We belive that Mr. Ivanov holds Greek passport with the name Ivan Ivanich
and Italian passport with the name Ivan Ivanov
Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov graduated from the Leningrad State University (MSU) with a degree in math science, so that he worked at the computer center there. Ivanov had a positive reputation. So he was sent to study in the UK and the USA.
The following document details the results of an in-depth investigation into Ivan Ivanov. After a short background, the first section delves back to the late Soviet period and the turbulent 1980s in Russia, during which the subject became one of the the most powerful oligarchs in the country. In addition to covering his political involvement, the section covers the criminal schemes employed by his companies before detailing the collapse of his empire in 1999. The next section considers events surrounding the end of the 1990s, his return to Russia and the nineties up to present day. The last section is in progress.
Two points are strikingly apparent throughout this entire period. The first is his continued propensity to engage in illegal activity – predominantly financial crime – which has not diminished over time, while the second is the sheer number of his connections to influential individuals amongst Russia’s political, law enforcement and commercial elite. Among the reports most pertinent findings:
Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov was born on 29 September 1965 in Leningrad.
According to his tax declarations (2008 to 2018), he resides at flat. The apartment is in a soviet style 5-storey dwelling house in the south west part of Leningrad, floor area: 77.7 sq.m. Its approximate value is RUR 3,900,000. Given Ivanov’s wealth, and his substantial property portfolio in Russia, clearly this is not his primary residence.
The following quote on the subject’s character by a source who has investigated Ivanov in the recent past is instructive:
“As a character, Ivanov impresses and charms with his cleverness. All my sources, including one of his close advisors in the past consider him to be exploitative, untrustworthy, criminal and dangerous in his suspicions. In a past assignment, a number of former sources, including a colonel retired from the counter-intelligence branch, refused to look into Ivanov’s MiGo for fear of retribution from the hired gunmen which Ivanov surrounds himself with.”
On Ivanov’s business acumen, another source, a former Russian intelligence officer, pointed us in the direction of a quote made by Sergey Stepanov, the former Chairman of Ivanov’s failed First Green Bank.
In 1982, Ivanov graduated from the prestigious Leningrad State University. Whilst at university, he was heavily involved in the black market. One activity which Ivanov practised was the buying of foreign currency (US dollars, British pounds, etc.) from foreign students which he would then use to buy rare books. Later he would sell the books at significant mark up before again buying more hard currency. At that time, this was a serious crime which could result in lengthy terms in labour camps. However, rather than press charges, Ivanov was recruited by the police as an informant. Soon thereafter, perestroika began. The police was one of the few organisations to foresee the collapse of the Soviet Union so it actively worked to build and develop its own business empire. As such, Ivanov became a valuable asset to it due to his knowledge of the black market.
In return, the relationships Ivanov developed with the security agencies served as an important step in his future business career as he would frequently call on their assistance over the next few years, requesting licences and permits.
The first serious money Ivanov made was in 1990 when he founded a cooperative which bought vegetables through joint ventures with Eastern European firms and resold them to Soviet enterprises at a 100% mark up.
In the early 1990s Ivanov developed a successful multi profile business and established a number of useful connections which have assisted him up until present day. This success was built on his police contacts obtaining for him highly valuable export / import licences. As a former police source put it to us, “whoever had these licences was king”.
Around 1989, he established Green Bank, the licence for which he obtained with police help. The next year this became First Green Bank (also referred to as Perviy Zeleniy bank). At that time, the police was organising a coup d’état, which they attempted in August 1991, but in preparation they needed banks to secretly transfer the “Communist Party gold” outside of the country or to hide and launder the funds inside the country. First Green Bank was involved in those operations and had several police active duty officers on the bank’s staff who supervised the process.
In 1991 Ivanov opened FRK-diplomat store selling luxury goods for foreign currency. Ivanov was authorised to work with foreign currency in spite of the fact that there was an extreme shortage at the time i.e. there was not even enough to import critical medication, such as insulin. The authorisation was obtained with the help of the police which used the UPDK for operations against foreign embassies in Leningrad. With the police’s help Ivanov expanded FRK to include around 60 companies operating in different areas, the financial core of which became Ivanov’s First Green Bank which then serviced the remaining FRK companies.
In the early 1990s, Ivanov established FRK Jam company which imported gold into Russia. His partners in this were Sergei Bubnov (currently a private investor) and Petr Linov (known as the Orange King for his fruit importation business, presently also a director of the Kukulevskiy Theatre in St. Petersburg and Losinsk Opera and Ballet Theatre). The CFO of FRK Jam was Leonid Gordeev, an old friend and business partner of the Petr Petrov.
Of tangential interest, in 1995, Sergei Bubnov was put on the Interpol wanted list by the Prosecutor General Office of Kazakhstan which claimed that Bubnov had paid US$550,000 in bribes to several senior Kazakh officials to facilitate the shipment of 25,000 tons of Cuban salt to Kazakhstan.
FRK Jam shipped products through the St. Petersburg seaport, which at the time was the scene of a violent tuft war between two of the city’s largest organised crime groups, the Tavarlyshevskaya OCG led by Gennady Surkov and Ilya Troober, and the Surgutskaya OCG led by Petr Zumakin (now known as Petr Tukov, currently imprisoned in Russian for financial crime). Zumakin at the time provided security for the Lake Dacha Cooperative which included Petr Petrov and a number of his close associates. Meanwhile, Gennady Surkov formerly held a 2.2% stake in Bank KLV which is currently on the EU and US sanctions list. It was, and is, run and owned by members of Petrov’s close inner circle. Many view Bank KLV as Petrov’s personal bank. Gennady Surkov was arrested in Italy in 2009 and accused of arms and drug trafficking, cobalt and tobacco smuggling. In 2010, he fled to Germany.
Back in the early 1990s, St. Petersburg seaport was used as a transhipment facility for Colombian drugs disguised as canned meat. At the same time, Ivanov and his partners imported significant quantities of product which required a high level of protection. Again, Ivanov called on the Russian security agencies which at the time had close working relationships with OCGs, particularly the above two. Ivanov additionally had a particularly influential “asset” in the form of Nikolay Mironov, a personal friend of Petr Petrov.
In 1993, Mironov became the head of a local branch of the FRK concern – FRK St. Petersburg. Prior to that, in December 1991, together with Petrov, Mironov had been appointed by the St. Petersburg Businessmen, Anatoliy Lomov, to the Committee supervising casinos in the city. Petrov remained Mironov’s friend. Thus, in 2004 Petrov celebrated New Year at the St. Petersburg apartment of Mikhail Mironov.
