 2008, formed the basis of the criminal cases and civil lawsuits, which were based on gross violations in the sphere of crediting with billions in damages, forgery of important documents and misrepresentation with his leadership and personal involvement.

Therefore, deciding to finally "tell the whole truth" to RBC Daily, he actually had nothing new to say besides sharing the "open secret": - "Since 2006, I have not seen any profits at all". This had only further confirmed the validity of these proceedings, as he said about this for some reason only in 2013 and not before, for example in 2006 or 2007, when he was attracting the largest investments and credit funds.

Investigator Konovalova, by the way, came to the same conclusions - about the negative capitalization of the Company, which was hidden for several years, in order to obtain and possibly appropriate additional funds.

She displeased Trefilov because of one thing –in the “collective feeder system” that he built, as a Beneficiary and a President, he needed to find "scapegoats" so as not to answer before the law himself.

And Konovalova thwarted his plan by upholding the LAW. She had a different attitude towards him altogether.

 

A SYSTEM WITHOUT VALUES

 

The journalist of "Novaya Gazeta" I. Murtazin throughout the year of 2013 continued to be vigilant and report any and all news relating to the investigation, the court and Gvozdev’s verdict. Logically so, because a trump card should not be lost just because of some stupid passport!

As the events developed, the audience of "Novaya Gazeta" bore witness to streams of hypocrisy, in the murky waters of which a specific task is clearly seen – to imperatively indicate that the Trefilov case was fabricated and "sewn with white thread"(meaning - an obvious lie) by the allegedly corrupt investigators.

It was not without an appeal to authorities too, and in a provocative and hysterical manner as well.

By the beginning of the hearing in August 2013, apparently, it became clear that Gvozdev will be judged for fraud rather than corruption and also alone and not as part of a "whole group of conspirators." However Trefilov might have wished for it to be otherwise, no one has cancelled the law in Russia.

In the dry notes by "Novaya Gazeta" on August 12 2013 titled "Worthy of special approach”, the journalist lost a bit of his passion, when he wrote that "the verdict against Gvozdev was suddenly softened", despite the petition made by investigator A. Saribzhanov asking to extend the suspect's arrest.

Diligently keeping silent about the fact that Gvozdev was accused of fraud, Murtazin again (not to forget) reminds the readers about his crime - "he effectively extorted the businessman [Trefilov], asking a bribe for the termination of criminal proceedings, which were cracking at the seams as it was". Not forgetting, of course, to mention “a group of corrupt prosecutors and Interior Ministry officials", whose victim is Trefilov, according to the Westminster court.

That is, he refers not to the Tverskoy court in Moscow, where the case is made against Gvozdev, but rather the British trial, more specifically judge Evans’s verdict! Gvozdev is being tried in a case, which was initiated and fully investigated in Moscow; he was accused in Russia and not in the UK, on charges of fraud and not corruption... this is nonsense.

Although, what is there to do, when you need to write something? Even if it is such PR, that is bursting at the seams.

This last article by the author turned out to be even more boring. It even had some doubts in regards to the police officers saying, for example, that "500 thousand were supposedly intended for the transfer." Do they even have civil rights?

Another noticeable detail - after Trefilov’s interview with  RBC, where the posturing as a "medalist of the Top 100" was substituted "out" and changed to "very modest compared to what it was before," Murtazin stopped writing about Trefilov’s "riches”. Was there a command to stay quiet or maybe the plan has changed?

If anything, the finale was memorable. On January 27 2014 in an article about the sentencing of Gvozdev called "Former prosecutor punished conditionally" - with ill-concealed indignation, after removing himself from the "group of corrupt officials" at last, he recalled that Trefilov was, supposedly, from the outset skeptical about the prospects of the case and then he added liberally the following on his own: "The investigation and Dorogomilovskiy court of Moscow confirmed the forecast made by the businessman".

Thus, it becomes obvious that Trefilov and the involved by him speakers quite deliberately misinform the public. The examples provided on this site prove that they do not care for the quality of their arguments and probably have little to no respect for the audience, which they address using manipulations and techniques to create artificial sensations.

Most likely they use their audience to create the right atmosphere for the campaigns, which Trefilov leads outside of press (using the more serious leverage to solve his issues), nothing less and nothing more. And so a public opinion is created as a background, a soundtrack, a mandatory item in a business event.

But there is a more important reason why Trefilov enlists the aid of the press.

Trefilov needs the media, so that his printed words would actually CERTIFY what he says, because the information that appears in print is considered to be lawful, credible. And so in this way he makes up for the lack of legitimate evidence.

Particularly cynical appears Trefilov’s desire not to pay the Government and the banking companies for the damages caused. In Russia there is an amnesty currently being undertaken, the condition of which is the redemption of the material damages.

But, apparently, Trefilov prefers to use the money that does not belong to him otherwise: to live with his family in London, to participate in TV programs, to attract the media and lawyers, to try and find others who would take the responsibility for the current financial losses from his business activities. Honestly – this is way more fun!!!

No real comments are needed here (Trefilov - Russian service BBC): "I do not understand why I am the only one to have criminal charges brought against? All others, for some reason, were left alone. "

He seeks justice, but as always, only for himself alone.

