Main Investigations Directorate in Sverdlovsk region initiated a criminal case over fraud under art. 159 of the Criminal Code of Russia on the grounds of Maxi-group co-owner, Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) JSC, claim of embezzlement of 2.1 billion rubles.
According to the investigation, in November 2007 Mr Nikolay Miksimov and several other unknown people signed loan agreements with NLMK in the name of Maxi-group and Maxi for 2.1 billion rubles with no inclination to pay the money out. When money was transferred to the borrower, the suspect and his accomplices appropriated it without fulfilling their obligations in accordance with the agreement.
No indictment has been brought in against Mr Miksimov yet. His lawyer finds the criminal case initiation unfounded and has already appealed against the investigators’ order to the court. “So far we have been informed only of a new case initiation. However, we have no access to the case file”, says the lawyer, Mr Sergey Murzin. “We have no opportunity to review the mentioned loan agreements. But it is clear that the accusations against Mr Maksimov are illegal and unfounded”.
According to the lawyer, the case lacks element of an offence because the money was not stolen and is still in the borrower company. Moreover, says the lawyer, the agreement was between legal persons and thus the case may only be a commercial dispute. “This is why we have already appealed against the investigator’s ruling in the Verkh-Isetsk district court of Yekaterinburg. The date of appeal consideration has not been settled yet”, says Mr Murzin.
Meanwhile a new case initiation may result into yet another petition for Mr Nikolay Maksimov’s arrest. On February 15 investigation already made an attempt to arrest him. But Tchkalovsky district court did not authorize the arrest and let Mt Maksimov free on 50 million rubles bail. “Such actions are technically possible”, says Mr Sergey Murzin. “But we find them unfounded. Mr Nikolay Maksimov appears for investigation procedures at first request».
It is possible that Maxi-group co-owner will soon be involved in yet another criminal case. Some sources claim that Main Investigations Directorate initiated a deliberate bankruptcy case under art. 196 of the Criminal Code of Russia. According to the investigation, Maxi-group took money out of the company through Uralsnabcomplect ltd. that was part of the group, leading to Uralsnabcomplect ‘s bankruptcy. But no people are involved in the case so far.