MOSCOW, March 5 (RAPSI) — The Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region has satisfied a move of the bankruptcy receiver of Transaero air carrier seeking to seize funds and other property of the former general director of the company Alexander Burdin in the amount of 245 billion rubles ($3.3 billion), according to the court decision.
As receiver Alexey Belokopyt noted, the register of claims of the airline's creditors includes claims for more than 240 billion rubles (over $3.3 billion at the current exchange rate), and the amount of Transaero's debt on current payments exceeds 5 billion rubles ($67.4 million).
On October 2, 2020, the court satisfied the receiver's claim as to bringinging Burdin to subsidiary liability for the obligations of the air carrier. The amount of subsidiary liability is to be determined upon completion of settlements with the airline's creditors.
The decision states that from November 16, 2015 to September 13, 2017, Burdin committed actions that significantly worsened the financial situation of Transaero and created conditions for a further significant increase in the disproportion between the value of the debtor's assets and the size of his liabilities. The court also indicated that a causal relationship existed between Burdin's illegal actions to evade the transfer of documents, material assets of the debtor and the impossibility of satisfying the claims of creditors.
Moreover, the court is to decide on a statement by VTB bank seeking to recover 249.2 billion rubles ($3.4 billion) from the founder of the debtor Alexander Pleshakov, his mother, and ex-chairman of the board of directors Olga Pleshakova.
The Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region declared Transaero air carrier bankrupt in September 2017. The airline was unable to service its debts, which, according to some estimates, make about 250 billion rubles ($3.4 billion). The company has not operated flights since October 26, 2015.
Burdin acted as Transaero CEO from late 2015 to September 2017 and headed the company after revocation of the air carrier’s flying license.
On August 28, 2018, a Moscow court arrested Burdin in absentia, he was put on the international wanted list. Burdin stands charged with failure to pay wages, pensions, scholarships, benefits and other payments for more than two months, embezzlement committed by an organized group or in an especially large amount, and abuse of office, which entailed grave consequences.
According to investigators, ex-Transaero CEO has embezzled over 1.3 billion rubles (about $17.5 million) and has not paid wages to employees for well over two months. As a result, a salary debt to nearly 7,000 employees reached about 400 million rubles ($5.4 million). The defendant has pleaded not guilty.
Besides, in August 2020 a Moscow court sentenced former Transaero bankruptcy manager Mikhail Kotov to 5.5 years in a general regime colony in a criminal case over embezzlement of the airline's property in the amount of over 1 billion rubles ($13.5 million). The ex-manager was also found guilty of abuse of office.
Kotov’s action resulted in embezzlement of the airline’s property worth over 1 billion rubles ($15.3 million). Moreover, he forged some documents to suppress crimes allegedly committed in conspiracy with the former Transaero CEO Alexander Burdin, the statement reads.
In June 2020, the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee reported that the investigation of the criminal case against former chief accountant of Transaero Kovalev, charged with complicity in the embezzlement of more than 560 million rubles ($7.5 million) of the airline's property, had been completed.
The ex-chief accountant was charged with complicity in embezzlement and complicity in the concealment of funds of the organization serving as the base for collection of taxes and other fees.