The website Prigovor.ru has found a villa community of the Rublyovskoye Shosse (Rublyovskoye Highway) belonging to Khodorkovsky and Co that brings to its owners nearly 100 million rubles a year.
That said, The Agency of execution of the most important enforcement proceedings of the Federal Bailiffs Service of Russia (FSSP), starting from 2005, has been trying without success to find the sources of income of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and collect from this tax debtor 18.6 billion rubles. Perhaps, it’s time to search in “The Apple Orchard”?
(See Russian original article «Непотерянный рай для Ходорковского и Невзлина»)
Question: what would happen if, instead of Adam and Eve, in the paradise would find themselves Khodorkovsky and Nevzlin? Answer: they will lease to Satan the paradisiacal garden arrested by God Almighty and get up and running the delivery of apples to the sinful Earth. This funny story from the 1990s a couple of decades later almost literally repeated in the form of legal registers, finance reports, and other non-fiction documents.
How and when Khodorkovsky and Nevzlin found themselves in Paradise? It happened in 1997 when they together with five other founders of the cooperative of individual real estate developers (KIZ) “The Apple Orchard” bought four and a half hectares of precious land near the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye shosse, in the village Zhukovka, within a few kilometers from the Moscow Automobile Ring Road. This elite villa community occupies one of the first places in a tacit rating of the most prestigious locations of the Moscow Region. It borders on the holding and the castle of the baroness Meyendorf, and within a stone throw is situated the residence of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On the territory belonging to this cooperative there are only seven mansions (see on the map houses No 2 – 8), which is equal to the number of the Yukos top managers. Let’s count them name by name – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Vladimir Moiseyev, Leonid Nevzlin, Platon Lebedev, Vasiliy Shakhnovskiy, Mikhail Brudno, and Vladimir Dubov. This cooperative of individual real estate developers “The Apple Orchard” is, in actual fact, their sole “unconcealed” property in Russia. (Apart from these physical persons, the offshore company registered in Ireland “Parringrove Ltd” is also mentioned on the list of the founders).
According to the business registry “Kontur. Fokus", the financial proceeds of “The Apple Orchard” in 2020 amounted to 79.8 million rubles or more than one million US dollars. Nearly the same revenues this cooperative has been delivering at least since 2016 when "Kontur. Fokus” started to register detailed statistics.
How come that this rather round sum of money has amassed for pocket expenses of the former owners of Yukos who long ago escaped from Russia? We will try to answer this question a little bit later, but, meanwhile, a few words about the Fall of “The Apple Orchard”.
THE FALL FROM GRACE OF “THE APPLE ORCHARD”
According to the extract from the Unified state Register of Immovable Property (EGRN), in May 2006 the land belonging to the Cooperative “The Apples Orchard” was arrested in accordance with the ruling of the Basmanny Court of Moscow (criminal case No 18/325543-04, judge O.N. Solopova).
At that time exactly, "1000 days of incarceration" of Khodorkovsky were celebrated. Inna Khodorkovskaya, the spouse of the disgraced oligarch, gave an interview to the radio station “Svoboda” (foreign agent) and said that the family of the former richest man in Russia “could be deprived of its sole house in the villa community “The Apple Orchard”.
The newspaper “Kommersant” at the same time reported that the arrest of the immovables was connected with the criminal case of Irina Golub, the head of the accounting firm "Yukos-FBC" servicing the enterprises of Yukos. In the fall of 2004, she was accused of stealing from the state in the form of taxes 77 billion rubles, which then were “hidden” on the accounts of the oil company. In connection with this, the Office of the Prosecutor General decided to find this money, "freeze it" and then return it to the state. And one of the investigators sent a solicitation to the Basmanny Court pertaining to the arrest of this sum on the accounts of Yukos enterprises. The Court approved this application and arrested the accounts of all the Yukos affiliates “till the required sum was accumulated”. But it was impossible to collect this money, and after that, it was time to arrest the really existing property…
According to the laws of enforcement proceedings, the immovable property can be seized as the last resort. Apart from that, the agreements of the log-term rent which Khodorkovsky and Co had concluded with the cooperative of the individual real estate developers “The Apple Orchard” was impossible to break unilaterally, as for that needed solid reasons - for instance, a lasting delay in paying the rent. But the “the sagacious seven", foreseeing the expulsion from the "paradise", paid all debts in advance. For instance, in April 2003, the members of it, as if by command, in an orderly manner, transferred millions on the account of this cooperative. Here are some payment obligations:
In June 2005, the year before the arrest of the cooperative land, The Office of the Prosecutor of the Moscow Region addressed the Arbitration Court of the Moscow Region with a claim against the cooperative "The Apple Orchard". It turned out that the oil oligarchs had managed to hijack the neighboring three hectares of forest belonging to the clinical sanatorium "Barvikha” of the Department of the Administrative Affairs of the President of the Russian Federation. This lot, known as "The Gardens of Meyendorf", as early as in July 1999 the local authorities handed over to “The Apple Orchard” for termless use (The Certificate of the state registration of the right of permanent (termless) use of the lot of 31,200 square meters from 13.07.99 AB 0440632).
