For many years inside the deputy Alexey Chepa there has been a fierce struggle of opposites — on the one hand, sticking to the foreign policy position of the Russian authorities, he hates the West, on the other — he has everything there — business, real estate and children. He also does not forget about the homeland and feeds from it by any means. So, for example, it turned out that, before its “Technology Development Bank” went bankrupt, about 2 billion rubles were withdrawn from it.
Recently, the British newspaper The Times published a list of journalists working for the Russian Sputnik agency in Edinburgh. The material called them «propagandists who fabricate the news», and «Kremlin puppet». The article lists the names of eight bureau employees, posted their photos and positions. Thus, The Times declassified the personal data of the editor-in-chief of the bureau in Edinburgh, the chief editor, the executive producer, a number of correspondents and the head of the IT department.
Such actions caused sharp condemnation by Russian officials. As stated by Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Aleksey Chepa, “the journalists of the British edition, wishing to prove their loyalty to the authorities, discredited themselves in the eyes of the public. There is no excuse for such actions”.
It is curious that a little earlier a parallel between the anti-Western statements of the deputy and the acquisition of real estate in the United States and England was carried out by the “Medusa” publication.
In particular, it recalls an apartment in Miami, discovered in 2013 by a blogger, and in the past by journalist Andrey Malgin, at 10101 Collins Ave Bal Harbor FL 33154-1656, which Chepa bought in March 2010 for $ 2.45 million. However, he did not indicate it in the pre-election declaration of 2010, when he stood for the State Duma, or in the declaration for 2011, when he already became aware of his passing to it.
The house where Chepa’s apartment is located
In addition, it turned out that in the declarations of 2011 there is no Cyprus offshore Windale Holding Ltd. (the deputy owns 100% of the company) and 50% in Lindaco Commercial SA (British Virgin Islands). All these assets Chepa handed over to trust management in November 2011, as required by law, but forgot to include them in the declarations.
View from the window
However, in 2012, an American apartment of 342.8 square meters, as it was written, being with the deputy in gratuitous use and was listed among his other numerous apartments and land plots. Chepa in the comments to the press explained that he did not declare it earlier, since the property is secured by the bank — the Russian deputy took a loan from BAC Florida Bank to buy it, therefore, as long as he owes the bank, he allegedly does not have a document confirming the ownership.
In response, the blogger pointed out a contract signed by Chepa, according to which the bank has the right to claim an apartment only if the borrower (he is the owner) does not make payments, and then only by a court decision.
Given that Chepa regularly pays the annual property tax of several tens of thousands of dollars, which is again confirmed by documents, there is no reason to doubt that the interest on the loan is also repaid on time and in full. Yes, and in all other statements as the owner is listed it is — Alexey Vasilyevich Chepa.
Nevertheless, in 2013, Chepa decides to close the issue with delivering so much trouble to the apartments on the 19th floor of the prestigious high-rise building The Palace Bal Harbor, on the very coast of the ocean. And in March, he sells it to a certain Vera Afanasyeva at the purchase price — for 2.45 million dollars and not a cent more. And this is despite the fact that the deputy has already lost on taxes and interest on the loan.
At the same time, Chepa did not even have to go to the States to execute the transaction — it was made into at the US Embassy in Moscow. This is who, then, shocks down “the thresholds of the American embassy,” and not at all for the “deputy’s cookies”, but for their hard earned money.
At the same time, “MK” contacted the deputy, who said that even during the elections to the Tverskoy Legislative Assembly in 2011, he tried to declare an apartment in Miami, but he did not have a certificate of ownership — only a loan agreement, therefore the apartment «deleted from the declaration». Currently, as the representative of Fair Russia noted, the American apartment is registered for relatives, but hangs on the bank until the loan is repaid. The parliamentarian also explained that he earned money for an apartment by legal hard work — he was engaged in business and paid taxes for more than 20 years. Anyway, according to him, almost any Russian can afford an apartment in Miami.
The statement about the possibilities of «any Russians», let it remain on the conscience of the deputy, but he did not lie in the fact that it really «is on relatives» now. According to the sources of «Medusa», Afanasyeva is Chepa’s niece.
She also does business. At least, according to financial statements, she is the founder or CEO of companies, most of which are somehow connected with the deputy.
