Dealing with corrupt statesmen and oligarchs was never an easy task. Sadly, sometimes it is a necessity but much more often it is disguised as a ‘lifetime opportunity’ any reasonable businessman should avoid. Dmitry Zhurba and Andrey Malyshev, two fugitive ex-statesmen wanted for frauds, embezzlement and corruption back in Russia, residents of London, implemented a brilliant yet simple scheme to defraud realty investors.
Real estate hamstering by Dmitry Zhurba and Andrey Malyshev
During their generously fruitful years of state service the two has managed to form a pretty impressive portfolio of real estates. Luxurious apartments in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Kiev as well as in Limassol, Larnaca (Cyprus), Monaco, Cannes, Marbella, Barcelona, Frankfurt am Main, Baden Baden, Paris, London and Riga – in total of 70 – were bought by two corrupt subordinates of the first-grade Russian oligarchs: Anatoly Chubais, Mikhail Abyzov and Leonid Melamed.
Andrey Malyshev and Dmitry Zhurba decided that it’s the right time to turn their investments into profit and made an off-market offer of the batch of their real estate. An US-based investment company, seeking to purchase apartments for subsequent rent, has shown interest in some of the objects and the sides negotiated the deal. The total price of the batch Americans intended to buy is 3.5 million euro (£2,983,834). And here the story of their misery has a true beginning.
Dont expect a thief to be honest while selling the stollen
An employee of one of the American companies engaged in real estate addressed the Russian Federation Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov. He claims that he was the victim of a 3.5 million euro scam by well-known wanted Russian criminals who now reside in London. These are close associates and friends of Anatoly Chubais and Mikhail Abyzov. Those are the former Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy, ex-deputy Chairman of the Board of Rusnano Andrey Malyshev and ex-financial director of RAO UES and a long-time partner of the former CEO of Rusnano Leonid Melamed Dmitry Zhurba. Andrey Malyshev is on the international wanted list in the case of embezzlement in Rusnano, Dmitry Zhurba left Russia after being summoned for questioning in this case. Malyshev and Zhurba with their families settled in London – a real magnet for post-Soviet scumbags.
According to the applicant, the company where he works received an offer to buy 70 real estate properties in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Limassol, Larnaca, Monaco, Cannes, Marbella, Barcelona, Frankfurt am Main, Baden Baden, Paris, London, Riga. The company’s clients were interested only in a number of objects, during the negotiations it turned out that the property belonged to the families of Malyshev and Zhurba.
Malyshev and Zhurba personally conducted negotiations and agreed that the transaction will take place in London and by cashless means. However, Malyshev and Zhurba asked to transfer the transaction to Moscow and pay in cash, offering a good discount from the price due to this demand. Due to their status in the criminal case, they asked a trusted person to conduct the transaction, to whom 3.5 million euros were transferred by the buyer.
The property was registered to a representative of the company, but almost immediately it was seized at the request of the wives of Malyshev and Zhurba and by the decision of the judge of the Basmanny court Karpova (Malyshev’s neighbour by pure coincidence). The money was not returned to the buyer, and he believes that he is the victim of a planned scam.
Here is the testimony we’ve received from the victim of Malyshev and Zhurba fraud.
“I work for an American company in the real estate department. In the spring of 2019, we received an offer from an English broker. It included more than 70 real estate objects in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Limassol, Larnaca, Monaco, Cannes, Marbella, Barcelona, Frankfurt am Main, Baden Baden, Paris, London, Riga.
All owners are citizens of the CIS. All objects were offered on exclusive terms as Off Market Sales. We sent this offer to our customers as part of the mailing list. Some objects interested our customers.
One of these clients was an American company, which eventually became interested in three apartments in Moscow, two more are in France. The company is engaged in investing in real estate.
After selecting the real estate objects of interest to our clients, we asked the broker for more detailed information.
The company of clients authorized me to purchase apartments for the purpose of investing money and then renting them out. This is how I met Dmitry Gennadyevich Zhurba and Andrey Borisovich Malyshev.
All negotiations were conducted with them. I communicated with them exclusively via Telegram messenger. All the properties were registered to their wives. [Which is quite common for people who try to escape the responsibility – editor.]
Several times we met with sellers in London to discuss the details of transactions. Andrey and Dmitry (Malyshev and Zhurba) were present at the meeting in person.
Initially, it was planned to make payments for the purchase of real estate through escrow in the UK. But then Dmitry and Andrey expressed a desire to make payments on the territory of Russia for cash, since they needed money there. And they offered to make another discount. In general, the buyer’s company was satisfied with this.
