National Bank Trust secures EUR 267m worldwide freezing order over assets of its former owners and their wives

London, Moscow, 4 December 2020 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells has this week secured a major success for its client National Trust Bank before the Limassol District Court in Cyprus.

In a victory for Hogan Lovells’ client, the court in Cyprus imposed a worldwide freezing order over EUR 267m worth of assets belonging to the Ananyev brothers and their wives in support of the claims alleging that  the brothers masterminded a series of fraudulent schemes to embezzle over USD 267m from their former bank, Promsvyazbank PJSC, in Russia.  

In addition to the freezing order, the judge also imposed a freezing order over assets held by a third party, which is believed to have held part of the assets nominally on behalf of the Ananyev brothers.

Background

In November, National Bank Trust filed a claim with the District Court of Limassol seeking damages in excess of EUR 267 million from Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev and their respective wives, Lyudmila and Daria Ananyev. The claim was coupled with an application for interim relief in the form of a worldwide freezing order over the defendants’ assets.

National Bank Trust alleges that over a series of years the Ananyev brothers  implemented fraudulent schemes by issuing unsecured (or materially undersecured) loans to shell borrowers who were related to the Ananyevs. As a result,  hundreds of millions of dollars were siphoned off from Promsvyazbank. The bad loans were ultimately transferred to National Bank Trust in 2019 after Promsvyazbank collapsed and went into administration. National Bank Trust claims losses in excess of EUR 267 million as a result of implementation of these fraudulent schemes.

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National Bank Trust has been able to bring these proceedings promptly despite numerous obstacles created by the complexity of the schemes underpinning the alleged frauds, the defendants’ efforts to conceal their actions, and by global COVID-related restrictions.

Separate criminal proceedings in Russia are pending against Dmitry and Alexei Ananyev in relation to various alleged counts of misappropriation of assets  related to Promsvyazbank. 

“The claim against Ananyev brothers is the latest in the sequence of claims against the title beneficiaries of the collapsed banks. We are satisfied with the Court’s judgment, and believe that the measures imposed on the defendants are necessary and proper in the circumstances. National Bank Trust continues its investigation and collection of evidence in relation to other persons that are involved in the misappropriation of funds. New claims could be brought as well as new episodes emerging in relation to the current disputes,” commented Alexander Sokolov, President and Chairman of the Management Board of National Bank Trust.

International law firm Hogan Lovells is the leading counsel representing National Bank Trust in this matter. The Cypriot law firm Scordis, Papapetrou & Co LLC represents the National Bank Trust in the proceedings before the District Court of Limassol.

The Hogan Lovells team is led by partners Alexei Dudko  and Alex Sciannaca with support from Of Counsel Denis Almakaev and others.

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