For example, in the recently discontinued LLC “Interregional Society for the Promotion of Investment and Construction” (Mosinvestroy), she was listed as a director, and Chepa listed as a 100 percent owner. In the “Golden Mile”, managing the Golden Mile fitness club on Ostozhenka, she owns 5%, and Chepa is the main owner — he owns 70% of the company. And in “StroyMedia Resource”, she has 65%, while Chepa has 25%, the remaining 10% is owned by “Tolos International”, also owned by the deputy.
Afanasyeva was also listed among the founders located in the territory of the Skolkovo LLC “Plasmonika” and the “Laboratory of Optical Electronic Instruments”.
For the short years of their existence, the companies concluded many government contracts (mainly from the Ministry of Education and Science) for 358 million rubles and for an amount of 135 million became defendants on overdue loans to the Bank for Technology Development.
As it became known to “Criminal Russia”, Chepa is also the main beneficiary of the bank formed in July 2003. Initially, the financial institution was 100% owned by LLC “Prommashexpo-I” (established by LLC “AvantIntrade” and “SK Accord”, both are 100% owned by Chepa), later the share of Chepa decreased to 49% (8.763% is owned personally and another 40.08% through LLC “Prommashexpo-I”). Another 25.23%, according to our information, he controlled through a figurehead — Tatyana Sebeleva. The rest of the shares belonged mainly to the top management of the bank.
In addition, the board of directors included the parliamentarian’s wife, Irina Chepa. In May 2016, the Central Bank revoked the license from the bank — as it turned out later, the hole in its balance sheet amounted to almost 1 billion rubles.
“Today’s British authorities simply don’t know what else to do, how to dodge, to try to pinch Russia once again”, — says “Medusa”’s statement made by Chepa in the midst of an investigation into the poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripal.
Nevertheless, in addition to the United States, Chepa deeply took root in the UK. According to “Medusa”, together with the famous Moscow restaurateur Arkadiy Novikov, he has a joint business here. In 2009, they opened a large restaurant Novikov at 1800 square meters in London.
Restaurant Novikov in London
The first few years of Novikov restaurant’s work, Chepa was listed co-owner of the restaurant — he owned 45%. In 2013, after the law came into force prohibiting deputies to keep money abroad and own or use foreign financial instruments — State Duma deputies have the right to own a business, but not to participate in operational activities — his name disappeared from the list of shareholders.
But in 2017, his 20-year-old son, Daniil Chepa, appeared on the list of co-owners of the restaurant manager of Sealthwave Ltd. As stated in the financial statement — a UK resident residing at Flat 807, 20 Palace Street, London, England, SW1E 5BB. This multistorey building is located in central London within walking distance of Buckingham Palace. Prices for apartments in it start from 2.5 million pounds.
In 2018, however, his share was transferred to Cypriot Costas Economou. According to the source of «Medusa», he is a confidant of Chepa. The deputy himself called the Economou was just a friend.
Residential building on Palace Street
Even earlier, one of Chepa’s daughters, Anastasia, took the business path. She is not, of course, living in Tver as well. Since 2014, a graduate of the College of Art and Design in London, she, with her Greek girlfriend (Kleoniki Mandalou) owns a shop for the production and sale of fashionable clothing Aperse.
According to “Medusa”, back in 2006, Chepa bought her an apartment there for £ 1 million.
In turn, according to the «Criminal Russia», this apartment, or perhaps only one of many others belonging to the family of the deputy, is located in the prestigious Kensington district on Upper Phillimore Gardens Street. According to the press, the daughter of the former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, Elena Pinchuk, lives on the same street at number 17.
Upper Phillimore Gardens
The cost of apartments in this quiet place, located between Holland Park and Hyde Park, just starts from £ 1 million for a small apartment with one bathroom. But such apartments are rare here — as a rule, apartments have 4-6 bathrooms, and the price can reach 35 million pounds.
One of the apartments for sale in the area
As the deputy told “Medusa”, he often goes to London to visit the children. At the same time, according to him, the deterioration of Russia’s relations with the West makes him very nervous and, despite the position expressed by him as a position held in the State Duma, I would still like to “make it all go and shake things up”.
Some time ago “Criminal Russia” also contacted Alexey Chepa. He confirmed to us that he was one of the shareholders of the Technology Development Bank, which, in his opinion, went bankrupt due to the fault of the bank managers who had formed a loan portfolio, which was not secured by appropriate collateral, which required significant additional reserves.
