Source Expertise on the case of the founder of Petropavlovsk does not allow talking about him without mentioning Strukov. The outgoing year was rich in high-profile lawsuits, but some of them will clearly continue in the coming year. On December 14, Pavel Maslovsky's defense appealed against his sentence. Previously, the businessman linked the criminal prosecution with a corporate conflict at Petropavlovsk. Can there be a double bottom in this case?
At the beginning of the month, the Basmanny Court of Moscow sentenced Pavel Maslovsky, the founder and ex-director of the large gold mining company Petropavlovsk, to 5.5 years in prison to be served in a penal colony. According to the court, Maslovsky committed a crime under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – fraud on an especially large scale.
Maslovsky was arrested at the end of December 2020 and was first charged under Part 4 of Art. 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (misappropriation or embezzlement on an especially large scale), which was later reclassified as fraud.
The accusation of a purely economic crime was based on information that in 2018 Maslovsky put pressure on members of the board of directors of JSC Pokrovsky Mine (a subsidiary of Petropavlovsk) to acquire an office building in Blagoveshchensk. According to investigators, the building was eventually bought out at a price of 218 million rubles, while its real value was allegedly 123 million. The amount of damage, thus, was expressed in the figure of 95 million rubles. The disputed object belonged to Maslovsky's son, the situation was clearly similar to a conflict of interest.
Question about expertise
Expertise in the valuation process is a rather subtle and slippery thing. Often the result can be “tilted” in any desired direction. Judging by the facts, this was used with might and main by Maslovsky's protection. In his case, these expert examinations were of decisive importance, because the deal to buy a building in Blagoveshchensk is the only episode that was imputed to the entrepreneur.
Maybe the lawyers are right that the examination was at least strange. Firstly, the Moscow company Atlant Assessment was engaged in it two years after the purchase of the building. Secondly, judging by the data of the expertise of the Russian Society of Appraisers, the assessment of the building could have been carried out with violations. It allegedly did not take into account that Pokrovsky Rudnik JSC acquired the building together with the land (more than 700 sq.m., located in the city center). In addition, it turned out that the cost of buildings on the outskirts of the city was used for comparison, and two of the three such examples are for sale ads dated 2016!
Maslovsky himself did not admit his guilt either during the investigation or at the trial. He claims that his criminal prosecution is the result of a corporate conflict. The fact is that in February 2020, part of the shares of Petropavlovsk (22.4%) ended up in the hands of the owner of Yuzhuralzoloto Konstantin Strukov. Apparently, Strukov and Maslovsky did not agree on the vision of the company's development vector. Strukov and some other shareholders decided to change the composition of the board of directors and expelled Maslovsky from it.
Sources from the Petropavlovsk company said that personal differences arose between Maslovsky and Strukov on business grounds. Maslovsky by that time was no longer a shareholder, but probably retained an interest in the company. There was an opinion that the criminal case against Maslovsky could become “the quintessence of his conflict” with Strukov, who wanted to unite Petropavlovsk and YuGK. related to the illegal acquisition of the building, a member of the board of directors of Petropavlovsk Maxim Kharin addressed. He represented the interests of the largest shareholder of the company, Konstantin Strukov. 10 days later, Maslovsky was arrested.