The legal battle had continued for more than two years, although all members of this dacha cooperative, apart from Khodorkovsky, already ran away and were already abroad hiding from legal prosecution. Eventually, “by the decision of the Court from June 10, 2007, the stated claims were satisfied in full volume”, and “The Gardens of Meyendorf” were returned to hundreds and thousands of people improving their health. (By the way, here, at different times, received treatment and rested Mikhail Bulgakov, Sergei Korolyov, and Yuriy Gagarin).
But, despite the decision of the Court, another 10 more years "The Apple Orchard" had kept "The Gardens of Meyendorf” in captivity and hadn’t let them free. In fact, the owners of Yukos managed by their preference and taste to build on the captured territory various “objects” which, according to the managers of the clinical sanatorium, are uncomfortable and useless, namely – a capital fence, underground collector, artificial ponds and so on and so forth. Only in March 2017 (!), the sanatorium could obtain from the Cooperative of the individual real estate developers the fulfillment of its legitimate claims.
SHADY BUSINESS ON THE ARRESTED IMMOVABLE
The longstanding legal proceedings and the arrest of the land have not impeded the members of this cooperative to tacitly make money from the “alienated property”. Such a conclusion can be made on the basis of the study, for example, of websites of elite real estate agencies of the Moscow Region. So, the agency “Status Land” published an announcement of selling (!?) one and of renting two mansions of “The Apple Orchards”.
The seller advertises his commodity without saying anything about the fact that the land under these houses can be neither sold nor bought. "Thanks to all advantages of the community, as well as to understandable pricing (? – Prigovor.ru) arises a good possibility to buy a house here at a profit. Zhukovka, “The Apple Orchard” (Menatep) on the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Shosse provides its inhabitants with lots of possibilities for a comfortable suburban life. The Community has a pleasant possibility to offer different variants to live here without serious financial investments – i.e. to rent a house. The village Zhukovka for many years has been attracting the most respectful and fastidious public – it's a historical fact which continues today".
According to these announcements, the monthly rent of one mansion on the territory of the Cooperative of individual real-estate developers “The Apple Orchard” is about 10 -12 thousand US dollars. The sole house put up for sale is of 650 square meters was valued at 2.35 million US dollars.
This house, by the way, has been furnished in the style “the alcove of the Turkish sultan” or “the head of the Stavropol road police”.
Apart from that, according to the same agency “Status Land”, on the territory of “The Apple Orchard” there is also a considerable number of immovables: “a modern health and fitness center, including a rest zone with a basin (25 meters), Finnish and Russian baths, SPA space and a gym, restaurant, business club, zones for walking and places for rest”.
As the website Prigovor.ru found out, the money from the management of the non-residential property is transferred to the accounts of the JSC "Estate-Servis” the beneficial owner of which is the already mentioned offshore company “Parringrove Limited”. Worth mentioning also that the head of the Russian affiliate of “Parringrove Ltd” – a certain citizen Alexander Kavyrin – during the period from 2013 -2018 was the president of the cooperative “The Apple Orchard”.
According to the financial report, published by the firm “Kontur, Fokus”, the returns of “Estate-Service” in 2020 amounted to another 22.3 million rubles. Thus, the whole take of the "apple" commerce of the former oligarchs from Yukos amounted to about 102 million rubles a year or 1.38 million US dollars.
Can we judge clean the money received from renting (so much more selling) of the arrested immovables?
From one side, the ruling on the arrest of the villa community doesn’t allow its owners to sell, present, or, as lawyers put it, "alienate by other methods the property belonging to it". From the other side, until the final decision of the Golub case, no one has the right to evict the residents from the arrested immovables. But why this case has been dragging for nearly 15 years?
In the meantime, almost half a million US dollars continue to trickle into the pockets of Khodorkovsky and Nevzlin. According to the information from the opposition circles, with his money, several organizations and media outlets are financed, which recently were recognized as extremist and which by no means can be declared foreign agents.
In the meantime, the debt of Khodorkovsky to the state continues to grow relentlessly. If in 2005, according to the register of the Department of the execution of the most important enforcement proceedings of the Federal Bailiff Service, it amounted to 17.39 billion rubles, now the debt grows by almost half a billion to 18.61 billion rubles.
The debt of Khodorkovsky
The last payment obligation for discharging the debt of Khodorkovsky which the finance swindler and “fighter for freedom” deliberately ignores
By the way, the whole worth of “The Apple Orchard” is not enough to redeem the debt to the state. According to experts, the property of this cooperative is worth only 3.61 billion rubles, and the assets of “Estate-Service” – 1.22 billion rubles. Perhaps, it’s high time to transform into the profit of state the “tacit” proceeds of the villa community which still belongs to the disgraces oligarch and his partners?”- asks the website Prigivor.ru.
By Alexey Chelnokov