Economic extremism of Tsentrocredit Bank and Kholodilnik.ru

Economic extremism of Tsentrocredit Bank and Kholodilnik.ru

  • Monday, 27 May 2024 22:11

More than 50 billion rubles may be lost by the Russian budget annually from their activities.

Previously, the media published information that Edil-Import LLC (Russian legal entity, owner of the Kholodilnik.ru brand) uses various, including illegal, “tax optimization” schemes and is involved in cashing out funds and their transit outside the Russian Federation on the basis of forged documents, and also indicated the company’s close connection with the Russian Bank Centrocredit.

A quick search of publications on the Internet yields a lot of information published in the media, which refers to very real documents and facts, and all this is food for thought and conclusions, which are presented below.

So, back in 2018, the company was brought to tax liability , and a criminal case was opened against the head of the company for evasion of taxes and fees.

The Federal Tax Service demanded that Edil-Import LLC pay additional taxes and fees in the amount of more than 130,000,000 (one hundred and thirty million rubles), and according to the company, such demands put it on the brink of bankruptcy, however, it was Centrocredit Bank that provided an independent guarantee of fulfillment of the obligation (against the background of a criminal case initiated against the company’s management).

The criminal case itself was investigated in a strange way, to say the least: according to investigators, Kholodilnik.ru evaded paying taxes by concluding fictitious agreements with three companies: Energia LLC and RA Signal LLC, RA River Media LLC. The director and founder of Energia LLC admitted that he is a figurehead and the company is a dummy. The services of placing outdoor advertising on billboards in Moscow, which were allegedly provided by RA Signal LLC and RA River Media LLC, are an obvious fake - such billboards no longer existed in Moscow at the date of conclusion and execution of the contracts, which is confirmed by data from the Yandex.Panoramas service. , that is, the agreements were clearly “technical”, which, however, did not prevent the investigative authorities from stopping the criminal case. Was it not thanks to Centrocredit Bank that the case was dropped and the issue was “resolved”?

The publications also mentioned the fact that a criminal case was also initiated against the owner of the Centrocredit bank, Andrei Tarasov, for evasion of taxes and fees, and was similarly dismissed.

Some media outlets, when assessing the decision to terminate the criminal case, referred to an audit report drawn up by Ernst&Young, drawn up after an audit of Kholodilnik.ru conducted by specialists - it states that the company’s management systematically pays bribes to government officials. The full text of the report is posted on the Internet and is available to anyone.


Photo: lawsuit in Cyprus court
In September 2020, the police conducted large-scale searches with the involvement of special forces at the head office of Kholodilnik.ru and at the residences of the company’s employees - according to the investigation, Edil-import transferred funds to the offshore company Markbay on the basis of forged documents, in such a way as Investigators believe that more than 500 million rubles were illegally transferred abroad .

It should be noted that Markbay is repeatedly noted as a violation in the previously mentioned conclusion drawn up by Ernst & Young, and in addition, it is another co-defendant, along with Kholodilnik.ru and Centrocredit Bank in the claim filed in Cyprus.

The connection between Centrocredit Bank and the withdrawal and laundering of funds through the company Markbay was previously reported by the reputable Latvian publication bb.lv. The text of the publication says that “According to the correspondence, one of the banks involved in the schemes built by Zack is, in the person of a certain “Vadim Fedchin,” the Russian bank Centrocredit, whose office is also located in central London at 28, Redburn Street. The owner of the bank, Russian Andrei Tarasov, lives there, in London, and is mentioned in the Russian media in connection with his active use of money from Russian state funds.”

Kholodilnik.ru has also been criticized online for systemic economic extremism and for some of its ethically controversial approaches to doing business.


Photo: Yuri Eremenko, President of Kholodilnik.Ru. Previously brought the Technosila company to bankruptcy
Job review sites are full of references to “peculiar” HR decisions – constant overtime, pressure on staff, uncomfortable conditions and payment of most of the employees’ wages “in an envelope”, that is, without paying the corresponding taxes and fees, which also indicated in the previously mentioned conclusion drawn up by Ernst&Young and indicates systemic economic extremism.

Active Internet users (that is, in fact, the target audience of Kholodilnik.ru) were outraged by the misleading of consumers - Kholodilnik.ru has a whole network of sites supposedly from other online stores (electrolux-shop.ru, liebherr-bt.ru , germany-bt.ru, tehnika.ru, deshevle.ru, bittehnica.ru, tehniks.ru, desevle.ru and many others), which, positioning themselves as third-party stores, belong to Edil-Import LLC. A network of such sites allows you to regulate prices, engage in unfair competition, and promote “Holodilnik.ru” in the Yandex.Market service; Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote about these “flirts” with the market.


Photo: Screenshots of the sites "Deshevle.Ru", "Tekhnika.Ru" and others. Collage - NG-online
Of course, not only consumers, but also other market players suffer from such methods of “black SEO” (they are forced to put up with dumping, which Kholodilnik can afford, relying on the capital of Centrocredit), a market whose turnover is steadily falling, and ultimately and the state budget of the Russian Federation, which loses taxes from such systemic economic extremism. According to experts, the cumulative damage to the budget from this kind of “business activity” of one of the largest players in the Internet trading market in Russia can reach 50 billion rubles a year.

Everything described above is information that was found on the Internet and is in the public domain, so for what reason is this data not used by law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice? As Kommersant Publishing House writes , Russia ranks 138th in the world in the “corruption perception index”, and judging by the official report of Ernst & Young, a Big Five company, it is possible that Kholodilnik.ru has budgets for bribes, the payment of which allows you to “turn a blind eye” to information in the media. Perhaps we are not talking about individual economic crimes, but about something larger - economic extremism, which can lead to undermining the economy. No other explanations are found.

Economic sanctions, impoverishment of the population, crazy inflation - all this is aggravated by such businessmen who never have enough. All this is not happening in the regions, all this is a stone’s throw from the Kremlin.

I would like to end with the words of a modern classic: “Why do you need so much money? Do you want to buy France!?”