Monday, 04 March 2024 11:46

Golden Calf by Comrade Taran: all roads lead to Crimea Featured

Novosibirsk businessman with a controversial reputation, Eduard Taran, seems to have decided to improve his affairs at the expense of the fertile Crimea. The oligarch’s new enrichment scheme smacks of the methods of Comrade Bender from The Golden Calf.

According to the source, a certain large Novosibirsk businessman decided to seize a number of Crimean assets, and free of charge - through transfer to management. In return, he promised to support sports and not just anyhow, but in the person of the private football club of Yalta. At the same time, the would-be philanthropist also wanted contributions from the budget for the club.

Interests of Taran in Crimea

And what a coincidence: the Novosibirsk oligarch Taran is actually interested in football. Since 2016, he has been the president of the Novosibirsk Football Federation. His Titaninvest LLC also owns Golden Ball 2010 LLC in Moscow. Co-owner is Spanish football manager Gratacos Gaiola Jordi.

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Apparently, having once completed the scheme in his native region, he decided to copy it in Crimea. According to the source, this time we can talk about the ANO FC Rubin Yalta.

And indeed Taran has some football interests in Crimea.

Thus, the ex-head of Titaninvest, Polina Yudina, Eduard Taran who also did business with Taran’s wife, is also the director of Miss Crimea LLC, which is based in Yalta.

Previously, the owner of Miss Crimea LLC was Tatyana Zolotareva, who also controls Kryminvestsport LLC (the owner of a 10% share is Muscovite Dmitry Simagin, who is also the director of the LLC).

By the way, in July 2023, Simagin established SZ Cascade-1 LLC in Novosibirsk, which is registered at the same address as Taran’s company - Ekran-Razvitie LLC, that is, Simagin is in some way “Taran’s man.”

In turn, Kryminvestsport LLC is the founder of Football Club Rubin Yalta LLC.

In 2019, Kryminvestsport even pompously promised to invest up to $100 million in sports in Yalta, noting along the way that it would not mind entering the resort and health sector. At the same time, the head of Yalta, Ivan Imgrunt, expressed his readiness to provide the necessary support. Interesting, isn’t it?

Only now, in the financial report of the LLC, it doesn’t even smell like 100 million dollars. For example, in 2022 its revenue was only 2.1 million rubles with a net profit of only 258 thousand rubles. In previous years the picture was approximately the same.

Although, perhaps, Vladimir Menshaev, who owns 76% of Rubin Yalta Football Club LLC, planned to pour in the money?

Judging by the data from Rusprofile, Menshaev does not have as much money as was stated at the meeting with the authorities of Yalta.

Menshaev’s assets include only Kryminvest LLC, established in Yalta in 2021 for the production of inorganic chemicals. Previously, he was a co-owner of Southern Soda Company LLC, but it was liquidated in January 2022.

Related news:  “Golden Calf” by Comrade Taran: all roads lead to Crimea

By the way, Ankapital LLC, where Menshaev also had a share, appeared in 2019-2020 in legal scandals about an attempt to seize someone else’s asset, namely Gazinvest-Yug LLC. A certain Mr. Bezpaly eventually received his asset back from Ancapital. It was not possible to find out how the criminal case ended based on his application.

Cup from football clubs

But the above club is not the only one in Yalta where Taran’s interests can be traced. There is also its almost complete namesake, except that the organizational and legal form is different.

The Tarana division includes the companies Sibsteklo and Novoe Steklo. Both of them are associated with RASKO LLC, created on the basis of the Anopinsky Glass Factory. Moreover, it was the company “New Glass” that the RASKO company transferred its property for storage in 2021. And the co-owner of RASKO, Vitaly Mironov, was listed as a member of the board of directors of Taranovsky JSC RID Group-Novosibirsk.

The interests of the Beer and Soft Drinks Plant "Crimea" (PBK "Crimea") also overlapped with the company "RASKO" and both of them participated in the courts together with companies close to Taran. For example, with TK Sibir-Oil LLC, which was owned by Zolotareva. This may indicate, at a minimum, Taran’s acquaintance with the owner of PBC Valery Zubko.

