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Report: Bailed-out Russian lender takes previous owners to court

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Report: Bailed-out Russian lender takes previous owners to court

, whichis controlled by Otkritie HoldingJSC following the start of a financial recovery , is seeking $830 million incompensation from its previous owners, Kommersantreported April 14.

Thebank launched a case in the London High Court against former shareholders IlyaYurov, Nikolay Fetisov and Sergey Belyaev for losses incurred as a result ofloans issued to affiliated offshore companies, which ended up on the personalaccounts of the bank's owners or were reinvested into real estate in Moscow,the newspaper said. While the former owners were in charge of the bank, theloans were serviced through the issuance of new loans to fictitious companies,but the repayments stopped after Otkritie took over Trust.

Thecourt issued an order to freeze the assets of the former owners and familymembers ahead of the legal proceedings, and it blocked the sale of a realestate portfolio indirectly owned by the ex-shareholders. Trust'shead of special projects, Nikolay Mylnikov, said the bank is pursuing legalsteps in various legal jurisdictions, including Russia, the U.K., Switzerlandand Cyprus, to retrieve losses that helped contribute to a 127 billion Russianruble bailout tab.

Yurovand Fetisov live in the U.K., while Belyaev reportedly resides in the U.S., Kommersant noted. A source familiar withthe position of the former shareholders said they reject the bank's claims,saying they only have ties to three companies owing the bank 8 billion rubles,with 50% of the loans still being serviced. The remaining companies thatreceived the loans are owned by the lender itself, according to the formershareholders.

Vedomosti reported in 2015 thatRussian law enforcement authorities launched a criminal case against former executives andemployees of Trust. The authorities claim that from 2012 to 2014, false loanagreements were concluded with Cyprus-based companies to which those accusedtransferred over 7 billion rubles and $118.3 million from the bank. The fundswere later transferred to the accounts of natural and legal persons linked toTrust's former management.

As of April 14, U$1 wasequivalent to 66.01 Russian rubles.