The former CEO and shareholder of the Solikamsk Magnesium Plant was accused of trying to steal 2.5 billion rubles from the enterprise.

Redemption of a share by Artur Urtaev from Igor Pestrikov became a waste

The investigating authorities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs opened another criminal case against the former shareholder of OJSC Solikamsk Magnesium Plant Igor Pestrikov and ex-general director of the enterprise Artur Urtaeva. They are suspected of attempted embezzlement of 2.5 billion rubles. the plant’s funds under the guise of the company’s purchase of a 25% stake in Fin-project LLC, owned by Pestrikov. It is reported by Kommersant-Prikamye.

Artur Urtaev

Igor Pestrikov Igor Pestrikov

According to the publication, the criminal case was initiated at the end of January this year. According to investigators, Igor Pestrikov decided to organize the theft of funds from the Solikamsk magnesium plant in his favor with the help of the former general director Artur Urtaev. The GSU believes that they wanted to commit embezzlement under the guise of selling SMZ 25% of Pestrikov’s shares in Fin-Project LLC. This organization controls the Lovozero Mining and Processing Plant, which is the sole supplier of loparite concentrate for the enterprise in Solikamsk.

Igor Pestrikov himself announced the initiation of a criminal case to Kommersant, sending a copy of the appeal to the director of the FSB through his representative by proxy Alexander Bortnikov. It follows from the text of the document that the criminal case was initiated at the end of January of this year. According to investigators, Igor Pestrikov decided to organize the theft of funds from the Solikamsk magnesium plant in his favor with the help of Artur Urtaev.

The Solikamsk Magnesium Plant is the only producer of rare earth elements in the country and a processor of rare earth minerals. In May 2022, the Arbitration Court of the Perm Territory satisfied the claim of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for the recovery of more than 89% of the shares into state ownership. The shares of the Fin-Project also became the property of the state. Igor Pestrikov owned a 25% stake in SMZ and a 24.99% stake in LLC. Last year, after a series of previous lawsuits, due to which Petr Kondrashev and Timur Starostin lost the opportunity to manage the enterprise, Igor Pestrikov was able to form a controlled board of directors. By the decision of this body, Artur Urtaev was appointed general director.

In a letter to Mr. Bortnikov, the former shareholder expresses his disagreement with the position of the investigation in both criminal cases. According to him, the preliminary sale and purchase agreement provided for a security deposit, but it could not be paid without the approval of the board of directors. This issue, according to Igor Pestrikov, was not brought up for discussion by this enterprise management body. In addition, the purchase and sale transaction could not take place without the appraiser’s opinion on the value of the share. Igor Pestrikov also points out that it could not happen until the other co-owners of Fin-Proekt waive their pre-emptive right to buy shares. The former shareholder also believes that if the deal were completed, then SMZ would acquire a stake in a valuable asset, thanks to which it would be able to influence the management of its sole supplier. Igor Pestrikov does not agree with the accusation of embezzlement of 250 million rubles.

Previously RBC Perm reported that on June 1, 2022, a week after Urtaev took the managerial chair at the plant, he signed a loan agreement with Pestrikov. The shareholder received 250 million rubles. at 11% per annum. The return deadline is July 30, 2022.
After that, Urtaev was detained on June 9, 2022 and then arrested. He was charged with embezzlement committed on an especially large scale (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code). Accused in absentia of complicity in embezzlement (part 5 of article 33, part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), Pestrikov disappeared and was put on the interstate wanted list.
The general director of SMZ JSC was in a pre-trial detention center until June 22. He was under house arrest until December 12, 2022. He was again sent to a pre-trial detention center due to the fact that he violated the ban and talked on the phone with witnesses.
Former shareholder of SMZ JSC Pestrikov was announced on the interstate wanted list, he was charged in absentia with complicity in embezzlement (part 5 of article 33, part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

Ex-shareholder of Solikamsk Magnesium Plant JSC Igor Pestrikov, who was put on the international wanted list in the case of embezzlement of 250 million rubles. enterprises, said that he returned this amount to the plant from 14 million rubles. in the form of percentages. Mr. Pestrikov announced this in a letter to the editors of Kommersant-Prikamye. He insists that he received these funds as a loan within the framework of civil law relations, and the transaction brought profit to the enterprise in the form of interest. Information about the repayment of the debt is also contained in the materials of the arbitration case, in which the company collects this amount. According to the interlocutors at the SMZ, the funds did indeed arrive at the plant’s account, but they did not see any payment documents. Sources familiar with the course of the investigation say that these actions will not lead to the termination of the criminal case and can only be assessed as compensation for damage.

Artur Urtaev, who is in a pre-trial detention center, does not admit guilt, since he considers the transfer of funds to be civil law relations. Igor Pestrikov indicates in the letter that SMZ was not damaged by this transaction, but, on the contrary, the company received a profit of about 14 million rubles. Also, Mr. Pestrikov claims that “the investigation took all measures so that the borrowed funds were not returned.” Under such measures, the former shareholder understands the arrest of his accounts and property in the amount of more than 3 billion rubles.