Femme Fatale of Coal King

Femme Fatale of Coal King

Photo: https://bosov.alltech.ru/

The disputes over the inheritance of Dmitry Bosov, the founder of the coal company Sibanthracite who committed suicide last year, were broadly covered by the media but wek.ru conducted its own investigation to get a full picture.

Why couldn’t the heirs come to an agreement and settle the matter amicably? What methods did the oligarch's widow Katerina Bosov use in trying to gain full control of his property? Our story below offers answers to such questions.

Gift gun shot

The queen of mystery Agatha Christie said in her interviews that the main difficulty for a writer is to hide the motive for a crime. There are not so many real motives for murder. The main one is money.

The art of the detective fiction author is to carefully disguise motive which is so obvious, especially when it comes to the inheritance of rich people.

If Agatha Christie were offered Dmitri Bosov’s story as a plot of her novel, perhaps, even her talent and skills would not be enough to shroud it in mystery. The coal tycoon's widow left so much evidence that readers would suspect her immediately, and no Hercule Poirot would be able to persuade the public that there was another scenario.

Since the investigation into the criminal case over driving Dmitry Bosov to suicide is not over yet, we cannot make our judgments based on legal considerations. We only present the course of events leaving the conclusions to the fictive character Hercule Poirot.

Suppose that Hercule Poirot nevertheless agreed to investigate the case. As an experienced detective, he would begin to look for a motive behind Dmitri Bosov’s suicide. The fatal shot in Bosov’s mansion in Usovo on May 6, 2020 was a complete surprise to everybody.

Dmitry Bosov had told media outlets about his company development plans. After the COVID-19 pandemic started, he bought face masks and other medical products in China. He appointed his wife, Katerina Bosov, as head of the Day One Foundation established for this purpose. He was physically fit and played sports. He financed the Night Hockey League, supported the regional hockey team, and played hockey. Nothing suggested that Dmitry Bosov was planning to commit suicide. Relatives and some of Bosov's business partners told reporters immediately after the incident that they doubted the suicide version, since there were no signs in his behavior indicating his intention to shoot himself.

However, a meticulous detective must get at the truth.

Did something trigger the oligarch's suicide? Hercule Poirot, in my personal opinion, would not have investigated this mystery long. After all, there were quite a lot of references to the materials in the mass media saying that right before his suicide Dmitry Bosov made a will in her favor under pressure from his wife but did not put his signature on it. Katerina was not at home on the night of the oligarch's suicide. At first glance, this is a hundred percent alibi for her but why was she not with her beloved spouse at night? Or did they have a quarrel? What caused it? What is known about the marriage of a 52-year-old coal oligarch and a 31-year-old businesswoman who made a career in a completely different business? Why did the widow drag a heavy sofa, on which Bosov had been lying, into the yard and burned it on the next day after the tragic incident, actually destroying an important piece of evidence?

As known, Dmitry Bosov survived in the wild 1990s. At that time, it was very risky to run business and not everyone stayed afloat in harsh corporate wars. Dmitry Bosov started out by selling a batch of mustards but soon found himself in the steel business. In the early 2000s, he sold his stake in KraZ [a Ukrainian factory that produces trucks and other special-purpose vehicles in Kremenchuk, Ukraine] and went into the coal-mining industry. His business partners said that he had unique flair for profitable projects. Bosov chose a very good time to enter the metallurgical business, and the company quickly became successful.

In 2016, he married Ekaterina Yastrebova, a fashion company employee. By that time, Dmitry Bosov was a billionaire and the owner of the Sibanthracite holding, one of the industry’s leaders. Let's remember this fact as it will come in handy in the future.

e oligarch's young bride took his last name after the wedding and became Katerina Bosov. It is the first oddity the well-experienced Hercule Poirot which find bewildering. A young, beautiful woman with a man's last name. The last name of her husband who is a rich businessman. It was as if she were trying to become him. Why? To replace him and take over not only his last name but everything that belonged to the owner of that last name? In addition, she gave a very strange wedding gift to her husband, a Glock 19 pistol. Dmitry Bosov gave her luxury cars as a present. Bently became the first gift of this kind. It will be mentioned at a court hearing as inheritance, while the gun will shoot. As theater goers say, if a rifle hangs on the wall in the first chapter, it absolutely must go off in the second or third.

The American Marijuana Plantations of the Coal King from Russia

While analyzing stories posted on the Internet, Hercule Poirot would probably pay attention to reports that Dmitry Bosov might have been high that night. That is, he might have been on drugs. Here a new storyline. As typical for a detective novel, there will be some digression from the main line.

Katerina Bosov was not an expert in the coal industry but was eager to apply her MBA skills in such a tough business. Dmitry Bosov gave her this career opportunity, first at Sibanthracite-Logistic. The company had never had problems with the law but under Katerina Bosov's leadership it began to attract the attention of law enforcement agencies which initiated a criminal case over smuggling.

Bosov reassigned his wife to the position of commercial manager of a coal holding to deflect the hit from her and allow her to gain experience under the supervision of the head company's top managers. However, an energetic Katerina added him a new trouble. She managed to convince her husband to invest a lot of money in the marijuana growing business in the USA. This business was recently legalized in some states. The marijuana plantations that Bosov eventually purchased were located next to the upscale Beverly Hills. The oligarch bought a luxurious $ 30 million mansion there. The fact of purchasing such expensive real estate even attracted the attention of the American Forbes.

