Trust Bank Keeps On Recovering Money From Fugitive Ex-Owners

Trust Bank Keeps On Recovering Money From Fugitive Ex-Owners

Trust Bank, which was converted into a bad asset bank, has recovered about $130 million from its former owners and management and intends to recover the rest of the total $900 million ordered by the High Court in London to be paid to Trust, as luxurious properties of the bank’s ex-bosses are put up for sale.

Three former owners of National Bank Trust – Ilya Yurov, Nikolay Fetisov and Sergey Belyaev – took advantage of their positions as owners and members of their bank’s governing bodies to siphon off money from the lender itself. As a result, their fraudulent activities caused damages in the amount of nearly $1 billion before Bank Trust was bailed out by the authorities in late 2014.

Seeking to receive compensation for the damage, bailed-out Trust Bank turned to the High Court in London, which in early 2020 ordered the three ex-owners to pay the once troubled lender $900 million for siphoning money out and contributing to the lender’s collapse.

Yurov, the former chairman of Trust Bank, and his former executives Fetisov and Belyaev covertly gave bank loans to their own business projects and misrepresented the bank’s health to regulators, according to the High Court’s findings, the Financial Times reported in 2020.

Furthermore, in an apparent attempt to conceal the extent of the fraud, the three former owners of Trust Bank involved their spouses in the fraudulent scheme.

According to the Trust’s claim, Natalia Yurova bought the “Yurov family castle” – the medieval mansion Oxney Court in the county of Kent – for £4.11 million. She also bought three flats in London and a property in Cyprus. Meanwhile, Fetisov’s wife Elena Pischulina became the sole owner of the houses and flats that the couple had bought in various countries since 2012.

Now Oxney Court is up for sale for £3.6 million, according to a listing on Rightmove, the UK’s largest online property portal. “Oxney Court is a rare and beautiful house offering an exceptional combination of an extremely elegant principal house together with excellent guest and staff accommodation, all wonderfully served by the further facilities in terms of leisure and entertainment,” the listing says.

Another Trust Bank-related property was put up for sale for £5.75 million. The mansion in Oxshott near London, which features 12 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms and is decorated with Orthodox icons, was purchased by Fetisov and his wife in 2012.

That was just a few years before Bank Trust filed a lawsuit against its former owners in 2016, claiming they should compensate for non-performing loans issued to offshore companies they controlled. At the same time, the High Court froze the assets of Yurov, Belyaev, Fetisov and their wives, including properties in the UK, Russia and Cyprus, as
well as bank accounts in those countries and Switzerland.

Back in 2016, the High Court judge Stephen Males found that the Trust Bank’s transactions were fraudulent in nature and questioned Yurov’s words that the regulator was aware of the situation as the transactions were not properly reflected in the Trust Bank’s balance sheet.

By the end of 2022, Trust Bank had recovered about $131 million from Yurov, Belyaev and Fetisov, the bank’s Chairman Alexander Sokolov told Vedomosti.

For today’s Trust Bank, an umbrella vehicle for non-performing loans of some major failed banks, recovering the funds is not only a matter of reputation but is also part of an effort to recoup some of the more than $1 billion in damages to the creditors and taxpayers.

Just last month, one of Trust Bank’s suitcases came under the spotlight when the High Court ruled that Boris Mints, a Russian businessman and banker, could not pause an $850 million fraud lawsuit brought by Bank Trust on behalf of Otkritie Bank.

Seeking compensation for losses occured during the 2014 banking sector crisis, Trust Bank also launched a lawsuit against Russian bankers Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev and their wives, seeking to recover nearly $600 million.

In early 2022, Trust Bank announced it had recovered 308 billion roubles in assets between 2019 and 2021, out of a total of 482 billion roubles planned to be collected by 2024.



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