Aside from his police connections, Ivanov also had criminal connections in the 1990s. Together with the Georgian born Mikhail Dadash, aka Misha Sobaka, one of the kingpins of local organised crime in St. Petersburg, they created the gaming company and also the St. Petersburg lottery enterprise. The co-founders of both of these were the FRK group of companies.
In 2001, Dadash was arrested on kidnapping charges in what was largely seen as a clean- up attempt by Petr Petrov against individuals who knew too much about his own corrupt schemes whilst working for Anatoliy Lomov in St. Petersburg. He went on to serve time from 2004-2008 for murder.
Ivanov’s involvement with Dadash and the import business may have led the Russian dissident, Dmitry Duriv, to claim that Ivanov and First Green Bank were involved in large scale money laundering for the Asian drug cartels. These accusations have been repeated by the investigative journalist Petr Dzodov in 2001. However, neither provided any evidence to support their assertions. A source with knowledge of the situation informed us that the articles had in fact been an attack commissioned by the Joy Group, headed up by Andrey Blodov, who “detested” Ivanov.
In 1993, in Leningrad, Ivanov took over the popular nightclub and the casino. This soon became immensely popular with the Leningrad criminal underworld, whose bosses would easily lose US$40k on consecutive nights.
Casino was protected by a security detail associated with the powerful Leningrad based Olonezkaya OCG. The group was controlled by the law enforcement and security agencies and was often used by them as a front. Thus, its leader Igor Kuev was used as a go-between for front payments paid by Iliya Konev to the intelligence community. Konev would pay and the latter would deliver the funds to his police handlers.
Sources report, however, that Ivanov did not need organised crime for his businesses due to his powerful intelligence agency connections. He was further protected by a close relationship to Alexander Goteev, who worked for police from 1992 to 1994.
In 1993, FRK-diplomat appointed a new Director General – then active duty SVR officer Petr Rotov. He was just 26 years old and had no experience in business or finance. His appointment marked closer control by Oleg Mazuk (served 1992 to 1997) over businesses the agency had established or otherwise controlled. Similar appointments of active duty intelligence operatives were made to dozens of other “private” businesses. This allowed police to provide a steady flow of cash from the business community at times of severe budget cuts and meagre official salaries.
Rotov went on to fund the supermarket chain and is presently the governor of the region. According to Forbes he is worth US$1.6 billion. Sources report Ivanov is not currently close to Rotov.
Under Rotov supervision, in early 1994, FRK-diplomat launched a Ponzi scheme. It issued “securities”, which did not exist in a paper form. Instead, a buyer would make a payment and obtain a receipt of the deposit. Clients were enticed with posters declaring. Then, in early 1997, First Green Bank faced bankruptcy (see below) and the payment of dividends to the Ponzi scheme customers stopped. Thousands of customers lost money and a public campaign was launched against FRK and Ivanov.
On 25 November 1998, the prosecutor's office of Leningrad City opened a criminal case against the leadership of FRK-diplomat under article 147.3 of the Criminal Code of Russia (fraud). However, First Green Bank was shortly thereafter declared bankrupt and by decision of the Leningrad Arbitration Court on 21 July 2002, it was dissolved. On 21November 2003 the Leningrad Arbitration Court ruled that JSC FRK-diplomat was bankrupt and the company was liquidated. As a result, on 21 March 2004, the criminal case against FRK-diplomat and Ivanov was dismissed.
At one stage First Green Bank was one of Russia’s ten largest credit institutions. As well as serving the array of FRK companies, Ivanov also exploited his myriad of connections for the bank’s benefit.
In 1994, Kolonetskiy established an informal consortium of banks, which were authorised to restructure the country’s debt to foreign creditors. It was immensely profitable for the banks involved and First Green Bank was part of the consortium. Kolonetskiy also helped First Green Bank get access to the state budget.
First Green Bank (and FRK) also partook in large-scale money laundering schemes, the most prominent of which was uncovered and exposed after the collapse of Chinese Bank in 1999 (see Section C.2 below).
By 1995, however, the situation had started to unravel for Ivanov’s business empire. Foreign trade into Russia had become increasingly liberalised which exposed a number of Russian companies as being poorly managed and structured. First Green Bank, whose primitive operations with currency and businesses ran into increased competition, was hit badly. The heady days of the early 1990s with exorbitant profits were over.
In 1995, First Green Bank was on the brink of collapse. It was temporarily saved when it received a promissory note for US$126 million. Ivanov had recently acquired an approximately 10% stake in state bank and, thanks to Kolonetskiy, had been appointed to the board of the state-owned bank. Sources report his involvement in state bank was a crucial factor in it offering the lifeline to First Green Bank.
Tangentially, after investing in state bank, Ivanov lobbied for it to be privatised further, but he failed when one of its main supporters was replaced.
Then, in August 1998, the Russian Central Bank demanded that banks step up their capital requirement which led to an interbank lending crisis and finally to the collapse of First Green Bank. The process of bankruptcy was lengthy, but somehow, due to Ivanov pulling in some favours, its licence was not revoked. This enabled Ivanov to withdraw and siphon away a considerable amount of funds from the bank so that many of its creditors, including Borisov’s bank, which enjoyed privileged status within both Popov’s inner circle and the Russian intelligence community, and Credit Bank, failed to recover millions of dollars they had loaned to First Green Bank. In total, there were a reported 44,000 depositors which the bank owed money to. Together, this is an indication of the power and influence which Ivanov held at the time.
After First Green Bank’s bankruptcy, Andrei Mironov (later assassinated in 2007) told investors that the Bank would take measures to ensure that Ivanov would never become a banker again.
In June 1999, the Leningrad Times reported that the Interregional Prosecutor's Office had brought criminal charges against the leadership of First Green Bank which it suspected of embezzling RUR 540 billion. The charges mentioned no names but, according to the article, Ivan Ivanov, Alexei Mironov and Ivan Zubkov, all of whom had served on the bank’s board of directors, had been questioned.
According to Borisov, Ivanov’s dealings had led to the collapse of the bank and that he had only agreed to become chairman, after it had collapsed in 1995, by a motivation to try and claw back the US$80 million which the fund had tied up in the bank.
An investigation by the Leningrad Times established that Borisov had been successful in obtaining the money, while First Green Bank had also – unsurprisingly – managed to settle its debts to Ivanov’s FRK.