Living next door to Hollywood stars and making money selling marijuana seem like the golden dreams of a young and ambitious beautiful woman but not of a mature man who's been through fire and water, survived in tough oligarchic wars and saw a lot in his life. Definitely, the whole marijuana business was a woman's whim, Poirot would say. Bosov fulfilled his wife’s wish and lost money as the business failed. As a result, a scandal with the former American manager of the company broke out. It was a bad blow to the reputation of the business tycoon. All this happened because of a woman …”

Then the detective would remember Bosov's “trip away” the night he fired the fatal shot. He was not only addicted to the drug business but also to narcotics. The mathematician, who had always calculated every possible combination and had a clear mind in the most critical situations in his career, suddenly lost control.

A widow's desperate attack on her ex-husband's inheritance

On the night of the suicide of her husband, Katerina Bosov returned in a hurry to the mansion on Rublevka [the unofficial name of a prestigious residential area in the western suburbs of Moscow], because Dmitry had not answered the phone. This is what the widow told investigators. She and a security guard found her husband's body in the gym. Bosov had not signed the notorious will in her favor. According to the will, Katerina Bosov and her daughter Bella had 5% shares each in Alltech, a Cyprus company that owned assets of the Sibanthracite holding.

Katerina Bosov tried to persuade her husband's relatives and top managers who owned shares in the company to give her the controlling interest to “save the business” but her arguments did not convince anybody. Nobody understood from whom she was going to save a prosperous business.

Then Katerina advanced into action. She asked her friend Maxim Viktorov, the beneficiary of Evokrop Management Company, to help her. As the media wrote, Viktorov had often visited her and even stayed overnight at her mansion in Rublevka. “What a spicy detail,” the detective would think.

Katerina Bosov, a lawyer by education, found a way to register the 42% of Alltech shares on her name. She received a document from a notary, confirming her right to a “widow's share.”

According to the law, a widow can count on half of the jointly acquired property. In 2016, Dmitry Bosov was already the owner of a big fortune. Ekaterina Yastrebova married an established businessman and owner of a large holding company.

The oligarch's heirs were concerned not only with her appropriation of company shares but also with the fact that Katerina Bosov was going to transfer them to a non-government pension fund managed by Evokorp. If she had done it, it would have been impossible to get the shares back. The heirs filed a lawsuit. The first wife of the oligarch, Eleonora, coordinated the actions of the heirs. She is an experienced lawyer who used to work at Oleg Deripaska's companies. She won the court case but Katerina Bosov launched a counterstrike.

She filed a counterclaim that she was eligible to 77% of the shares in Alltech because Dmitry Bosov had allegedly borrowed money for an additional issue of shares of the company in 2017 after the sale of the above-mentioned Bently. However, even this legal attack by Katerina failed. It turned out that Bently was sold two weeks after Dmitry Bosov paid for the additional issue of shares from his own funds. The additional issue itself was technical and had no effect on the company's capitalization.

“Why did Dmitry Bosov increase his share? It had no effect on his business but it did matter in case his inheritance was divided. The additional issue took place three years before the oligarch's suicide. Let’s remember the gun in the first act...” Hercule Poirot would say thoughtfully, shaking his head.

Amid endless litigations over the shares, Katerina Bosov who headed Sibanthracite’s Board was looking for other ways to get hold of her ex-husband's property, according to media reports. For example, an Izvestia article discussed an attempt by the widow to steal assets through a fictitious bankruptcy of companies affiliated with her. Two of Dmitry Bosov's assets, the Arctic Mining Company and Vostokugol, became defendants in several lawsuits. The plaintiffs were companies which had purchased the right to demand repayment of debts in advance. Katerina Bosov was allegedly linked with the creditor companies. The article, published by Izvestia, describes the failed multi-move game.

While Bosov was hunting for her ex-husband's assets, Sibanthracite's business was rapidly going the tubes. Under her management, coal production fell by 25 % in 2020. Katerina tried to create a favorable image of herself through publications in the media. She was even spotted with NHL star Alexander Ovechkin, at an exhibition hockey game of the Sibir club, sponsored by Dmitry Bosov. These reports did not mention the fact that Katerina Bosov, an “effective manager” and MBA graduate, had stopped sponsoring her husband's charity projects and even the Night Hockey League. Russian President Vladimir Putin had participated in the tournament co-sponsored by Dmitry Bosov.

After losing the courts to the heirs, Katerina Bosov lost her seat on Sibanthracite’s Board of Directors. The holding is now managed by experienced top managers, who lead the company out of the crisis created by the widow.

Clue to a riddle (version)

In my personal opinion, Hercule Poirot would be disappointed in the end. He enjoyed investigating complex cases and unraveling sophisticated criminal schemes. Everything was obvious in this case. The intentions of the widow who had hung up her gun in the first act of the drama left no doubt. However, the motive of the oligarch's deed was incomprehensible to the experienced detective Poirot until he delved into the details of his biography. Bosov was a born fighter and used to come out as a winner. He never gave up. He won this struggle, too. The shot in the gym on May 6, 2020, ruined the plans so stubbornly pursued by those who considered themselves the master of destiny...

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