The law on criminal liability of developers for defrauding investors operating in Russia for more than three years. For this crime punishment till two years of imprisonment. Why this does not apply to buyers of the loft apartments at Red Development businessman Alexei Kovalchuk, the material “Tape.ru”.

“I am extremely dissatisfied with the company. Deadlines are unknown. Managers are misleading on any matter relating to the project Loft Post. The object of the silence. The reconstruction is not conducted. Very sorry about the purchase of housing in the Loft Post. Do not advise anyone”, — says Lyudmila on the site’s forum www.novostroim.ru. “I have a preliminary contract of sale, the deadlines have already passed. I want to return the money. Does anyone have a good lawyer?” — asks another deceived investors Andrew. “We bought in 2014, a normal apartment we need, it’s cheaper and promised in March to finish. But after the crisis began, it stopped,” says the history of the equity holder Loft Park Catherine. “The entire 15th year we hang noodles on the ears that we do something, while they themselves did nothing. And then it turned out that the bankruptcy and, in General, we do not get anything, because under the law it turns out that we are third in the queue of creditors, and we have some pennies. All properties pledged to the Bank,” she continues.

In the summer of 2016 began pickets of the deceived shareholders. Among the slogans of the campaign: “help!”, “The mayor stop the chaos!”, “Don’t close your eyes! Lofts real estate investors — real estate investors, too!” In preparation for the picket was also discussed options — “Kovalchuk under court!” and “Red Development to answer!” And this is only a small part of the dispute of one of large capital developers — Red Development, owned by businessman Alexei Kovalchuk. First, he froze the building, tried to sell the objects. Then the company was prosecuted, which has led to Kovalchuk arrest under article 159, part 4 (“Fraud committed by an organized group or in especially large size”).

Red Development specializiruetsya in the construction of loft apartments (housing in industrial buildings). According to “Metrium groups”, in 2014 the company portfolio is 165.5 thousand square meters, took third place in the ranking of the largest developers of apartments old Moscow. According to the company, at the end of 2015, the Red Development portfolio included six projects for a total of 202 thousand square meters. “Multifunctional complex Loft Time is a new project of a business class, implemented in the North-West of Moscow, it is erected on an individual project, on the territory of 2.5 hectares. The fronts will get the finishing clinker brick, will have large panoramic Windows and French balconies” — so he painted the developer of the project, not forgetting to mention about the developed infrastructure of the district “Sokol”, where was erected the building. The first corps had to pass in 2014, and to complete the project planned in the 3rd quarter of 2016.

Failed. After the collapse of the ruble, the company at the end of the 2014 financial problems. It ceased to service the loans and even put some projects on sale.

The main creditors Kovalchuk — “Absolut Bank” (3.2 billion rubles) and PSB (3,12 billion). Pledged to the “absolute” was a complex Loft Park at the metro station “Water stadium”, PSB — complexes Loft Post (21.9 thousand square meters) near the metro station “Baumanskaya” and Loft Time (21 thousand square meters) on the Falcon. Alexey Kovalchuk claimed that in October 2015, an agreement was signed with the “absolute.” According to him, the Bank became the owner of JSC “Arbita” and ZAO “Moscow fine-Fabrika imeni Petra Alekseeva,” which owns the rights to the project. On the money Red Development had to finish the Loft, the Park, and also to pay off with 250 investors in the project more than 1 billion rubles. However, the deal did not take place.

Then the bankers decided to act more firmly — through bankruptcy. 20 April 2016, the Moscow Arbitration court has accepted to consideration the claim of the PSB to six companies Red Development for the recovery of bail, and in August of the same year the Arbitration court of Moscow introduced in Mira, OOO (Loft Time) bankruptcy proceedings for six months. Within it, Promsvyazbank said requirements by 3.12 billion. In January 2016 the claim about bankruptcy to the co-investor Loft Park of JSC “Arbita” filed firm “Warmasters”. Choo Strazh, OOO demanded in February 2016 to invalidate the company “the World”, and in March the company “REVCO investment” (Loft Garden).

In the summer of 20016 year it became known about excitation of criminal case about swindle against “Arbita”. The decision to Institute criminal proceedings stated that the management of the company used loan funds “at its discretion”. Despite the many lawsuits, Kovalchuk continued to talk about success.