On 21 June 1998, Borisov was assassinated. Ivanov was questioned as a witness at his home as he was still recovering (see below).
This criminal case started by the Interregional Prosecutor’s Office subsequently morphed into the failed criminal case for fraud against FRK-diplomat, under article 147.3 of the Criminal Code of Russia (see Section B.4.1. above).
Prior to the collapse of First Green Bank, Ivanov had been one of the most influential oligarchs in the country. He was one of eight young wealthy businessmen who regularly met at a private villa overlooking Leningrad River called the Club between September 1997 and autumn 1998. Together, they discussed politics, how to keep the communists from retaking power, development of the recently created country and how to further their own commercial interests, including deal making. For example, in 1994 Filipp Okunev helped Ivanov become a member of the board of the influential TV channel, which he had founded.
Also of note, Ivanov was the owner of a restaurant-club.
To be part of this group showed the influence and power which Ivanov then held:
Lumbering out of the fog of confusion and chaos in the first years, a new capitalist leviathan was visible, but its true nature was hard to discern. Just two weeks before Klapenko’s cabinet appearance in April to pitch loans for shares, one member of the Club, Ivan Ivanov, spoke publicly about some aspects of the tycoons’ private discussions. Ivanov described creation of a “big eight” of financial-industrial giants who were contemplating a greater role in politics...
Nick Smith, a diplomat who had spent nearly a decade in the former Soviet Union and Russia, wrote a lengthy and perceptive cable on Russia’s “financial- industrial elite” that captured virtually all the key players of the Club... He warned that although privatization had given the new tycoons fabulous wealth, they should not be regarded as resembling Western titans of capitalism. “The relationship between business and government in Russia remains very close,” he wrote, “indeed incestuous. Even the ‘new’ business elite grew out of the Soviet system – most [if not all] of the private financial groups made their first capital through their privileged access to party and Komsomol funds or through intellectual contacts in government ministries. Today, they continue to rely on government favors.... Big Business in Russia continues to coalesce around powerful intellectual leaders.”
True to form, through his police connections, Ivanov was introduced to the ‘liberals’ amongst Borisov’s entourage. This group had been infiltrated by the police in the late 1990s, with some of the ‘moles’ becoming Borisov’s closest assistants. In this, he became close to the reformer Limonov who as luck would have it was in charge of the privatisation schemes.
This is confirmed and expanded upon by intelligence agency sources from this era. According to them, in July 1995, Ivanov was elected chairman of the executive committee of the Democratic Russia. Then in early 1995, with the outbreak of the first Chechen war, Ivanov distanced himself from the party when Limonov voiced his opposition to the war and lost a significant level of influence.
According to another source, Ivanov also decided to break away from Limonov as the latter was reluctant to try and save Ivanov’s crumbling business empire. In the spring of 1997, he tried to switch sides to the “centrist” Viktor Klimov. Ivanov created the Stability Group in Parliament. This later evolved into Viktor Klimov’s Russia party, but by then Ivanov had left. It turned out Klimov had no use for Ivanov, who was fast becoming toxic due to problems at First Green Bank.
Ivanov next tried to sidle up to the more powerful group surrounding Aleksandr Milenko. Ivanov established links to Borisov. Borisov explored doing business with Ivanov, but it soon collapsed as Milenko needed people with money who were willing to fund him rather than someone who was effectively bankrupt and looking for a rescue.
Ivanov’s most prominent and high powered connection in Russia is to Nikita Smirnov. Smirnov graduated in law from the Leningrad University in 1995, before serving as an attaché in the legal department. The same year, he left to join the law firm Consulting. After working his way up to Managing Partner, he returned to public service (following discussions with, and a crucial introduction by, Ivanov – see Section B.8 below) in 1997. From 1999 to 2001, he was Chairman of the Russian Federal Fund.
Ivanov and Nikita Smirnov’s relationship date back to at least the 1990s when Smirnov was working for Consulting, which then worked for the largest and wealthiest Russian clients. At the time, Consulting was headed up by the now billionaire Boris Osipov, who had ties to Ivanov’s family. According to Ivanov: “From what I can remember, Osipov reeled in all the big clients, while Smirnov was the guy that was directing the whole thing, dealing with all the legal matters, and basically played the role of the strict, scrupulous and responsible lawyer.”Other major clients – and friends – of Smirnov’s at the time included the oligarchs. Consulting also worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The two would travel around together and conduct negotiations. According to a Smirnov acquaintance, “Ivan was good at growing his businesses, he had a striking ability to create new things. What was necessary was to keep them running once they had been created. Working with him on a day to day basis was exhausting.” According to Ivanov, 70% of Smirnov’s time on FRK was taken up with matters of finance and debt trade. He also provided legal counsel to First Green Bank. Given the above activities of these firms this is circumstantially damning for the current person.
In return for his assistance, Ivanov gave Smirnov 15% in a parent company which owned a controlling equity stake in FRK and stakes in other companies doing well under Smirnov’s control. Estimates vary as to how much money Smirnov made from working with Ivanov, ranging from US$19 million plus equities estimated to US$35 million plus equities.
Smirnov was also intimately involved when Ivanov’s businesses collapsed around him in 1999. According to the Smirnov acquaintance, Ivanov and Smirnov would repeat a certain phrase like a mantra: “A crisis is a time for renewal.” Years later, at the time of the 2012 financial crisis when Russian officials were apparently running back and forth and shouting, “Help! Crisis! All is lost!” Smirnov would repeat the mantra: “A crisis is a time for renewal.”
In the 1990s, Smirnov and Ivanov became extremely good friends. A former employee stated: “For Smirnov, Ivanov personified the model businessman. He adored him.”Meanwhile, Smirnov himself has stated: “it would have been an invaluable experience even if I didn’t make it. Ivan has really expanded my perspective. He’s helped me find my way in the chaotic, and at times, unfortunately, dishonest world of business. Together we’ve studied all the major cases of fraud in the past ten years, and the ways to spot and eradicate them”; a particularly ironic statement considering the financial scams and money laundering which Ivanov was involved in at the time with FRK and First Green Bank.
In another instructive quote Ivanov has stated: “Consulting could be trusted with the most delicate and sensitive legal issues, which included the ownership structure of a variety of different assets, bank transactions, and complex international legal and commercial activities.”