The deal was planned to be held at the end of September, but Dmitry and Andrey had postponed it all the time. They could not decide on the dates of arrival, then they were on vacation.
As a result, it turned out that Marina Malysheva, Andrey’s wife, and Natalia Belanova, Dmitry’s wife, would not be able to fly to Russia for signing, but they notified us that all transactions on Russian territory would be conducted with the sellers’ attorney, their friend, a certain Victoria, who acts on the basis of general notarial powers of attorney. Copies of which were provided to us by Dmitry Zhurba and Andrey Malyshev.
When we learned that the transaction would take place under a power of attorney issued in a foreign country, it was decided to conduct the transaction through a Russian notary. To which they agreed.
The client’s company authorized me to conduct the transaction.
At the time of concluding the transaction through a notary, the authenticity and legal grounds for making a real estate transaction were verified by him.
The funds for settlements from our client were transferred to me in Moscow City on December 12, 2019.
I saw Victoria for the first time at the notary office. She was accompanied by two men. They also called Andrey and Dmitry all the time when they were drawing up purchase and sale agreements.
For secure payments for the purchase of apartments, Andrey and Dmitry were offered to use a bank cell of the Fora bank.
The calculation was carried out by agreement in euros at the exchange rate on the day of signing the contract. The funds were recalculated and transferred to the bank, after which I received three receipts from Victoria for receiving money. At the same time, we spoke with Dmitry and Andrey twice by phone. Victoria, accompanied by two bodyguards, left the bank with money. A few days later, I received all the title documents for the purchased apartments.
And here, just before the New Year holidays in Russia and Christmas in Europe and America, the most interesting thing began: on December 29, Natalia Belanova, through lawyers, is seeking an injunction against the apartment I bought and owned by the judge of the Presnensky district. Although everyone says that it is unlikely to hold at least some kind of hearing at all on New Year’s Eve.
In mid-January, Marina Malysheva arrives in Moscow, submits a statement to the local police that her apartments were allegedly stolen. Our valiant guards of order and wallets of Londoners from the Internal Affairs Department of CJSC react instantly. And within two days, their representative Victoria, the mother of two minor children, is detained.
The same evening, police officers without warrants and documents arrive at the home of my former wife, the mother of a minor child, and take her out at night in an unknown direction, demanding to hand me over to them.
As I was told by professional lawyers, the scheme of the perfect scam is quite understandable. Andrey and Dmitry were negotiating the sale, but the property belongs to their wives according to the documents. Then they found the girl Victoria through some of their friends, and wrote out a power of attorney for her from abroad. After receiving payment for the apartments from me, they file a lawsuit in a short period of time to declare the transactions invalid.
Thus, I lost more than 3.5 million. euro of other people’s money trusted to me by the company, and I lose the right to use and perform any actions in relation to the property I purchased. And if you add to this the planned detention and detention of me, then I had practically no chance to do anything.
Then came the trials in the Presnensky Court, and the pandemic. The case came to the judge Karpova, a neighbour of Marina Malysheva on Molodogvardeyskaya Street.
The wonders of the Russian judicial system are no secret to anyone. And, despite the fact that all the documents produced and sent by Andrey and Dmitry are officially registered in the register of the Prosecutor General’s Office that issued them, and in the register of the Foreign Ministry, Judge Karpova did not consider this a significant fact, did not send court requests through the Foreign Ministry or international legal assistance. Despite all the petitions of my lawyers and the provision of official confirmations, including from the Consulate of the Russian Federation.
Naturally, Judge Karpova ruled in favour of the Malyshevs and Zhurba-Belanova.
The appeal was denied to us.
There was no reaction to all appeals to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the IC, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the FSB, or the Presidential Administration. In addition to the usual wording, your request has been forwarded to the appropriate department. And lo and behold, it is the Department of Internal Affairs of CJSC again. Although the real estate objects are located on the Arbat. More precisely, Plotnikov Lane and Sivtsev Vrazhek Lane”.
The scheme used by the fugitive ex-statesmen Dmitry Zhurba and Andrey Malyshev to defraud investors is indeed quite common. The outcome of the case, even with involvement of the General Prosecution office, is doubtful. It’s quite reliable to consider that the poor middleman will never get the trusted money or real estate back.
The punchline for this sketch is simple: do not, under any circumstances, strike a deal with the oligarchs, fugitive statesmen and other notorious scammers. Dmitry Zhurba and Andrey Malyshev are of the same level of trust as the Nigerian ‘princesses’ and ‘late bankers daughters’ you have in the spam folder. Except that business with the former Russian statesmen is much more expensive.