“I tried to save it, but other shareholders, who were also managers who allowed this situation, didn’t make any effort”, — Chepa said.
At the same time, a statement of one of the high-ranking bank employees to the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Directorate of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation came to our disposal.
According to him, Chepa was the founder and majority shareholder of the bank with 65.3% of the share capital and in fact fully managed the activities of the credit institution. All important and strategic decisions, including financial ones, were made only after his approval.
After the revocation of the license by the Central Bank, the interim administration identified a number of violations committed by its management at the Technology Development Bank (TDB).
Thus, for example, the total amount of funds that were not returned to the bank by third parties and received by them in the form of loans and credits amounted to about 2 billion rubles. After the reasons for revoking the license came to light, Chepa, according to our source, stepped up his efforts to shift the blame on other people, including him, trying to avoid criminal and civil liability for the damage he caused to the bank and its clients.
In particular, the deputy publicly accused some top managers of the failure of the bank and threatened with violence and criminal prosecution. Threats also emanated from Chepa’s personal assistant, Alexander Bulbov, head of security.
Here we digress because this person deserves a separate mention. The former officer of the Russian special services, the lieutenant-general of the police, who had once headed the department for operational support of the Federal Drug Control Service, as well as the Department of Internal Security of the Federal Drug Control Service, also became the object of persecution. In 2007, at the Domodedovo airport, Bulbov was detained by FSB officers on charges of illegal telephone wiretaps, bribes and the “protection of” gangs. He linked his detention with participation in the investigation of the criminal case against the «Three Whales» company, in which high-ranking FSB officers were implicated. Despite the protest of the prosecutor’s office, Bulbov was detained by the Investigative Committee. But two years later, he was released on recognizance. In late 2010, Bulbov was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for fraud and abuse of power.
According to the applicant, it was Bulbov, along with Chepa, who was involved in multi-million embezzlements from the TDB of his clients’ funds. Thus, as a result of concluding fictitious lending contracts for the accounts controlled by Chepa, about 1 billion rubles were withdrawn.
This criminal scheme was easily implemented by Chepa, given his undisputed power as the actual owner of the bank and support of Bulbov.
Possessing irrefutable evidence of Chepa’s involvement in multi-million embezzlement, a bank employee asks to check the circumstances described in the application and, in the event of evidence of a crime, bring the persons involved to them to criminal responsibility.
It is curious that, in addition to the “Plasmonic” and the “Laboratory of optical-electronic devices” connected with Chepa through Afanasyeva, the bank’s largest borrower was CJSC “Nanorobotology”. According to the materials of the arbitration, the company owed the bank 315.5 million rubles. But another thing is interesting here — its founder Alexander Shishaev once worked as the general director of Chepa’s “AvantIntrade”, and the current head of “Nanorobotology”, Viktor Gavrilov, is also the chairman of the housing cooperative “Park Palace”, which also has Chepa as the co-founder. The “Nanorobotology” even coincides with the bank of addresses — Moscow, Sretensky Boulevard, 7/1/8 / p. 3. By the same address, by the way, many other companies of Chepa are also registered: “AvantIntrade”, “Prommashexpo-1”, “S.K. Accord”, Management Company «Golden Mile», «NET», Management Company “Parus”, which terminated the activities of “Media-Trust” and “Mosinvestsroy “, apparently, for the convenience of work.
Sretensky Blvd., 7 / 1s3
Another 70.2 million rubles settled in LLC “Energocenter”, established by LLC “Energomashtekhnika”, 100 percent owned by Chepa, 130 million has CJSC “NTT Fizpribor”, which was once the founder of LLC “NET” and again, Chepa has 30 million in “Prommashexpo-1”, which we already know.
In general, it is beneficial to be a deputy, and given that this position provides immunity, it is useful as well.
Let us return to our conversation with Chepa. When we asked about his overseas property, the deputy began to noticeably nervous and denied its existence.
“I don’t have anything in London or the USA”, — Chepa told us then. “Everything that I have is written in declarations”.
Unfortunately, they did not give a clear answer to our letter regarding the activities of Chepa and in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the UK. Chepa himself is a very active person and boasts a rather vivid biography.
In Soviet times, the 63-year-old deputy officially «worked in various military positions at closed military-industrial enterprises in Moscow and the Moscow region», unofficially — he was an officer in the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Ministry of Defense.