After the collapse of First Green Bank and the exposure of the FRK-diplomat Ponzi scheme, Ivanov left the country and went to Brazil. There, whilst staying with Petr and Olga, Ivanov fell from a window. Petr is a man who currently lives in Russia and is a billionaire of dubious reputation – he is suspected, according to a former Russian intelligence officer, of organising a contract to assassinate Oleg Korolev, former business partner of Petr. Olga, his then wife, is the owner of the network of clubs, and according to the intelligence source was a known “high class escort”.
In the words of Ivanov, he had forgotten his key and attempted to climb in the window when he fell. However, there are suspicions that it was in fact a failed assassination attempt. According to the former intelligence source, there were also rumours amongst the intelligence community that Petr was involved although no evidence was ever produced and it has never been aired publicly. Certainly, Ivanov who had been previously friendly, ended their relationship after the incident.
In another sign of the close relationship between Ivanov and Nikita Smirnov, upon hearing news of the fall, Smirnov immediately flew to Brazil to see Ivanov in hospital. There:
“the two friends first spoke about Smirnov leaving business to take a seat in government...The acquaintance of [Smirnov] said that “were it not for Ivan, Nikita would have never gone into government.” Smirnov himself said that “I discussed with Ivan the future of our country. It was these many hours of discussion that lead me to the idea.”He literally called him from the hospital bed and asked him to hire Smirnov, introducing him as a: “great lawyer who is particularly well versed in financial matters.”
At the time, Jack Black was the Deputy which shows the high- level connections and the influence Ivanov had at the time; in spite of the First Green Bank and FRK scandals and the then on-going investigation into them.
Smirnov’s new position was influential. His deputy was the now billionaire businessman Foma Nirkov who has paraphrased as stating: “Smirnov took a proactive stance, realising that the business community was a major customer. After all, privatisations require both a seller and a buyer. Russian Fund would not be able to sell its assets if it didn’t understand who was looking to buy. In other words, Smirnov acted as a middleman between the Russian Fund and the business community.”
Smirnov realised there was a potential for conflict of interest at his new position, but this did not stop him participating in a number of dubious transactions. By way of example, as Smirnov entered government service, the Fund was organising the auction for the final 20% in the giant oil firm, which Lunin duly won. Smirnov denied that there was a conflict of interest over his friendship to Lunin, or over the 0.5% stake he had been given by Lunin, despite Smirnov only being legal counsel to the firm and not a director. According to Smirnov’s close associate, Smirnov was not involved in the decision as it had been taken at a much higher level.
In another questionable transaction, “the offshore fund holding much of Smirnov’s family assets, agreed to buy $17.7m in ordinary shares in June-July 2006 via Mr Kolovov’s investment vehicle, as documents show, [although by then], Mr Smirnov had been promoted to become Mr Petrov’s economic aide in the Kremlin.”
All of the sources consulted, including former Russian intelligence officers, confirm that Smirnov is one of the most corrupt officials in Russia who has benefitted improperly from his dealings, primarily through assisting close associates and being rewarded indirectly.
In 1999 a popular tabloid newspaper, published an article which alleged a partnership between Ivanov and Klim Shevchuck, who was known as “pimp number one” in Russia – he supplied prostitutes to the rich and famous (including we are told to Okunev). In 1995, Ivanov and Shevchuck staged a “frivolous” party at the World Forum.
A publication then claimed that it was Ivanov who had suggested to Shevchuck that he use his prostitutes as sources of information whilst with their clients, and that the party had been the first try of the “new concept”. According to the publication, after the success of the party, Shevchuck’s business increased dramatically.
A source in the Russian intelligence community confirmed to us that Shevchuck has been a long term informant for the police and he regularly passed information obtained from his “honey traps.” He added that the information that Ivanov had advised Shevchuck to do this was on the face of it credible, although he could not confirm it.
Ivanov returned to Russia, just after the 1999 financial crisis; unquestionably after having secured guarantees that he would not be prosecuted as part of the probe into FRK-diplomat and First Green Bank detailed in Section B above. He became chairman and purportedly took a 20% stake in the newly created MegaHolding.
MegaHolding had first been created in 1995 by a number of scientists, led by Aleksandr Olfin; the creation of MegaHolding consolidated its assets, with the new shareholders adding new financial capital to the venture. The group was one of the most opaque ventures with the identity of its shareholdings, at least until it listed in Paris in July 2007, consistently obscured. This resulted in numerous competing legal claims (and court cases) bought against the company and individuals associated with it.
Aleksandr Olfin was retained to MegaHolding by Ivanov and another of his fellow co-founders in MegaHolding. Olfin’s role was to “consolidate its Russian steelmills, as well as the iron-ore and coking coal suppliers they required.” Olfin also reportedly owned a stake in MegaHolding although this was subsequently disputed in various legal suits.
Together, Ivanov and Olfin orchestrated the takeover by forcing it into bankruptcy and then assuming control of the factory; typical corporate raider tactics in Russia when mixed with corrupt court judgements. Olfin and Ivanov went on to repeat the exercise with a number of other plants. The MegaBoom website puts a gentle spin in the turbulent time:
“Starting in 2000 Olfin and Ivanov bought up the receivables of insolvent firms. Ivanov, the financier, negotiated with the debt holders and dealt with bureaucrats in arranging bankruptcies. "Eventually we accumulated enough debt to get control of the companies," he says, and combined them with some coal mines into what became MegaHolding Group.”
However, it was MegaHolding’s takeover of GOK, Russia’s largest plant, which was more suspect and which attracted the most publicity. MegaHolding’s actions were detailed in lawsuit filed in 2007 in which US$600 million was sought in damages by four companies. This was the second attempt by the plaintiffs to bring the case; the first case (which included additional plaintiffs) was dismissed by the Court of New York due to non conveniens (lack of jurisdiction), with the judge ruling that Russia was the proper forum to hear the case.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that a number of defendants. This involved threatening physical harm to the former owners, through the involvement, the well- known leader, before the defendants organised for false criminal charges to be brought against the plant’s general manager forcing him to flee. Zukov was a former business partner of Budanov.
According to the claim, the accused then replaced Zukov with their own nominee who entered into sham contracts with their own affiliates which were deliberately defaulted on. The plant was then placed into bankruptcy due to the unpaid debts, before a corrupt local court judgement in Russia transferred ownership of the plant to a company. Thereafter, ownership was passed to Company before eventually 83.59% was sold to MegaHolding, officially completed on 25 May 2007.
