The former CEO of Rosneft is suing Edmond de Rothschild bank in the United States. Sergei Bogdanchikov, who headed the Russian state-owned company specializing in hydrocarbons from 1998 to 2010, accuses the Geneva financial institution of having illegally made him lose more than half of a $ 150 million portfolio. .
The Russian businessman allegedly entrusted part of his fortune in 2001 to a Luxembourg subsidiary of the Geneva bank. In 2016, he reportedly was shocked to learn that $ 81 million had gone up in smoke. Sergei Bogdanchikov reportedly lodged a complaint with the Swiss and Luxembourg courts, in vain and without the case escalating.
Falsified account statements
The Russian therefore brought the case before the Supreme Court of Justice in New York on Wednesday, according to a complaint that we could read, and which was taken up by the Anglo-Saxon press. We learn that a senior executive of the Swiss bank – a close friend of President Ariane de Rothschild, according to the Financial Times – allegedly conspired with East Europeans living in Brooklyn. He would have made him lose more than 81 million dollars, on his wallet of 150 million dollars.
The Swiss bank is said to have funneled its funds to a pair of New York-based companies that lost money on bad investments and charged inflated fees to push commissions back to the bank. Edmond de Rothschild is said to have issued falsified account statements to Sergei Bogdanchikov showing that the value of his assets was increasing, which in fact was not the case.
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The bank would have resorted in this context to the services of Mossack Fonseca to create fictitious companies in order to cover up the scheme, according to the complaint. Mossack Fonseca is a Panamanian law firm, which closed in 2018 after being at the center of the Panama Papers, a gigantic data breach that highlighted its role in money laundering and tax evasion in the international scale.
Sergei Bogdanchikov demands a hundred million dollars in compensation from the Swiss bank. Edmond de Rothschild’s press service tells us that he does not wish to comment.
Two big companies
Sergei Bogdanchikov, 63, grew up in a Russian village near Kazakhstan. He made his fortune with the wave of privatization generated by the fall of the Berlin Wall. When he took the reins of Rosneft in 1998, the group was a medium-sized company. It was under his era that the oil group became a giant. Rosneft reported sales of $ 149 billion last year.
Edmond de Rothschild is one of the most prestigious banks in Europe. The house was founded in 1953 by the great-great-grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who had established a financial institution in Germany in the 18th century. It is located in the center of Geneva, in the banking district.
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