Will Coal King’s Widow go Unpunished?

Will Coal King’s Widow go Unpunished?

Photo: https://www.forbes.ru/

The investigation into high-profile criminal cases against Katerina Bosov who had supposedly forced her husband Dmitry Bosov, the former owner of Sibanthracite, to commit suicide and made attempts to fraudulently obtain shares in the holding, is surprisingly not over yet.

Katerina Bosov, who had lost the cases to her ex-husband's heirs and had fled Russia to Europe, arrived in Moscow from Frankfurt-am-Main the other day. Rumor has it she is not a witness anymore but a defendant in the Dmitriy Bosov suicide case and may be put in prison for up to six years in the case of fraud with shares in Alltech, the company that owns Sibanthracite. However, it seems that she doesn’t care much about it.

The delay in the investigation of the case related to stock fraud drew the indignation of Dmitry Bosov’s relatives and heirs. Last December, they complained to Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev about food-dragging on the investigation and the possible bad faith of his subordinates.

Dmitry Bosov, 52, committed suicide in May 2020. His body with a gunshot wound to the head was found by his relatives in the yard of the house in the village of Usovo in the Moscow Region. The Glock pistol, given to him by Katerina on his wedding day, was lying nearby.

The complaint to Kolokoltsev says that on September 9, 2021, the main investigative Directorate of Internal Affairs in the Moscow region initiated criminal case №12101460225000125 under Criminal Code Article 159 Part 4 (fraud by an organized group or grand fraud). The reason for this was a statement by the oligarch’s mother Lyudmila Bosova.

According to the statement, Katerina Bosov abused the trust of eight heirs of Dmitry Bosov and did not wait until the end of the procedures required by law to formalize the inherited property. She misled notary E. Panova to register ownership rights to half of her former husband's stake in the authorized capital of Alltech in August 2020. Katerina Bosov received a certificate of ownership of a 43.286% interest in the registered capital of Alltech as a so-called “married bonus payment” from the notary. However, 86.572% of the company's shares were acquired by Dmitry Bosov long before he met Ekaterina Yastrebova (Katerina Bosov's maiden name) and are not marital property.

The scheme involving the certificate of “married bonus payment,” halved the stakes of Dmitry Bosov’s other heirs. The share of inherited property due to each of the victims was only 5.411% instead of the 10.821% in the authorized capital of Alltech. As of the date of opening of the inheritance on May 6, 2020, according to the statement of Dmitry Bosov’s mother, the market value of her son's share in the authorized capital of Alltech was about 40.6 billion rubles ($539.13 mln). Thus, Katerina Bosov could cause 2.5 billion rubles ($33.2) in damages to each of the other heirs.

According to Lyudmila Bosova, to legalize the stolen property, Katerina Bosov transferred the stolen shares of the Alltech company to a closed-end fund, Vidar Invest in September 2020, where Katerina was the sole shareholder, and the fund was managed by Evokorp, with the sole beneficiary Maxim Viktorov.

In addition, Lyudmila Bosova’s statement said that Katerina Bosov was a lawyer by education and had occupied executive posts at her ex-husband's coal holding company, which indicates that Katerina Bosov deliberately and knowingly took the company's assets into a closed-end fund.

Relatives of Dmitry Bosov filed a lawsuit in connection with the attempts of the widow of the former oligarch to seize the shares of the holding. The Odintsovo Town Court of Moscow Region ruled in November 2020 that Katerina Bosov's married bonus payment, related to Dmitry Bosov's share in Alltech, was invalid. The court also ruled that Katerina Bosov's notarized certificate of ownership of the 43.286% stake in Alltech was invalid, too. The court ordered that the share be returned to the estate. The appellate and cassation court instances upheld this decision, and in the fall of 2021, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the rulings of the lower courts, finally denying Katerina Bosov's request to review the judicial acts.

The court decisions can be considered as evidence of the guilt of Katerina Bosov in an attempt to fraudulently seize the assets of Dmitry Bosov, said the statement of his relatives to Vladimir Kolokoltsev. To their surprise, the investigation did not even notify Katerina Bosov that she was a suspect in the criminal case, and no charge was brought against her. Moreover, the criminal case has been dropped.

Is it possible that it gave courage to Katerina Bosov, who returned to Moscow without any fear of answering inconvenient questions from law enforcers?

Why are even court rulings that testify to the nature of the actions of Katerina Bosov and her lawyers not enough for the investigators to look into the widow’s actions to gain control of the largest coal holding company in Russia?

Relatives of Dmitry Bosov asked the Minister of Internal Affairs to take measures of procedural control as prescribed by law to cancel the illegal decision to close the criminal case, accelerate the investigation, identify the culprits and bring them to justice.

Another criminal case under article 110 of the Criminal Code (incitement to suicide) was initiated against Katerina Bosov by the Investigative Committee in the fall of 2020. Katerina Bosov was initially a victim in the case, but later on reportedly became a defendant.

According to the media, Katerina Bosov made her ex-husband register half of his mansion in the Moscow Region and a house in Los Angeles worth about $30 million each as her property, open a bank account in his name for $10 million and buy several luxury cars. There have been many articles in the media about the methods Katerina Bosov used to exert pressure on her husband but they have not been investigated yet.

The journalists of the Reflection TV show on the OTR TV channel interviewed the spiritual healer from whom Katerina Bosov had bought herbal infusions to make her relationships with her husband “more harmonious.” According to him, Katerina greatly exceeded the dosage, which could lead to mental disorders of Dmitry Bosov. Investigators will have to verify this information within the framework of the criminal investigation of driving Dmitry Bosov to suicide.

In the case of fraud (Part 4, Article 159 of the Criminal Code), Katerina Bosov is likely to go to prison for up to ten years, and in the case of incitement to suicide (Article 110 of the Criminal Code), up to six more years. However, the investigations into such high-profile cases are inexplicably delayed or even halted, as happened with the fraud case. Katerina Bosov, feeling her impunity, may continue her attempts to seize shares of the enterprise which is strategically important for the country. While there was a trial on the claim of Dmitry Bosov's relatives, Katerina Bosov managed the holding. As a result, coal sales fell by 25%, the company had conflicts with its partners, and only Katerina Bosov’s resignation from the post of the Board of Directors saved Sibanthracite from sliding back into crisis. Following her dismissal, the holding's management restored the normal operation of the enterprise.

Chances are the widow will make new attacks on Sibanthracite because of the investigators' sluggishness. It might put at risk not only the shares of the former oligarch's heirs but also the country's coal industry. Dmitry Bosov's relatives appealed to Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev in the hope that he would take the case under personal control and prevent the Sibanthracite hostile take-over attempt.

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