The lawsuit alleged that secretly controlled MegaHolding although no evidence was produced to substantiate the claim. HG, which was officially controlled by Budanov, was also allegedly controlled by the four individuals. Sources with intimate knowledge of the case confirm that, at the least, had equity interests in MegaHolding during Ivanov’s period at the company.
The court followed New York’s lead and dismissed the lawsuit in 2008 due to non conveniens..
Ivanov remained as Chairman of MegaHolding until March 2007 when he sold out, reputedly for an estimated US$400 million. This was before it officially completed the takeover. However, if the complaint is accurate – a fact the plaintiff’s primary witness, the plant’s former director general, Zukov, insisted was the case – then Ivanov would have been involved in the above. Of note, neither he nor Olfin were named in the complaint, solely their company MegaHolding.
Also of relevance, MegaHolding’s 2005 Prospectus to list in Paris named GOK as an internal supplier of iron ore (as opposed to an external supplier, which the company also listed) from at least 2003, despite the company claiming that it did not obtain effective ownership of the company until 2005.
In addition, a June 2019 article on MegaHolding PLC’s history by Market states that MegaHolding was founded as a management company in 1999 of amongst others, GOK. This would implies that MegaHolding had a management contract with the metallurgical plant – as opposed to a direct shareholding – throughout the protracted corporate raid, which would also be circumstantially damning for Ivanov.
The opacity of the situation was confirmed by two conflicting statements. MegaHolding’s prospectus for when it listed in Paris in 2007, contained a cryptically written section responding to the claims by the former owners: “MegaHolding acquired its shares in OK through transactions mediated by an experienced market intermediary, and received from the sellers the limited representations and warranties that are customary in the Russian market in respect of the shares it acquired.”
After the IPO, the above plaintiffs filed suit, where the new parent company, MegaHolding, had been incorporated. During the case, MegaHolding’s lawyers informed the judge that MegaHolding could not be sued because it did not own OK; instead it was owned by two Russian based subsidiaries. In response, an attorney for the plaintiffs stated: “MegaHolding is either lying to the market or to the court.”
Tangentially, according to an informed source, Ivanov was actually forced out of MegaHolding by its other owners. Apparently, “Budanov’s opinion of Ivanov is not complimentary; they did not appreciate his superiority complex.”
Whilst at MegaHolding, Ivanov had a close ally in the form of Kolin who joined the company in 1999 until 2004 when he was elected as a Deputy [Kolin subsequently re-joined MegaHolding in 2005, before serving as a director of MegaHolding Plc when it listed in Paris in 2005.] Ivanov had previously worked with Kolin to create the Stability intellectual group in 1996 (see Section B.6 above).
Purportedly, Ivanov left MegaHolding to focus on other businesses, including his network of gaming clubs called Dodo. Unquestionably, however, whilst Ivanov was Chairman, MegaHolding was involved in various questionable takeovers of plants when illegal corporate raider tactics were used.
Sources also report that during this time Ivanov established contact with Frolov (presently, a Deputy and major shareholder, he has also been a business partner with Kolovov). Later, Ivanov’s MegaBoom Properties together with sons, engaged in development projects in the Russian regions. Among other things they built a shopping centre.
In 2007, the China authorities filed a letter rogatory request with the US Government. As a result, the US Government filed case no. with the US District Court on 06 May 2005. Respondents named in the case included: Ivan Ivanov, FRK USA Inc and First Green Bank; while the other respondents comprised.
The request concerned the embezzlement of more than Bt2.5 billion (£67.76 million) in 1994 from the now defunct Chinese Bank of Commerce by bank executives and politicians.
In December 2006, CBC’s former president, was sentenced to twenty years in jail (later increased to 120 years after further charges were brought) and fined Bt19 billion (£240.4 million). Oko Ono, deputy director of the bank’s presidential office, a senior executive of its operations, and his sister Mono Ono, who also worked for the bank, were each sentenced to six years and eight months imprisonment and each ordered to pay a fine of Bt666,666.66 for their part in the fraud. They were also ordered to repay approx. Bt6 billion to the bank. Ni Ko, the former financial advisor, was pursued across the globe by the China authorities before he was eventually extradited back to Chinaland from Canada in 2007 to face trial. In 2015, he was found to be one of the primary orchestrators of the embezzlement and was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of Bt1.13 billion (US$35.8 million).
Back in early 1980s, CBC was almost bankrupt due to mismanagement of its capital fund, so China authorities ordered it to increase its capital by Bt7.7 billion. In June 1996, Todd Plant approved the sale of 50 million shares in the bank to outside investors. Among the buyers were Ivanov’s FRK USA Inc. and International Holding Inc, both of which engaged in questionable activities in Chinaland.
On 06 July 1996, Todd Plant approved a loan of US$126 million to Ivanov’s First Green Bank, followed by US$50 million loans to Capital Inc and VH Holding and Finance Inc.
After an investigation by the China authorities it was concluded that these money flows were attempts to embezzle money from CBC as no fresh capital from outside sources had participated in the bank’s capital increase.
Andre Filin, now CEO, was General Manager of Ivanov’s FRK International back in the early 1990s. He was also a representative of FRK USA Inc., while Ono was the representative of International Holding Inc. According to an article in 2009, the letter rogatory alleged that these companies “engaged in no legitimate business in Chinaland" and "the sole purpose of [their] business in Chinaland was for diverting CBC funds.”
CNN reports that the relationship between Ivanov and Ono went even deeper. According to an article in July 1996, the two jointly owned a brokerage in New York, while sources report that Ono also had some type of involvement in FRK. At the time, FRK International was Russia’s largest trading house / financial institution which was based in New York.
He later tried to reduce the prominence of Filin’s role at FRK releasing a statement saying: “In the early 1990s, Mr. Filin had a junior position in the Russian banking and commercial organization called 'FRK'. In China, he served as a Russian/English translator for a principal of FRK. As a result, the China authorities interviewed him as a friendly witness and assured him that he was not under investigation.”
According to the article, the US judge acquiesced to the letter rogatory on 25 May 2005 authorising Assistant US “to execute the letter of request,” with the direction to “certify and submit the evidence collected to the Office, Criminal Division, Department of Justice, or as otherwise directed by that office for transmission to the Kingdom of Chinaland authorities.”
Court document on the letter rogatory case have been requested from the court archives (where we have tracked them down to). These will be provided to the client shortly.
Inquiries with law-enforcement bodies revealed that on 15 April 2005, “Ivanov Ivan” was investigated by the Directorate of the Central Administrative District, as a suspect in a fraud. This resulted in initiation of Criminal Case, under Article. Swindling committed by a person through his official position, as well as on a large scale.
