Frequenter in the list of billionaires, board chairman and owner of Russian Copper Company (RCC) Igor Altushkin got spotted by investigators in a high-profile case of VAT refund for non-existent supply of non-ferrous metals. As it became known to RBC daily, the first detained in the investigation of fraud, which could have made damages of 5 billion rubles, mentioned his name. The businessman denies his involvement in the scandalous criminal case. According to the RCC, the company suspected of tax evasion had been just a supplier.
At the end of September 2009 high-profile criminal case was brought against the leaders of LLC "Trade and Industry Company» Metallinvestservis”. The police caught the company in using payroll schemes for non-ferrous metals allegedly delivered for processing. In the scam they used details of fake companies, including those registered in the offshore. A search in the Moscow office of "Metallinvestservisa" revealed a lot of stamps and documents of more than 30 one-day firms.
The company did sell non-ferrous metals on the London Stock Exchange through the parent structure in the UK, but the actual delivery volumes were irreconcilable with the faked numbers. By the moment of criminal case initiation “on large-scale tax evasion by a group of persons on prior agreement” the damage has been calculated only for 2005. It was about 1.2 billion rubles. Investigators estimated the volume of suspicious transactions by "Metallinvestservis" activities (from 2005 to 2009) at more than 20 billion rubles. The direct damage to the State has been announced at nearly 5 billion rubles.
Immediately after the criminal case had been opened, investigators recognized that the accountant and director general of the Russian metal importer (them are under house arrest) were not the main organizers of the scheme. The police claimed that the real crooks were in London. Recently, RBC daily found out that the investigation examines the version of Igor Altushkin’s involvement in the trader’s operations (the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Russian Copper Company). According to the source of RBC daily, the investigation has already gained evidence from employees of Russia's representative office of "Metallinvestservis", in which Igor Altushkin is mentioned.
Mr. Altushkin refused to talk to RBC daily, he just passed through his assistant a comment that "he had no relation to the case”. Director of Public Relations in RCC Alexander Khanin said that he knew nothing about the involvement of Mr. Altushkin in that case. «We have learnt of it for the first time, and we have nothing to do with this”, he said.”We are not shareholders, and have never dealt with this company (Metallinvestservis - RBC daily). They are our suppliers and nothing more. We are not familiar with its owners, and we are not the owners as well”.
According to the latest assessment of journal Forbes, 39-year-old Igor Altushkin with fortune of 1.1 billion dollars occupies the 880th place in the ranking of billionaires in the world. He has held the 104th line in the rating of the journal "Finans" for 2010's, and his fortune has been estimated at 680 million dollars.
The founder of TPK “Metallinvestservis " is British Metal Investment Service. According to the roster of the British legal entities, it owns Cyprus Individual Investments Ltd. The latter is also the founder of ZAO “FTPK - Integrated Services" (with a share of 30%), which owns 1% in the both subsidiaries of "TPK" Metallinvestservis”: LLC “Norilsk metals” and LLC “Metallgarant”. Another owner of "FTPK - Integrated Services" is registered on Cyprus Alpenica Enterprises Ltd. In the register of legal entities UK it is also stated that the final beneficiary of Metal Investment Service is Juti Foundation Trust, registered in Liechtenstein. According to the basis of "Screen", the founder of the TPK "Metallinvestservis" is British Metal Investment Service (UK) Ltd. According to the British registry of legal entities, Yuri Zaitsev and Sergey Tishchenko are its leaders, while Ruslan Shamurin is its financial adviser.
Source: RBC daily on 17/03/2010