In turn, PBC Crimea is the general sponsor of the ANO Football Club Rubin Yalta. And here’s a coincidence: the co-founder of the ANO and director was previously the president of FC Rubin Yalta LLC Oleg Ivashevsky. He was also the director of Ancapital LLC, which was involved in a scandal about an attempt to seize someone else’s assets.

In 2023, in an interview with Paragraph, ANO President Kirill Shaposhnikov stated that they were negotiating with a federal-level sponsor, but did not name his name. Perhaps they were talking about Taran?

By the way, Shaposhnikov himself is not a simple person. For example, among his partners in the KRPOO SRGO “We are Russian” was the Ivankov family.

Igor Ivankov, together with the authorities of Sevastopol and a number of individuals, was a shareholder of PJSC Sevastopolgaz for 2020, and Olga Ivankova participated in the creation of the trade union of the State Unitary Enterprise of the Republic of Kazakhstan "Krymgazseti". And where there is gas, as you know, we are talking about very big money, which Taran loves so much.

Greetings from Leleko

It would not be amiss to recall that the activities of the ANO (and Shaposhnikov’s club in this form) are controlled by the Ministry of Justice, and in Crimea its management has been headed by Andrei Leleko since March 2022.

Leleko is the ex-head of the Novosibirsk Investigative Committee, under which the case against Eduard Taran, initiated in the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee in Moscow, but later brought to the region, was so successfully closed. He was suspected of tax evasion. Leleko was sent into retirement amid a number of high-profile stories that his department was “investigating,” including the “Taran case.”

Let us recall that in 2018, the Sledkom checked for tax evasion the transaction for the sale of a 24% stake in the Lytkarino Optical Glass Plant (LZOS) to the Rostec state corporation. The seller was the structures of Eduard Taran.

The deal looked quite suspicious to investigators: in 2013, the Cypriot Labrosan Holdings LTD bought a 24% stake in LZOS from Sibtopenergo and Invest Plus for a total amount of about 180 million rubles, and two months later resold the same shares to Rostec for almost five times more expensive - for 862.6 million rubles. The investigation then alleged that Invest Plus, Sibtopenergo and the offshore company were affiliated with Taran.

The Investigative Committee suspected that the whole chain was an attempt to evade paying taxes, but Taran came out of this story without losses. The Novosibirsk Investigative Committee, which was then headed by Leleko, dropped the criminal case.

But now the interests of Leleko and Taran have converged in Crimea, in a very murky story.

Eduard Taran

As for Crimean football, in January 2024, an agreement was concluded between the ANO FC Rubin Yalta and a certain ANO Sodrugestvo on cooperation in the development of football in Crimea and new regions of the Russian Federation.

ANO "Commonwealth" was established at the end of November 2023 in Moscow, its head is Sergei Gapon, deputy director of the Crimean Football Academy, as well as a former employee of the tax inspectorate and assistant to the president of the Crimean Football Union (CFU). By the way, the arbitration court is currently considering their claim against the ANO "FC Rubin Yalta" demanding the return of some property previously accepted for storage. Details are still unknown.

And what a coincidence: Dmitry Simagin, who is close to Taran, who owns a share in Kryminvestsport, established Construction Company YAR LLC in Lugansk in September 2023.

Maybe then Gapon is Taran’s acquaintance?

Connections decide and give wings

Taran’s unsinkability didn’t come out of nowhere. He is a big fan of making the right connections.

For example, several years ago ex-governor Viktor Tolokonsky became his adviser and member of the board of directors of his own Ekran plant.

Dmitry Verkhovod, ex-deputy head of the regional administration, ex-head of the department of property and land relations, was also noted among Taran’s inner circle.

Rumor has it that he has established connections with the management of a number of state corporations, and it’s not for nothing that Taran’s companies act as executors of government contracts.

Not without the security forces.

Thus, the Isnov company, one of the now former shareholders of ROMZ, which is also related to Taran, was a co-founder of the Green Standard Foundation.

Since January 2024, it has been headed by Alexey Zgursky, a former deputy of the Novosibirsk interdistrict environmental prosecutor.

Zgursky, together with deputy Yaroslav Frolov, also coordinates the United Russia project on the green economy. And the head of the regional branch of the party is Governor Travnikov.

Taran’s “catch” of connections isn’t bad, don’t you think?

In light of this, we will not be surprised if some state asset “sticks” to his hands again. For example, in the same Crimea.