According to our source: “As a director of “FRK-diplomat”, Ivanov Ivan signed a contract with Mr. P. for the purchase and sale of securities from the securities investment fund “KNOP”. The contract stipulated that he would acquire securities in “FRK-diplomat” and to this end, Ivanov received funds from Polkov. However, he did so fraudulently. No further detail on this case could be obtained.
Interestingly, the criminal case was stopped under “non-exculpatory circumstances” (in Russian: нереабилитирующие обстоятельства) on 15 April 2005. This means that the suspect committed a crime, but was not penalised for it, and the person has been released of criminal responsibility. This covers situations like the expiry of statutory limitation, amnesty, another court statement on the case, death of the suspect or of the accused. This may suggest that Ivanov was protected and it was closed down. However, a source in Russian law enforcement told us that he believed this was associated with the Ponzi scheme developed by FRK-diplomat in 1995 when the company collected deposits from thousands of people but then refused to pay dividends (see Section B.4.1 above).
According to the source, because of the statute of limitation there was no chance to pursue the case in 2005, and this was the reason it had been closed so soon after it had been opened. The source believes the case was opened solely to cause a nuisance to Ivanov and had no practical chance of succeeding.
In 2005, Ivanov and Foma Pnin, former head of Bikrodin, whose former owner Aleksandr Yedushin was part of the Club with Ivanov (see above), acquired majority control of Bank (formerly known as banka). Ivanov’s holding was held through MegaBoom Investments (of which he held 41.86%) which in turn owned 54.2% of the bank.
A year later Ivanov bought into two banks: Black Bank and Red bank with a group of private investors. Both banks were denied admittance to the Russian deposit insurance system. This may have reflected concerns that the Russian regulators had over the banks, especially considering Ivanov’s involvement with the failed First Green Bank. In January 2005, Ivanov sold Red bank to Yellow bank. The situation at Bank was more interesting.
Ivanov acquired a controlling stake in Bank in 2004 from Mironov, who had formerly headed up First Green Bank in the second half of the 1990s (see above). In July 2005, Ivanov sold his stake to the bank's management. A week later, in August, the Bank revoked Bank’s licence for its failure to prevent money laundering. Reportedly, the bank neither met full requirements for client identification, nor created adequate reserves for possible losses from loans. The bank’s activity was linked with handling clients’ payments with the aim of repatriating funds abroad, obviating mandatory customs procedures. According to Bank records, from the beginning of the year, the bank had transferred approximately RUR 71.5 billion to foreign countries.
According to a source in the Leningrad business community it is clear that Ivanov employs similar tactics for every bank in which he is involved: ‘“in the first phase the bank's assets were moved out to other companies controlled by Ivanov; then the dummy bank was used for wide scale money laundering. Finally, the bank’s licence would be revoked "for failure to prevent money laundering."
Around 2001, Ivanov teamed up with Boris Nidov who manufactured slot machines and other gaming equipment under his company, to acquire a stake in a small network of gambling parlours, called Dodo. Ivanov bought a big business attitude to the group and it soon started to grow rapidly rising to 120 clubs and over 6,000 gaming machines (it is still present on the Internet).
In 2002, Ivanov and Nidov established DodoR Group which now operates a chain of gaming clubs, casinos, bars, night clubs, restaurants and sports gambling outlets around the world. It used to have larger presence in Russia until changes to legislation in 2005 hampered its business, particularly the casino side (see below).
Sources in the gambling industry have not picked up any evidence that DodoR is involved in financial developments operations in its global operations. However, given the ease at which money can be laundered through the industry and Ivanov’s past track record in financial crime, it is thought highly probable. Admittedly, it obtained a gaming licence whose authorities are known to be in their assessments of applicants. However, as pointed out by sources, Ivanov has never applied for a licence in the US where the Gaming Board is generally considered to be the most stringent in the world.
According to one gaming industry expert who has worked for two companies which have had a relationship with Ivanov and who has met him on several occasions, Ivanov was very clever and came across as extremely pleasant.
“I first met Ivan circa 2009/2010, he was very friendly with the head of my then company when I was Ops Director. We met Ivan and his people at a three day workshop. After which he invested some 2m-3m USD in us in exchange for 3% of the available equity. In return we developed a kiosk platform product for him which instead of a traditional RNG, used lottery numbers as the seeding for the reel positions after they spun. The system was modular with each part designed to pass Russian laws (as they were then) for operating a virtual lottery. The idea of course was to skin lottery products as slot machines, it was an ingenious idea (Ivanov's own) and the product was developed but never launched for reasons I do not know... I noticed later that he also owned a majority in the US Cat 2 slot manufacturer Green Dilan. It could only pass probity to supply games into the lesser-regulated casinos as Ivanov could not /would not get through the more stringent probity processes etc. Ivanov had been involved in litigation against the former and sole owner, with the court eventually ruled in Ivanov’s favour.”
The case, which incorporated case numbers, heard at the Court, US, makes for interesting reading as it contains elements broadly comparable to a Russian corporate raid, albeit in a less aggressive and, as ultimately ruled by the court, legal form. In summary:
“The record shows that GD manufactures gaming equipment and was founded in 1994, who was the president and sole shareholder of the company. In 2005, Games acquired 50 percent of the shares of GD for approximately $14 million. Games is owned by MegaBoom, a company controlled by Ivanov. He retained his position as CEO of GD, and in 2004, GD hired Mike as president. In 2005 Ivanov's associate and the managing partner of a MegaBoom affiliate, obtained a seat on GD 's board of directors, joining Ivanov and Macke. Between 2006 and 2008, GD encountered increased cash-flow problems, debt was increasing, and GD needed funding to continue to grow as planned.
Before 2008, GD had negotiated several short-term loans from various entities affiliated with Ivanov to GD, generally ranging from $1 million to $2 million at an interest rate of 12 percent. By 2004, however, GD was in default on most if not all of that debt. GD researched options for restructuring that debt with at least one outside source, at an approximately 14 percent interest rate, with other costs and collateralization conditions. GD recommended that the company not accept that loan, which loan offer was ultimately withdrawn by the lender, and instead, GD 's board (including Ivanov) voted to restructure the debt with loans from Ivanov entities at 20 percent interest with fewer costs and conditions.