“Four projects in Development Red, Apple Tower, The Loft, Loft 17, the Loft Garden is completed, the company continues to meet its obligations to investors and creditors”, — reported the press service of the developer in April 2017. For the completion of the Loft Post supposedly were attracted investments of FPC “Altair” and SC “Memphis”, a residential complex Loft Time it was planned to complete in partnership with “Koldi” and FEC “Altair”. Altair really bought the financial obligations of Kovalchuk before the PSB, and after the sale Loft Park firm “MTHPA” in favour of NPF “Welfare” have been settled and the debt to “the absolute Bank”.

The normalization of relations with the bankers has not helped Kovalchuk. Until June 7, 2017, he was a witness in criminal cases filed against construction companies, but on that day the businessman was arrested and detained. Two days later, the Golovinsky district court has changed its status: is a witness the businessman was accused under the article “Fraud committed by an organized group or in especially large size”. He was elected a measure of restraint in the form of detention.

Representatives Kovalchuk tried to challenge the court decision, emphasizing that the arrest threatens the delivery of many “frozen” projects, which can hurt the interests of shareholders. But the judge was adamant. Supported this decision and the Moscow city court. “Kovalchuk is accused of committing a serious crime, his partners till date not stated, while at liberty, the accused may abscond from the investigation authorities and the court to exert influence on the parties involved,” — said in the appeal judgment of the Moscow city court. “In addition, it follows from the submissions that the investigators had made numerous attempts to call Kovalchuk for investigation, but Kovalchuk to the investigator was not, therefore imposed the decision on his drive. The arguments of the defence that the alleged Kovalchuk offence committed in the sphere of entrepreneurial activity, was checked by the court of first instance rightly recognized as insolvent”.

Three months after the arrest of Kovalchuk, an official statement was made by Deputy Chairman of Moskomstroyinvest Alexander Goncharov. According to him, the citizens that signed preliminary agreements with Red Development for the purchase of loft apartments in the North of Moscow, it is necessary to contact the investigating authorities for the recognition of victims in the criminal case.

“Victims of theft of funds recognized 40 people. But according to the investigation, the amount defrauded structures Red Development of citizens on the two objects may be of the order of 450 people,” said Alexander Goncharov. The detriment of the deceived shareholders has exceeded 1 billion rubles.

It turned out one more interesting detail that was reported by “Novaya Gazeta”. Rights to the project Loft Park was designed into two structures — direct CJSC “Moscow fine-Fabrika imeni Petra Alekseeva”, which had signed contracts, real estate investors and JSC “Arbita”. The last part of the case about bankruptcy of the factory presented their demands — neither more nor less than 4 billion rubles. Thus affiliated with Kovalchuk companies are trying to prevent bankruptcy and in fact to take the process under its control. This opens the debtor and some new perspectives. After all, bankruptcy doesn’t mean, for example, the automatic liquidation of the company. But it gives you the opportunity to “cleanse” her of the backlog of property claims in full accordance with the law. If this combination will be able to pull off the chances of investors to the apartment or return the money almost does not remain.

Clarity on the fate of the loft-project, owned by Red Development, is still there, despite the loud statements of Alexei Kovalchuk that investors are found, all questions from shareholders will be resolved, and the projects will be implemented. So, the right to land plot of 5.5 hectares and an unfinished building belonging to the “Moscow fine-the factory named after Peter Alekseev” (MTHPA), in early 2017 acquired the structure of NPF “Blagosostoyanie”. Partner of the Foundation was to be a group “Rodina” Anton Wiener. But the “homeland” from the draft came out.

At the end of last year appeared the information that the LCD will be to finish the group PEAK Sergey Gordeev. The Loft project Time bought “Altair group”. But here there is no clarity about the timing of the project.

