A court in Sterlitamak sentenced the former owner and director of United Trade and Purchasing Company LLC Hovhannes Egoyan to nine years in prison for fraud on an especially large scale and in the field of lending. The company, having collected about 350 million rubles from equity holders, did not complete the construction of two houses in the city. Hovhannes Egoyan pleaded not guilty. Earlier, his sister, Angela Egoyan, was convicted. She stated in court that unscrupulous contractors and local authorities were to blame for the problems of equity holders.
The Sterlitamak city court found the former owner of United Trade and Purchasing Company LLC (ETZK), 53-year-old Hovhannes Egoyan, guilty of fraud on an especially large scale and in the field of lending (part 4 of article 159, part 4 of article 159.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) . The court sentenced him to nine years in prison with serving in a correctional colony of general regime. The defendant pleaded not guilty.
According to the press service of the prosecutor’s office of Bashkiria, the court found that Hovhannes Egoyan and his associates stole funds from equity holders and banks from 2012 to 2016, intended for the construction of multi-apartment residential buildings in Sterlitamak, without actually planning to complete their construction. The company built two houses: from seven to 11 floors for 211 apartments (letter 11) and a 20-storey building (letter 5a) for 161 apartments, but did not complete it on time – in 2016. At the time the construction was stopped, their degree of readiness was estimated at 10% and 18%.
According to the court, the management of ETZK entered into fictitious equity participation agreements, engaging in a double sale of housing under construction. The money received was “partially distributed among themselves”, and “the rest of the money from the sale of apartments was spent by members of the criminal group on the construction of houses in order to create the appearance of building buildings and attract more buyers.” In addition, credit lines were opened in several banks for controlled companies on the security of objects under construction, despite the fact that the apartments in them had already been sold.
The total damage from financial fraud exceeded 520 million rubles, 260 people were recognized as victims, as well as Rosselkhozbank and Sberbank. The prosecutor’s office of Kommersant-Ufa explained that this amount included 225 million rubles stolen from 165 equity holders, and 128 million rubles, which were obtained by deception from 89 victims during the double sale of apartments.
United Trade and Purchasing Company LLC was established in 2010 in Sterlitamak. The company was owned by Hovhannes Egoyan, who was its director from 2010 to 2017. In 2017, ETZK was declared bankrupt, bankruptcy proceedings were opened. The largest creditor is Rosselkhozbank with a debt of 244 million rubles. The debt to Sberbank is 46.5 million rubles. In 2017, Hovhannes Yegoyan himself was declared bankrupt. Compensation to affected equity holders in the amount of more than 300 million rubles. paid by the Territorial Development Fund.
In April of this year, the arbitration court of Bashkiria brought Mr. Egoyan to subsidiary liability for the obligations of ETZK. According to the bankruptcy trustee of the company Ruslan Salikhov, 752 million rubles are included in the register of creditors’ claims. The ruling states that since 2015 the activity of the developer company has been unprofitable, the debtor had no working capital, however, Hovhannes Yeghoyan did not take measures to pay off the debt and did not fulfill his obligation to file for bankruptcy. In 2013, the entrepreneur opened a non-revolving credit line at Sberbank for 47 million rubles. secured by apartments in a building under construction. At the same time, Hovhannes Yegoyan handed over the same apartments under preliminary purchase and sale agreements to equity holders, in connection with which the loan agreement was left without collateral. “That is, the debtor created a situation of double realization of pledges, in which Sberbank PJSC could not realistically assess the amount of loan obligations and the possibility of their return,” the case file says.
In 2022, the Sterlitamak City Court also found ETZK employees — head of the legal department Svetlana Nikitina, chief accountant Oksana Kiseleva and Hovhannes’s sister, head of the sales department Angela Egoyan — guilty of fraud using official position on an especially large scale (part 4 of article 159, part 4 article 159.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Angela Egoyan was sentenced to seven years in prison, Svetlana Nikitina – to eight years and six months in prison, Oksana Kiseleva – to eight years in a penal colony.
The defendants then pleaded not guilty. Angela Egoyan stated in court that ETZK attracted a number of contractors: Bashproektstroy LLC, Absolute Service, Gorzhilstroy, which sold apartments that did not belong to them, as a result of which some buyers were left homeless. She emphasized that all the property of her family was pledged in the bank, there was no purpose to deceive the equity holders. According to her, Hovhannes Egoyan, being under house arrest, went several times to the Ministry of Construction of Bashkiria to resolve the issue of completing the construction of two houses, “but the administration of Sterlitamak, headed by Vladimir Kulikov (former head of the city administration. – Kommersant-Ufa) and nothing else has been done.”
Hovhannes Egoyan’s lawyer Ruslan Tonyan declined to comment yesterday.