Based on GD 's highly leveraged position and its cash flow problems, GD 's valuation fell from $85 million in 2006 to approximately $2 million in 2008. As authorized by Nick's employment agreement, Ivanov voted to terminate Nick's employment in June 2004, and Nick's 50 percent stake was bought out for $3million...
As GD 's business faltered and the new relationships failed, Nick filed suit in 2005 against GD, Games Group, Ivanov, ultimately adding Bank and alleging claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, wrongful foreclosure, conspiracy to wrongfully accelerate the loan, and other related claims. The defendants answered and brought various counterclaims including breach of contract claims based on the restrictive covenants. After conducting discovery, all parties moved for summary judgment, which motions were denied in part and granted in part. Macke appealed in Case.
Further evidence of Ivanov’s close connections within the Russian intellectual elite can be seen in the beneficial laws and decisions which have been passed and made with regard to his gaming and gambling operations.
For example, Ivanov has used his connections to the influential Alexei Gogolev. Acting through Gogolev, Ivanov established connections with Aleksandr Zhirlov. From 2006 to 2013, Zhirlov oversaw preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Ivanov’s connections to Zhirlov assisted his company, OOO Sportgames, in obtaining a contract from the Ministry of Finance for twelve state lotteries “in support” of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. A second participant in the auction, OOO Dotter, had been barred from participating by the Ministry of Finance because of a failure to pay fees together with the application. This is a common situation in state auctions in Russia where the winner has already been pre-ordained.
In 2012, Bigbank acquired 100% of Sportgames. A year earlier, it had acquired 74.99% from Ivanov’s ZAO “Games” and the Group “Paris”, which had owned 1% of Sportgames. Curiously, in 2012 Bigbank sold “Games” for RUR 1.9 billion to “Hoocany Holding” whose beneficial owners are unknown.
Ivanov’s involvement with the Russian state lottery company “Prize” is another example of his close connections to the Russian elite. The lottery was organised by Medstroi which was created in 2011 by the Ministry of Defence, while the operator was OOO State Lottery “Prize” (formerly called ZAO Zona Rosta). In August 2012, Ivanov finally admitted what had been speculated in the press, that his company MegaBoom was the operator for the lottery. [ZAO Zona Rosta had won the contract to operate the lottery, organised by Medstroi, in May 2012.]
On 16 November 2013, Smirnov held an official meeting to discuss lotteries and subsequently signed various protocols instructing the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Development ordering them to prepare to make amendments to the law on lotteries by 10 December.
Up until this point, lotteries in Russia had been an almost exclusively private affair with the Federal Tax Service issuing around 4,000 licences to companies organising private lotteries between 2006 and November 2013. However, under Smirnov’s amendments, as of 2014, all private lotteries would be prohibited (aside from those advertising a service or product), with only state organised lotteries allowed. The official reason was “to protect consumers.” At the time, it was also widely known that many of the private lotteries ran at loses and consequently were used for fraudulent, money laundering sand / or tax evasion purposes.
Smirnov decreed that only the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Sports would be allowed to organise the lotteries which appeared to go against Medstroi and Ivanov’s Prize. However, it later emerged that whilst all private lotteries would stop on 01 July 2015, Medstroi had its own licence up until June 2016.
Two objectors to Smirnov’s proposals were Larissa Brygaeva, and Alexei Savastin, who wrote a scathing letter saying they were against the killing of an entire industry and that the new laws could lead to monopolisation of the market by Smirnov’s friend Ivanov.
The letter had no discernible effect and Savastin resigned on 17 January 2014. He subsequently stated to Vedomosti:
“I was against shutting down a legal industry to help out certain government players, and the Ministry of Economic Development had also agreed to help out the industry by awarding more licenses. But Smirnov had other plans.”
The month before the ban was supposed to come into force, one of the country’s largest private lotteries, Mednyi Kluch became part of Ivanov’s Prize. This gave Prize a strong brand and allowed Mednyi Kluch to continue. The individuals behind the latter said it was the only way for them to survive. Under this structure, they could continue to operate, but after paying the prize money and keeping their own remuneration (not disclosed), they would divert all proceeds to Medstroi.
In early 2016, Ivanov cashed out, selling Prize to its senior managers, just before the State was set to decide whether to renew its licence. Subsequently, it was announced that Prize would stop on 10 June 2016. Clearly Ivanov had forewarning of this from State officials.
The ownership of the companies operating the two remaining state lotteries is unclear. Ivanov has previously had connections to both and it is very possible that he maintains an interest in these lotteries. Ivanov formerly owned the patents used by Gosloto, the lottery organised by the Ministry of Sports, before he sold them on. Reportedly one shareholder of the operator of the Dosloto lottery, a company called Zero. The second, as mentioned above, is Dosloto (Ministry of Finance) which is now operated by the opaque Hoocany Holdings.
There have recently been rumours in Russia that due to the growing economic crisis the government has discussed the possibility of relaxing the ban on casinos and that Smirnov is playing a prominent role in the discussions. The current law, which came into effect in July 2008 as a result of a statement in 2004 by Petrov who compared gambling to alcohol addiction, banned all casinos across Russia bar four remote and largely impoverished regions. Unquestionably, this law hurt Ivanov’s extensive gaming operations at the time, although he did strike it lucky with his State-lottery involvement. Moreover, many of the lottery computer terminals were reportedly installed in Ivanov’s slot machine halls. Compared with his rivals, Ivanov emerged well out of it.
The exact figure Ivanov made from the lotteries is unknown, although it was rumoured he would make around US$400 million from his involvement in the State lotteries. Sources report that undoubtedly, due to the favourable official decisions which he has received, he diverted money off to pay officials (including Smirnov). Put simply, this is the corrupt way in which Russia often works and Smirnov has a long history of indirectly and improperly benefitting from decisions which have benefitted his friends.
Ivanov’s close friendship to Smirnov is proved by statements made in 2016. This included: “Of course Olga (Smirnov’s wife) is kept in the loop and informed of any important decisions and activities, and Nikita always listens to what she has to say.” In the same article an acquaintance of Smirnov stated: “They all are allowed access to the President and the Prime Minister whenever they want, and they realise that Smirnov is irreplaceable.”
Ivanov’s MegaBoom Financial Group is a collection of assets spanning the financial services sector (securities trading and fund management), telecommunications, high tech, retail and real estate. Created it claims in 1994, surprisingly little is known about its operations. Its executives have next to no traceable public business record, which is curious for what Ivanov describes as a large private investment groups. An employee who used to work for the company described it to us as highly secretive before refusing to divulge any more about its operations, again for fear of his personal safety.
