Viktor Markelov

Viktor Markelov

Born: 15 December 1967
Criminal alias: Singed
– Imprisoned for Manslaughter, 2001
– Arrested for Extortion & Kidnapping, 2006
– Convicted in a closed trial for the theft of $230 million taxes paid by Hermitage, 2009
Place of sentence: Saratov

Viktor Markelov played an important supporting role in the theft of the Hermitage companies and the theft of $230 million from the Russian people. However, authorities have been trying to use his conviction to hide the most important members of the Klyuev Organized Crime Group.

After Officers Kuznetsov and Karpov seized without a warrant and held custody of the documents and seals for the Hermitage companies, Viktor Markelov was fraudulently made the owner of these companies, using the documents seized by police Officers Kuznetsov and Karpov. Shortly before this, Markelov was accused of working with Officers Kuznetsov and Karpov and the beneficial owner of Universal Savings Bank, Dmitry Klyuev, to kidnap a man and extort $20 million.

Markelov appointed himself director of one of the stolen companies and he appointed two more criminals, Valery Kurochkin and Vyacheslav Khlebnikov, as directors of the other two stolen Hermitage companies. He also had the companies open bank accounts in Klyuev’s Universal Savings Bank.

Three criminal directors – Markelov, Kurochkin and Khlebnikov – then issued powers of attorneys to lawyers Pavlov and Mayorova to obtain court judgments for fake debts.

The three criminal directors then applied for fraudulent tax refunds totaling $230 million. Corrupt officials in Moscow Tax Offices 25 and 28 who were members of the Klyuev Organized Crime Group approved the fraudulent tax refunds requests and refunded $230 million to accounts in Klyuev’s Universal Savings Bank.

When Sergei Magnitsky exposed the theft of $230 million from the treasury, the Interior Ministry was forced to recognize the theft and moved quickly to protect the most valuable members of the Klyuev Organized Crime Group. Specifically, Klyuev, Pavlov and Mayorova, the tax officials and officers Kuznetsov and Karpov.

The history of Markelov and his sentencing for this theft is a great demonstration of the partnership between the Russian Interior Ministry and the criminals behind this theft.

In order to prevent any investigation into the stolen money, the criminals arranged a farce. They organized a “voluntary confession” made by Markelov who represented himself as a “sawmill employee,” according to case documents. The corrupt investigator, Oleg Silchenko, who is a member of the Klyuev Criminal Group, then asked for a trial on an “expedited” basis without the consideration of any evidence.

At the closed hearing, Markelov took responsibility for the entire crime and claimed that the tax officials from Moscow Tax offices No 25 and 28, who authorised the largest refund in Russian history in one day, were tricked by him, a “sawmill employee”. On the basis of this confession, Officer Oleg Silchenko exonerated all the officials.

[Download this document in PDF]

In addition to giving Mareklov a very light sentence, Investigator Silchenko felt that Markelov should not be fined, even though he participated in crimes that cost the State hundreds of millions of dollars and even though Markelov is a very rich man.

Records from the Russian State Registry (known as “EGRUL”) show that Victor Markelov had over $2.1 million in assets.

Markelov was the owner of $1 million in assets through OOO MarketAlliance (OGRN 1057746295661), a company registered in Rostov region. He became the sole owner of this company on 30 August 2006, just two days after he was arrested and placed in police custody for kidnapping a Moscow-based fertilizer executive, Fyodor Mikheev, and extorting $20 million from the Mikheev’s boss.

One month later and still in custody, Markelov became the owner of another company registered in the same Rostov region, OOO Platan (OGRN 1057749635965), with $1.1 million as its charter capital. Markelov’s assets owned just through these two companies amounted to over US$2 million.

Senior Officials Providing Protection for Viktor Markelov
Officer Silchenko’s actions in the light indictment of Markelov and no questions asked of him about the whereabouts of the stolen $230 million have been sanctioned at the highest levels of the Russian government: by Oleg Logunov, Deputy Chief of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department, and Viktor Grin, Deputy General Prosecutor of Russia.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • FriendFeed
  • NewsVine
  • Digg