Defrauded investors and creditors of Red Development to return the funds after the release of Alexei Kovalchuk from house arrest becomes all the more difficult. The fact that the premises which were mortgaged by the banks and at the same time passed on preliminary contracts of purchase and sale with real estate investors transferred in favour of the father of the owner of Red Development — Konstantin Alekseevich Ilya Kovalchuk. At least, this applies to mortgages, OOO “Novolayn” included in the group Red Development, where Konstantin Kovalchuk is the competitive creditor (letter Kovalchuk available at the disposal of edition). In addition to “Novoline” in the group Red Development include “Construction company “Deksus””, JSC “Degas”, “Revko investment”, JSC “Rinko”, JSC “Verona”. And there is no information about what Kovalchuk-senior ready free to leave these areas for the benefit of creditors.

Can only say that to help the son of Konstantin Kovalchuk came at the right time. Although his father retired, he has a good background. He worked for many years in the structure of the Federal customs service, was promoted to General of the internal service, until 1998 he held the position of head of Department of indirect taxation, state customs Committee of the Russian Federation (confirmation, photo group officers of the Central apparatus of the state customs Committee of the Russian Federation and the passport photo of Kovalchuk). From 2008 to 2011 he headed the LLC “IP development”. Now lives in the village of Tagan’kovo (between the Mozhaiskoe and Rublevskoe highway, near the village of Gorki-10) in a private house, which, according to rumors, is also pledged to the lenders. And now I understand that no accident in the summer of last year Alexey Kovalchuk registered in Interdistrict Inspectorate of the Federal tax service No. 22 in the Moscow region as an individual entrepreneur.

The actions of Kovalchuk-older not much different from the business practices of his son. The owners of Red Development is brought under the control of the company prior to bankruptcy, trying to put them in their bankruptcy Trustees and to withdraw the assets from the mortgage banks. Examples of this abound. For example, OOO “Construction company “Deksus””, recognized in may 2017 bankrupt, are now actively returns your assets from the liens of creditors.

First in the register of creditors included under the control of the company. Then they assign the right of claim (as in the story of “Deksus” when JSC “Rinko” was changed to citizen Mustafayev S. M., and ZAO “Verona” — citizen T. I. Aliskenderova). And then the property is sold affiliated with Kovalchuk companies.

Hard to believe, but the bankruptcy Trustee “Deksus” Yuri Khlobystov in July last year, illegally organized the auction for the sale of property that was ceded to interested entities. These transactions were challenged in the Moscow Arbitration court and printing the illegality of the actions of the Manager.

In addition, the Arbitration court of the city of Moscow is the dispute over the claim of the Moscow government, the Department of city property of Moscow OOO “Novolayn”, JSC “Degas”, “SK “Deksus”” on the recognition of unauthorized construction of the disputed object (the building at the address: Moscow, dukhovskoy pereulok 17, building 18). There are also documents of town-planning-land Commission of the city of Moscow on objects located to the address: Moscow, dukhovskoy lane, possession 17, a structure 10,12,17,18 in which they also are illegal buildings.

Isn’t it telling that Kovalchuk uses an identical scheme for all the bankruptcy of their companies? Through controlled bankruptcy Trustee gets in the register of creditors requirements of its affiliated companies for the purpose of inference is space? A vivid confirmation of the story with “Deksus”. Even when explicitly disputed the arbitration court’s actions resulted in the loss of your security status of one of the creditor banks and building held as collateral, came affiliated with Kovalchuk structures (decision of the Ninth arbitration court of appeal dated 4 December 2018).

Litigation of creditors and shareholders with representatives from Red Development, apparently, will continue for a long time. First instance, appeal, higher court, complaint appeal, and so on around the circle.

But the victims have no choice. “The lenders available a common set of options — recovery of debts in court order, foreclosure of the property in webanketa order (in the Executive production, on pledged and unencumbered assets) or in the framework of the bankruptcy procedure”, — commented partner, General Director of Legal Bureau “Padva and Epshtein” Pavel Gerasimov. “The receipt by the lender of money, property before bankruptcy is fraught with that in the procedure of bankruptcy, such transactions can be challenged by other creditors, declared void, and the property taken back into the bankruptcy estate. Therefore, as a rule, it is better to immediately initiate bankruptcy proceedings if the debtor is already insolvent,” says the lawyer.

A surprise only to the position of law enforcement: criminal case against Alexei Kovalchuk was filed more than two years ago, and visible results yet.

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