Swiss public prosecutor’s office has instigated criminal proceedings against Ukrainian Member of Parliament Mr. Stanislav Berezkin, his son Mr. Maksym Berezkin and his daughter Ms. Viktoriya Berezkina with regard to involvement in fraud and mismanagement. Public prosecutor Josepha Wohnrau is in charge of the investigation (case P/16851/2016 – CJO).
The criminal action is launched based on the report filed by Swiss company Creativ Trading SA and Ukrainian company PrJSC Creative, both companies currently being under bankruptcy proceedings. Both companies were part of an integrated industrial agriculture concern based in Ukraine and known as Creative Group, which was one of the large producers of sunflower oil. The business was founded and run by Mr. Berezkin until he decided to sell the heavily indebted concern in July 2015 to private investors Mr. Artur Grants and Mr. Rysbek Toktomushev. The company with a debt of approximately $ 650 million was sold for $ 25 million, with the buyers intending to do the debt restructuring and business turnaround.
Shortly after the transaction the new owners discovered massive accounting fraud that triggered numerous litigations and criminal investigations in Ukraine. The new owners claimed that the massive accounting fraud exposed after the acquisition made any debt restructuring and business turnaround absolutely impossible.
The new owners allege that the previous owners were involved in banking fraud when millions of loan funds were siphoned out of the borrowing companies. More than $ USD 400 million was borrowed by then Berezkin controlled Private joint stock company “Creative” from the Ukrainian state-owned banks Oschadbank and Ukreximbank and further siphoned out of the company via sham contracts to Berezkin’s Swiss entity Creativ Trading SA, the latter landing them on accounts of personal offshore companies of the Berezkins. Thus, the loans of the Ukrainian state-owned banks were allegedly embezzled, the two companies [Ukrainian private joint stock company “Creative” and Swiss Creativ Trading S.A.] left with huge debts resulting in their subsequent insolvency.
The jurisdiction of the Swiss prosecution is based on the fact that a Swiss entity Creativ Trading SA was allegedly used to defraud the banking lenders.
Children of Mr. Stanislav Berezkin, Maksym Berezkin (36) and Viktoriia Berezkina (29), held senior management positions in the companies of Creative Group and allegedly were personally involved in the said fraudulent activities.
Despite the declared anti-corruption efforts Ukraine remains one of the most corrupted countries in Europe. The recent public declaration of assets by the Ukrainian public servants stunned the European community. The amount of wealth accumulated by the Ukrainian politicians is shocking: fancy sport cars, luxurious mansions, sophisticated time-pieces, piles of cash and even private churches … The Berezkin case is representative in showing the ways the stunning wealth is earned by the Ukrainian politicians.