In the late 80s he went into business, establishing a wood processing plant. In the 1990s, again according to the official version, he was engaged in agriculture in Africa, Asia and the USA.
In addition, he headed the Fund for Friendship and Cooperation with the Angola Republic. According to some reports, this was only a cover for the arms trade in this country. Chepa later described this activity as “the fulfillment of certain tasks of the Motherland”.
From 1994 to 1997, he was the Commercial Director of AOZT “Military-Technical Company for the Implementation of Conversion Machinery and Equipment”. From 1996 to 1997 he was a Member of the Board of Directors of the «Alina-Moscow» bank. After the bank began to delay payments, it was acquired by “Ingosstrakh” and renamed “Ingosstrakh-Soyuz”, now called “Soyuz” and is part of the structure of the oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
Later, the media called Chepa one of Arkadiy Gaydamak’s partners who sentenced in absentia by a French court in 2009 to 6 years in prison for illegal arms supplies to Angola. The “Vedomosti” newspaper reported that Chepa was an intelligence officer and in the 90s he conducted a common business with Gaydamak, who is also considered an officer of the GRU and business partner of Viktor Bout, convicted in the USA for 25 years in prison for intending to trade arms and support of terrorism.
In addition, as the French Le Figaro wrote, Gaydamak recognizes herself to be a friend of the criminal «authority» of Alimzhan Tokhtakhunov (Taiwanchik). He needed Chepa because the citizens of Israel (and among other things Haidamak has French, Canadian and Angolan citizenship) are not granted visas by the Islamic states of the Persian Gulf, which are the largest buyers of weapons in the world. For Chepa, as a member of the Russian-Arab Business Council, was not difficult to establish contacts with representatives of these countries and then conduct business on behalf of Gaydamak.
In Russia, Chepa and Gaydamak were known as partners in the agrarian business. So, in 1999, Gaydamak bought an association of enterprises «Kazphosphate» — the largest producer of mineral fertilizers in Kazakhstan, after which he ordered Chepa to organize the sale of Kazakh fertilizers to Russian agricultural enterprises. For this, Chepa even joined the Agrarian Party and created the Fertility Interregional Agrarian Fund.
In 2000, Gaydamak bought 94% of “Mariinsk Poultry Factory” and 76% of “Bratsevsk Poultry Factory”, after which Chepa became chairman of the boards of directors of both companies (he remained until June 2006, when Gaydamak became chairman of the board of directors of the Bratsevsk factory).
In May 2005, in an interview with “Vedomosti”, Gaydamak publicly admitted for the first time that Chepa was his man: “We have long been acquainted with the main sponsor of the Agrarian Party, Alexey Chepa. He is the head of the largest poultry farms in the Moscow region. It is the only egg producer in the area. I do not know who else specifically deals with agriculture every day”, — the businessman noted then.
Since 2002, Chepa suddenly went into the media business and became the main shareholder of several print media in particular the “Russian Courier” newspaper published in the United States, and the “Nostalgia” and “Russian World” television channels broadcast in the same place. In parallel, he headed the non-profit organization “Union of Russian Foreigners”, which also met the interests of Gaydamak.
In 2003, Chepa took up the construction business, becoming the owner of LLC “My House Development”, which built residential buildings in the elite Zhukovka village on Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Highway. Since 2005, he was President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Rokada Ltd”, on whose behalf, in fact, he was a member of the Russian-Arab Business Council and its branches. By the way, Chepa said that he did not know a company with that name.
With another member of the council and also the GRU’s man, Victor Labusov, Chepa worked at “Vesso-Link United Paging”. The company was established by “Holbein Investments Limited”, a Cyprus offshore company, which along with a number of individuals, including Chepa, is also the founder of “Park Palace” housing cooperative, the most prestigious residential complex in Ostozhenka and Prechistenskaya embankment in the so-called “Golden Mile” with the most expensive real estate in Moscow.
Residential complex «Park Palace»
Also, the Labusov’s group «Infaykom» (which includes “Vessolink”) built a complex of administrative buildings for the FSS of Russia.
Chepa was engaged in construction business abroad. In particular, in Cambodia, a certain company Koh Puos Investment Group Ltd, which is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Cypriot offshore company Vironia Enterprises Limited, which is managed by “just an acquaintance” of Chepa, Costas Economou, in 2006 leased the island Koh Pu for 99 years in the province of Sihanoukville, announcing the intention to invest in its development $ 300 million. It was assumed that hotels, casinos, cottages and golf courses will appear on the island.
