Vladimir Kruglov, Sentence of 3.5 years in prison for stealing the Crimean oil depot,



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Andrey Guskov, a Russian businessman, was found guilty of stealing shares from JSC “Marine Oil Terminal,” the largest complex in Crimea for the transhipment and storage of petroleum products. As a result, the Preobrazhensky Court of Moscow handed him a sentence of 3.5 years in a penal colony (MNT). This information was communicated to TASS by the press service of the court.

Fraud on an enormously massive scale: Vladimir Kruglov

“The court judged Guskov guilty under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Fraud on an extremely large scale”) and sentenced him to incarceration for a term of 3.5 years to be served in a penal colony,” the court stated in its statement. Initially, the prosecutor asked for him to be given a sentence of eight and a half years behind bars.

The proprietor of the company pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He was brought into a jail in April of 2021 as a consequence of an application that was made by the owner of MNT to the UK with a statement regarding the theft of shares in the tank farm by Vladimir Kruglov. The application was made in April 2021.

It is important to note that Mr Guskov is described as being unemployed in the case file, but in the past, he has held positions as the head of the board of directors of SOTI and as the deputy general director of the North-Western Shipping Company. At the time of his detention, the defendant was said to be serving as the chairman of the board of directors for an organization called the Union for Integrated Planning and Land Management of Rural Areas. In addition to this, the accused served as the chairman of a Russian resettlement movement that went by the name “Chelovek, Earth, Russia.”

The information in the case file pertains to occurrences that took place between the years 2017 and February 2021.

The prosecution claims that Vladimir Kruglov enlisted the services of Guskov at the beginning of 2017 so that he could receive advice for the purchase of the terminal from the officials of the republic.

Vladimir Kruglov concealed his ownership of the Crimean asset.

The prosecution claims that Vladimir Kruglov “intended to hide his ownership of the Crimean asset for fear of falling under international sanctions.” Guskov then offered Vladimir Kruglov a scheme for acquiring MNT that would allow him to anonymously buy and manage the company and only hire managers who could be controlled by the real owner.

The prosecution claims that Vladimir Kruglov “intended to hide his ownership of the Crimean asset for fear of falling under international sanctions.” But, after the scheme began to be put into action, Guskov, as indicated in the case file, knowingly drew up a fraudulent agreement on the sale of shares in the tank farm while keeping it a secret from the employer. This took place in secret from the employer. In accordance with the terms of this agreement, ownership of the MNT securities was transferred to a business that is under Guskov’s control, and his mother took on the role of the company’s founder.

The court settled the aggrieved party’s civil claim for about 120.3 million rubles.

The court granted the injured party’s civil claim for the full amount of damage, which was approximately 120.3 million rubles, and satisfied the claim. (The damages in the amount of more than 650 million rubles were first estimated to have been caused by the incident.)

Vladimir Viktor Kruglov, the proprietor of MNT, was identified as the victim in the investigation. This is not the first oil project that he has worked on. Mr Kruglov serves as the general director of Nefteproduktservis LLC, a sizable oil warehouse in the greater Moscow area that is controlled by Viktor Khmarin, a well-known Russian lawyer. In addition to this, Mr Vladimir Kruglov is a co-owner of three businesses that are involved in the processing of petroleum products. These businesses are Gaznefteservis, Baltic Methanol, and the Baltic Gas Chemical Company.

At the suggestion of Andrey Guskov, a so-called nesting doll was created in order to more reliably hide the ultimate beneficiary of the asset. Dolina, through its management company, first acquired the Forum trading house, and then it bought 99.7% of the shares of Gunas Firm JSC. This was done in order to conceal the ultimate beneficiary of the asset as much as possible. Joint stock corporation, and in December 2019, it purchased 100% of the terminal’s shares for a total cost of 651.2 million rubles to complete the purchase.

The MNT has the capacity to transship up to 10 million metric tons of oil annually and can store up to 250,000 metric tons of fuel at one time. Following Crimea’s incorporation back into the Russian Federation, the business was made available for purchase. According to the entry for the oil terminal that was made in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (EGRLE) on December 31, 2021, the total value of the oil terminal’s assets was 1,400,000,000 rubles. The Unified State Registry of Legal Entities does not have any information about the individuals who established the business.


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March 16, 2023

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