 

“YOU ARE NOT THE HEROES”

 

Trefilov’s relations with people are useless to try and understand, as it is impossible to keep track of when is the next time (or more importantly – why?) he would once again “change his testimony” and opinion of them, or tell a “new truth” and details about them. He could, for example, wait for ten years, then finally decide to tell about the transgressions in his Company’s management; or, being pleased with himself, give “evidence” “off the hook” valued at $50.000. For that which he cannot prove, he will pay extra – what else is there to do? And then his words will be printed out – freedom of speech after all…

When he commented to "Novaya Gazeta" (18.12.2012) about Gvozdev’s arrest, then, among other things, he said: "I think it will only be Gvozdev, and I do feel sorry for him. After all, he's just a "scapegoat" in this system of collective "feeders". They will give him a suspended sentence and say: tsk-tsk! But if they do manage to unwind the entire chain, which he could tell them about and then receive immunity for his cooperation with the investigation – then the case will have ended on a high note. But I do not believe in such a scenario... There will be no change in my criminal case either. The system does not know how to fight against itself. It has it already programmed at its genetic level: "We do not hand over our own!"

This is perhaps the best performance done by Trefilov so far, certainly the most sincere and “transparent”.

He felt sorry for Gvozdev – this might be so, because you can imagine how he prepared for the recording, made in SKYPE, and rejoiced in the fact that for some measly fifty thousand he can get rid of so many people that gave him trouble. It might even be awkward with Gvozdev, uncomfortable that he got arrested.

But more importantly insulting – because the chance slipped and all they got was Gvozdev.

The second part of this "announcement" is just a "message" saying what might have been, if the "scapegoat" was scared of the especially serious allegations of corruption and sold out all those with whom he worked, was friends with or even just drank vodka.

In the perfect scenario Gvozdev would cheat Trefilov, and then out of cowardice he would slander and frame, to conceal himself, investigator Konovalova, Lapshov (who Trefilov still considers to be a fraudster) and others, accusing them of corruption, so needed by Trefilov!

Then the task would be 100 percent completed and... That feeling of discomfort disappears, does it not?

Immunity is a new theme it seems, probably an effect of living in a foreign legal system. How cool – hand over everyone and you're immune!

The last part is about the system that keeps "its" own save. To not give up your own people is a sign of decency and not lawlessness and decay. In regards to Trefilov, as we can see, it means otherwise. In this matter the difference between Gvozdev and him, despite the "same" article, is qualitative in the hundreds of light years.

A system that does not know how to fight against itself - is a strong argument in favor of morality as well as a critique against the law enforcement, especially when it is brought up by the person who, from his own words, "had quite unexpectedly created a machine that ended up crushing him."

The genes are quite different for these systems, and Thank God for that. However, he also had comments for the Minister of Economic Development, where he "expressed what, in his opinion, was wrong... with the structure of the country." (BBC)

Trefilov himself made the Company (the system), which devoured every year more than it could produce (if it produced anything at all). The uttered phrase is actually a broadcast of self-destruction –in many ways it explains his actions, and most importantly, the motivation and logic behind the measures he took.

Because it is the only explanation for why in the created by him system thrived corruption, kickbacks and shadowing to collect compromising materials on each other, not to mention the company moto "life on loan". Many times he said this himself; you need only to listen for it.

The Russian system was clearly suitable to Trefilov when he was abusing its flawed parts, including the banking sector. Or is it possible in the UK to come to the bank with three unemployed persons and three second-hand cars with a guarantee made by your own company (Elekskor), which is notoriously bankrupt(!), then calmly get a loan for 26 million dollars and not repay it later?! Maybe, just forget about the courts and move to, say, Germany or Greece?

How would the British judge Evans respond to this? Will he not see an element of "corruption" here and be appalled by what he sees?

What about when an informant was found, who was close to the investigation and warned Trefilov of the impending arrest, was he still comfortable with this system?

A system where it was possible to stay "afloat" for so many years, thanks to trust and personal connections, did not irritate his conscience?

This same system, for example, gave him the opportunity in 2008, while already under investigation, to appear as the Honorary Consul of Kyrgyzstan in Nizhny Novgorod; and in connection with this position - have the right to freely move and without examination use a diplomatic passport to leave the country without fear of arrest (pending a decision by the court).

How could a citizen, who, according to him, has "never tried to climb in politics, considering it a dirty business" and was not a public or cultural figure in his country, managed to maintain this status, while at the same time being a "suspect" in the case of large-scale fraud - we do not know; but apparently, it did not perturb him enough to stop him from using the opportunity. And he did so, thanks to connections and financial capacities.

Of course, he would like to return to the same system. He only needs to turn the law like a "drawbar" in the “right” direction. So he invents a "new" biography, finds supporters among both old and new faces, uses the fact that the volume of daily information is enormous in scale and no one will remember what happened 5 or 7 years ago. Most find it hard to remember what happened last year. And so everything is possible.

Incidentally there is but one thing that sounds truthful from what he said. He is indeed “no Hero”.

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