One Schatz per million, or "crushing" Bezobrazov
Former assistant German Gref can help Alexei Bezobrazov in the likely avoidance of taxes, and before that he contributed to the "muddy" schemes of the scandalous Bitkov family?
In St. Petersburg, scandals continue around the infamous automotive holding Axel Group, where the corporate conflict between the main shareholder Alexei Bezobrazov and the founders of the structure, brothers Yuri and Igor Oduda, has not subsided for the third year.
The conflict has long attracted the attention of security officials. The network claims that allegedly the police during the check could receive information that the key owner of the company Alexei Bezobrazov, as well as one of his closest partners in the structure, the former head of Sberbank North-West Leonid Shatsu, would not like much.
Details - in the material The Sankt-Petersburg Post.
Corporate conflict in the company continues from 2020. He has two key parties - the founders of the group, brothers Yuri and Igor Oduda (they have 17% each), as well as the general director of Axel, the owner of the largest share of 30% Alexei Bezobrazov. The latter on the Web is also trying to introduce Andrei Molchanov, the owner of the LSR Group, as a land bank partner.
It all started with the fact that in 2020 the famous entrepreneur Ilya Traber and his partner Ramis Deberdeev tried to buy 17% of the shares of the Group of Companies from the Odudov brothers. Then there were thoughts that they might want to put their hand on the whole business. Bezobrazov tried to protest the deal in court, however, later withdrew his statement.
Initially, Traber and Deberdeev received shares. However, due to the position and lawsuit of Bezobrazov, interim measures were imposed on them. As a result, they left the founders, the shares returned to the Odudas. But they could no longer return full control over the management of the network of car dealerships. Earlier, The Moscow Post wrote in detail about the situation, citing a source in the Civil Code itself. According to him, all this became possible due to the fact that the Odudas trusted Bezobrazov too much. It turns out that he decided to take advantage of this, and against the background of a failed deal with Traber (or maybe initially he was behind it?) He tried to squeeze partners out of the structure management bodies.
But this is only, as they say, a saying. After all, the Civil Code turned out to be virtually not the verge of bankruptcy with huge debts. Now some of its enterprises are under observation and in a pre-bankruptcy state. The value of the assets of the parent structure is minus 287 million rubles, so it can breathe into the incense. But it can be putting dust in your eyes.
In 2022, the interim manager of one of the key divisions of the group, Axel City South LLC, Matvey Lesnyak, revealed signs of fictitious and deliberate bankruptcy in it, and also appealed to the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region with an application for damages.
Mr. Lesnyak considered that the profits of Axel City South were deliberately reduced due to the conclusion of a number of transactions with external performers affiliated personally with Alexei Bezobrazov, co-owner of Axel City South and Axel Group. The interim manager asked the court to recover in solidarity with Alexei Bezobrazov, Denis Teterin (former executive director of the company) and Axel City Nevsky LLC in favor of Axel City South almost 327 million rubles.
Further, the tension between the owners only increased. In 2022, a muddy story appeared about the sale of a land plot owned by Axel at a very low price (8.5 million rubles instead of 111 million). The case initiated by the security forces included the name of Igor Odud, although he claimed that he simply could not be at the meeting of shareholders at which the deal was approved. The document on the sale itself was signed by the general director of Axel Alexei Bezobrazov.
Alexey Bezobrazov. Photo: https://poisk-po-photo.ru/алексеев-алексей-алексеевич-спб
In the summer of 2023, Igor Odud himself complained to the Investigative Committee about the actions of the police. Earlier, he suggested that the security forces could act at the suggestion of Alexei Bezobrazov, because the latter had previously been a member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as if he had serious connections in the military environment.
Schatz phenomenon from Sberbank
And now new information appears. According to the Web, allegedly Axel Group companies can systematically underpay taxes to the treasury due to the possible massive crushing of customer payments. It can look like this - when a transaction with a person, a manager comes to him not with one payment terminal, but immediately with a whole battery. Then the payments are split.
This can be done both through ordinary individual entrepreneurs and through fairly large legal entities. And as if Lev Shats was among the individual entrepreneurs, part-time - the son of Bezobrazov's long-time partner in Axel Leonid Shats. The latter in the past headed Sberbank North-West, and a lot became famous in the field of a whole series of scandals with debtors of a credit and financial institution.
Today Leonid Shats is a key partner of Bezobrazov in Aksel, who can work against the interests of the Odudov brothers. Schatz already has over 10% of the structure. Moreover, he bought additional shares from Bezobrazov, and not so long ago - in February 2022. I.e. just when the conflict with the Odudas unfolded in full force. Obviously, Schatz is a confidant of Mr. Bezobrazov.