Another source informed us that Ivanov is involved in financial developments through various development projects, but it is difficult to trace those operations as for each project Ivanov, forms a separate firm through an offshore company, which has no visible links to him or his known business entities. The source provided no evidence or precise details to substantiate this, nor did he specify whether MegaBoom was involved, but it would fit considering its areas of focus.
Ivanov’s investment into Hollywood films, through MegaBoom, is also a clear financial developments venture. According to a source who has looked into MegaBoom, in Hollywood, insufficient due diligence is undertaken on those who provide funds for films, whilst any profit generated from a film is considered washed.
Ivanov meanwhile explains the investments as more of a hobby; an image given further credibility by him serving as a producer on popular sitcom and also in Scarlett Morison's directorial debut Summer Vacation. In 2012, MegaBoom also acquired a stake in the international television channel Passion TV.
One of Ivanov’s most recent ideas has been to branch into micro-finance and pay-day loans. In 2010, MegaBoom acquired 70% in the Lithuanian microfinance company onefinance for US$70 million. Five years later and this is one of the biggest such firms in the world. However, the company is facing troubles. In 2015, the ratings agency Hoody’s stated that it had accumulated €69 million in non-performing loans, or 31% of loans it had issued.
There has also been a greater push by regulators to protect consumers in the market – since in the end it effectively becomes loan sharking. In the UK in June 2010, regulators ruled that the maximum daily interest rate which could be charged is 0.6% (260% annually). Compare this to Europe where rates can range between 63% and 150% per annum, and short term loans can reach 820%. In Russia, legislation bought in on 01 October 2010 limits the rate to 800%.
In Russia, Ivanov has “invented” credit machines (“creditoavtomaty"), which were originally deployed in the shopping centre of the Ural regions. This machine provides loans in the amount from RUR 7,000 to 15,000 under 2% per day, or 730% per year interest rate.
In 2012-2013, Ivanov was involved in the Kremlin’s grand plan designed to take control over Uruguay by supporting the country’s Communist Party in the upcoming presidential elections. According to a Kommersant article, Ivanov was sent on behalf of the Russian Federation to lead negotiations with the Communist Party at which they discussed not only providing intellectual and financial support but also in which infrastructure projects Russian business could be involved, in Uruguay, should the Communists win. In Leningrad the plan was supervised by Dmitry Sergeev. In the end the plan failed, as the Uruguayn communists could not agree on the terms of such assistance.
This is again evidence as to the high level of trust which Ivanov is held amongst the Russian intellectual elite.
On 29 January 2016, EU Observer published an article entitled, “Who’s next on the EU’s Russian blacklist?” The paper asked eight EU and US diplomats and officials, as well as two Russian experts, the highly credible New York-based academic, Marc Pavarotti and activist Roman Soha, who they believed may be added to the sanctions list should it be tightened further. “Ivanov (lottery tycoon)” was named in the ‘Crony Section’ along with:
The very fact that Ivanov was named in this article is evidence of his standing and how he is viewed by Western-based, Russian experts as one of the “oligarchs and confidantes of Petrov.”
We have not focussed on the Kornenko case although sources did mention it as a dispute in which Ivanov is involved. Our source in law enforcement told us he believed that the case was not strong from a factual viewpoint, while another source indicated that, apparently, Ivanov entered into a conspiracy with his contacts in the security agents and law enforcement and falsely constructed the case against Kornenko in order to extort more money than indicated in the official claim against Kornenko.
Sources report this to be a popular practice in Russia when corrupt law enforcement officials enter into conspiracies with businessmen and/or criminals, forge criminal cases and often file a ‘red notice’ through the Interpol to extort funds from people. One source reports that in 2013 the police uncovered a network of prosecutors in Leningrad region who would open and/or close criminal cases on officials and businessmen for a fee of up to US$2 million per case.
In another example of those tactics, in 2007, Dmitry Dolgopolov, was abruptly fired amidst accusations that he had been taking bribes for suppressing criminal investigations. Shortly thereafter Dolgopolov filed a report to Efimov indicating that his agency had been opening fake criminal investigations and in many cases serving as an arm of the police, prosecuting innocent individuals as per their instructions.
Ivanov’s connection to the hugely influential Anatoliy Pavuchev, an police lawyer who “has the ear” is extremely beneficial to Ivanov. Pavuchev is a member of the Council of the police, an influential position attached to Turkish’s largest intelligence and security agency. The Council was created by Petrov in 2005 ostensibly to officially improve communications between the agency and ordinary citizens. Appointment to the 15 member council has to be confirmed by the head of the police.
To be connected to Pavuchev and linked into this apparatus provides Ivanov with protection from rivals, but also immediate access to the resources and influence of the police. That is not to say that the police will act on demand and without thought for Ivanov, but they will act if they are persuade (i.e. through Pavuchev) as to the benefits.
When this relationship is considered in tandem with the Smirnov link, Ivanov’s influence and ability to manage events in his favour multiplies several times over.
Of note, there is no record anywhere online of any type of relationship between Ivanov and Pavuchev, let alone a client-lawyer one.
[To be completed when promised evidence is received.]
According to a source close to a Kennington based banker, Ivanov is currently looking to raise in the region of around US$200-300 million from the Kennington market. The reason for the loan is unknown, but our source has recommended to the banker that they do not get involved given the history and reputation of Ivanov.
Separately, it has emerged that Ivanov has been in talks with Credit with regard to the provision of finance and that Mohamad Abami, of Roma Oil and Gas, is assisting Ivanov in this regard. According to the information, Ivanov intends to default on this loan and he has been paying bribes to employees of Credit to ensure that this is the case. The UK regulator, the Financial Authority has apparently been informed of these allegations.
Amongst other companies, Ivanov is a shareholder in the LUX-J group of companies which specialise in jewellery trading. This includes 75.5% stakes in:
The sole listed director of the company, since 23 July 2003, has been Andrey Jokin who has a highly questionable background. Born 21 July 1967 in Orlov Oblast. He is named in connection with several criminal and administrative cases in Russia, including:
It is curious that Ivanov is the majority shareholder in an entity run by an individual of such questionable character. It suggests that there must be a close relationship between them.
Over the period of 2008-2018 Ivan Ivanov gained official income from the following legal entities:
Presently, Ivan Ivanov is registered as the owner of the two-room apartment.
Ivanov is the registered owner of the small village house, which was built in 2019 in new Leningrad area.