In 2011, the island, which was already dubbed “Russians”, built a bridge for $ 31 million. Chepa, who was called by the local media as the chairman of the board of the investment company, came to its opening. Speaking at the ceremony, he said that in the near future work will begin on the construction of a residential area, including 36 waterfront villas and low-rise residential buildings with a total area of about 100 thousand square meters.
Alexey Chepa (under an umbrella) and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife at the opening of the bridge
In 2013, The Phnom Penh Post reported that the project, officially named Morakot Island (“Emerald Island”), will be revised and its budget will increase to $ 1 billion. Director of Public Relations of Koh Puos Investment Group Ltd investment group, Keam Kolnead noted that the company has already invested $ 100 million in a kilometer bridge to the island, as well as in other infrastructure, including the unfinished 5-kilometer road surrounding the island. The project will be fully completed in 2018.
In 2015, the famous electronic music festival “Kazantip”, previously held in Crimea, was going to be held on the island, but at the last moment the Cambodian authorities canceled it.
Since then, no new information on the progress of construction on the island has appeared, only in 2018 it was noted that Chinese investments were in full swing in Sihanoukville. In the coastal areas of the province, including on the island of Koh Pu, Chinese construction companies operate.
Also in 2011, Alexey Chepa, already a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Tver region, suddenly appeared in a talk show on Russia-1 TV channel as a representative of an investor in the Emerald Beach Resort in Bulgaria. So he was at least introduced by the presenter, while the full name of his position, “the chairman of the board of directors of the Emerald group of companies, hung on the plate.
Russian pop stars Phillip Kirkorov and Lolita Milyavskaya, who bought apartments in this complex, blamed the developer for the poor quality of the rented object, and the management company for overstating the cost of the services provided.
As the Bulgarian newspaper Bivol later wrote, they were unable to find in the registers of Bulgarian companies any traces of a person named Alexey Chepa. However, according to other data, in addition to the “representative of the investor”, Chepa is still a co-owner of the complex. In particular, the publication refers to the leak hacked e-mail of CEO of the Internet-holding “Pravda.ru”, Inna Novikova, which hit the Internet in early 2012.
In one of the correspondences, according to Bivol, it is said that the representatives of the Russian owners in the elite complex Emerald Beach Resort met with the real shareholders of the developer and the managers of the “Izumrud” complex, among them was Chepa as well. In the correspondence, he is also indicated as “one of the construction investors”.
Emerald Beach Resort
The newspaper opened the scheme of «investment» in the Bulgarian resort real estate. It turned out to be quite simple — through the offshore companies of Chepa and Co credited Bulgarian developers with money of uncertain origin. Then the property was sold, and already «clean» money was returned to investors.
In the case of the Emerald, “investments” came from offshore Spade Buisness Ltd, registered in the Bahamas. Having driven the company name into the search, we find its mention in the “Mayak Baltika” newspaper issue No. 19 (134) for September 2004 (now the article is posted on the website of the Kaliningrad Regional Organization of the Russian Seamen’s Union). In particular, it states that “in November 2003, the PFORF seafarers sent an open letter to the owner of three companies Spade business Ltd (registered in Angola), “Southern Fishing Fleet” LLC and “Golden Fish” (registered in Pionersk city) lord Alexey Vasilyevich Chepa, and it said about the vain many months of expectations earned for the flight money».
Further, the funds passed through the Bulgarian “Pioneer Development” company, which in 2004 acquired 39 hectares on the coast near Ravda for about 2 million euros and launched a large-scale construction project — a five-star elite complex Emerald Beach Resort with 783 apartments. Later, they were sold at the offices of “Pioneer” in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vilnius. At the same time, according to Bivol, many buyers after the purchase faced problems regarding tax payments for real estate. The fact is that when selling apartments to them, the preliminary agreements indicated the real price — from 1,500 to 3,000 euros per square meter, but notarial acts indicated only 50% of the cost. The difference, naturally, settled in the accounts of “Pioneer Development”.
In the television program, Chepa called all accusations of Russian stars «stupid», arguing that «this is not true».
One would like in conclusion to repeat the words of the deputy himself: “There is no excuse for such actions”.