The Moscow-based Nika Company JSC, headed by Vadim Ramazanov, a former deputy of the Ufa City Council, filed a lawsuit against the former co-owner of the Tau group of companies, Joseph Rutman, and a number of persons affiliated with him for 9 billion rubles. According to Kommersant-Ufa, this amount includes the losses of Sterlitamak Petrochemical Plant OJSC and Sintez-Kauchuk JSC in 2019-2022. According to the plaintiff, the controlling persons made unprofitable transactions to the detriment of the interests of enterprises, selling petrochemical products at reduced prices through companies abroad.
The Eighteenth Arbitration Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the Bashkiria Arbitration Court, which in March took interim measures on the claim of the Moscow Nika Company JSC against the former co-owner of Sterlitamak Petrochemical Plant JSC (SNKhZ) and Sintez-kauchuk JSC (part of GK “Tau”) to Joseph Rutman. In addition to him, among the co-respondents are Anna Rutman (Mr. Rutman’s sister), the former general director of the SNZH Alexander Nuzhdin, Oleg Vasilyev, Irina Krasheninnikova, Maxim Bikmurzin, Anastasia Afanasyeva, Eduard Vasiliev, as well as the Cypriot company Rixfort Asset Holding Ltd, AOKS Trading L. L.S-FZ (UAE), Open Investments LLC, Ishimbai Limestone LLC, Industrial Investments LLC, Fitness LLC, Real Estate Management LLC and Taurus LLC.
Interim measures were taken as part of the consideration of Nika’s claim for the recovery of more than 9 billion rubles in damages from the defendants, follows from the case file.
The lawsuit was filed after Russian Hydrogen became the new owner of SNHZ and Sintez-Kauchuk (Iosif Rutman owned 50% of the shares, 45% was owned by Damir Muginov) at the beginning of the year (the legal owner, according to SPARK-Interfax “, Alexey Sorokin). The new management conducted an audit, as a result of which it found out that earlier enterprises sold their products through foreign intermediaries at prices below the market ones. The loss from such activities amounted to the amount of claims. This year, SNHZ and Sintez-kauchuk assigned the rights of claim against the defendants under the assignment agreements to the Nika Company.
JSC Nika Company was registered in November 2022 in Moscow. The company does not disclose its shareholders. The general director of the joint-stock company is a former deputy of the city council of Ufa Vadim Ramazanov, now a defendant in the criminal case of the Bashkir prosecutors, which is being heard in the Babushkinsky court of Moscow.
According to the plaintiff, the court imposed a ban on registration actions on 100% of Open Investments (owned by AOKS Trading L.L.S-FZ) and seized the company’s property, including the second phase of the Fabri shopping center in Sterlitamak. It also banned registration actions in relation to 100% of Ishimbai Limestone (owned by Industrial Investments and Maxim Bikmurzin), Industrial Investments (owned by Irina Krasheninnikova and Oleg Vasiliev), Fitness (owned by Anastasia Afanasyeva), Real Estate Management ( owned by Eduard Vasiliev), “Taurus” (“Industrial Investments”). The property of these companies is arrested. The Department for Subsoil Use in the Volga Federal District was forbidden to make changes to the license issued to Ishimbaysky Limestone in 2016 for the geological exploration of mineral deposits in the Ishimbaysky District. The property and funds of the natural persons-respondents were arrested.
According to the plaintiff, the co-defendants are connected with Iosif Rutman, who rewrote the assets he previously owned to them.
The defendants filed appeals, in which they stated that interim measures were unfounded, abuse of the right, indicated that they were not related to the activities of the SNHZ and Sintez-kauchuk. The Court of Appeal did not find grounds for annulment of the judicial act. The legitimacy of the stated claims against the defendants will be assessed in the course of further legal proceedings, the ruling says.
According to media reports, in 2017, a criminal case was initiated against Joseph Rutman on the fact of fraud. The entrepreneur was put on the wanted list. It is believed that he lives abroad. 43-year-old Maxim Bikmurzin has also been put on the wanted list. They were suspected of illegally gaining control over the V-Trust company, which owned the City Mall shopping center in Sterlitamak. Later, in order to stop the criminal case, the suspects tried to bribe prosecutors, but, as it turned out, their actions were monitored.
One of the defendants in the criminal case, Eduard Vasiliev, was convicted of large-scale fraud and incitement to bribe an official through an intermediary on a large scale. In 2021, the Supreme Court of Bashkiria sentenced him to nine years in prison.
The press service of the SNHZ and Sintez-kauchuk did not provide a comment yesterday. Alexander Nuzhdin was on a business trip yesterday.
The next court session on the claim of Nika Company is scheduled for June 15.