The alleged tax avoidance schemes could not be developed by him, but by the former executive director of Axel Group, Alexander Kumpan, whom they are trying to introduce as the personal financier Alexei Bezobrazov. Allegedly, Kumpan went abroad long ago, but continues to "look after" Bezobrazov's financial affairs.
Lev Leonidovich Shats has his own individual entrepreneur, as well as a relation to a number of assets related to the owners of Axel. Among other things, Lev acts as the general director of the very profitable Prism Center LLC, where Bezobrazov has 15%, Leonid Shats has 9%. But who is not there is the Odud brothers. Another partner of Bezobrazov and Shatz, US citizen Boris Minahi, is also interesting. He is a co-owner of Novy Megapolis LLC, a company associated with Bezobrazov, and a number of other assets.
Mr. Minakhi is known for his business relations with Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov, who are now behind bars for organizing organized crime groups. Among other things, Minahi was to become the owner of a grain elevator they previously owned.
However, later Minahi was kidnapped, then released, and his offenders received a prison term. Among other things, the Minahs tried to attribute large debts to another prominent businessman, David Yakobashvili. So much so that as if they could have them from him, knocked out by methods from the 90s. Earlier, The Moscow Post wrote in detail about this story.
Returning to Leonid Shatsu, he previously worked in the structures of Sberbank. At the very beginning of the 2000s, he rose to the rank of First Deputy Chairman of the Board of St. Petersburg Sberbank, and in 2003 he headed Sberbank North-West, which served the entire north-west of the Russian Federation, including the Leningrad region. He stayed in this position until 2007, after which he nailed just to Messrs. Bezobrazov and the Odud brothers, whose business was to be credited to Sberbank.
Moreover, Leonid Shats, it seems, did not solve his tasks as head of Sberbank North-West. When he left, representatives of the bank, on condition of anonymity, stated that Schatz had an extremely tough management style, he was frightened by "children." In addition, they said that the reason for his resignation could be the past IPO of Sberbank and the scandal associated with the information leaked to the press that the top management of Sberbank seemed to "strongly recommend" buying bank shares to their employees.
In general, he was an extremely controversial manager. There was another story. As Inter Wright news agency wrote with reference to unofficial sources, allegedly under Shatz, top managers of Sberbank North-West could cover swindlers involved in the deliberate bankruptcy of the Nemanks pulp and paper mill. We are talking about the beneficiaries of the North-West Forestry Company (NWLC) Igor and Irina Bitkov, who could deceive their creditors by retaining the main assets - Nemansky Pulp and Paper Mill and Kamennogorsk Offset Paper Factory. As a result, deliberate bankruptcy procedures were launched at the enterprises.
And in an interesting way. First, the offshore company Vilda Consult appeared, which for 20 million bought Svetoch LLC, a modest manufacturer of notebooks from St. Petersburg. And then she sold it just to the Bitkovs "Neman Pulp and Paper Mill, only for 3.7 billion rubles.
No one was going to part with this money. But in the sale and purchase agreement it was recorded that if the NPPC does not pay Vilda Consult within 10 days, then all the property of the debtor, as well as its guarantor, KFOB, will be secured under the transaction. Naturally, the money was not transferred to the offshore account, and on April 28, the Bitkovs filed for bankruptcy of the NPPC, automatically turning Vilda into the main creditor not only of the plant, but also of the KFOB.
And in this story, Schatz? Allegedly, he was friendly with Bitkov, and it was thanks to Shatsu that they received more and more credit lines, turning into one of the most credited enterprises in the region. Then there was the need to get rid of debts.
In addition, it was Sberbank North-West that did not default on SZLK's obligations after non-payment of a debt of 175 million rubles on time. In fact, the Bitkovs were rescued. For just like that?
Part of the scheme with IP and LLC, which can be used by Axel for possible splitting of incoming payments and minimization of taxes. Photo: https://telegra.ph/file/a14dfef57a3808642260e.jpg
However, these are the affairs of the past days. But the question arises - can Leonid Shats now have anything to do with possible frauds at Axel Group? Or besides, the bankruptcy of the same Axel City South LLC, and other structures that may turn out to be intentional.
Where the Bitkov spouses are now is not known for certain. Most likely, they left the country long ago. Perhaps Alexei Bezobrazov and his faithful partner Leonid Shatz will have to leave the Russian Federation - there is an opinion that their old acquaintance financier Alexander Kumpan could already look after them in England.