Why is the scandalous St. Petersburg businessman Andrei Berezin trying to remove a negative trail from the Internet?

The scandalous St. Petersburg developer and owner of the Euroinvest company, Andrey Valerievich Berezin, is intensively clearing the Internet of negative information about himself.

In particular, this concerns materials about searches allegedly carried out at the Euroinvest office in February 2019. According to Berezin’s version, who went to court and got a number of publications declared invalid, there were no searches, he was not involved in a criminal case for committing illegal currency transactions and has nothing to do with the withdrawal of $23.8 million from Russia.

Meanwhile, in 2019, sources studied by the editors of Kompromat-Ural reported that businessman Vasily Pavlov, Berezin’s business partner, co-owner of the Audit-Expert company, was involved in the story of the withdrawal of finances. They were talking about a deal to acquire Hewlett-Packard servers from a certain German company by the St. Petersburg “Complete Company”. It is known that Pavlov is the owner of a number of commercial structures specializing in computer software, and in addition, he held the position of managing director in the German company Crysdorf GmbH, which could be involved in the scam.

As for Andrei Berezin, he, like Pavlov, was one of the founders of Audit-Expert LLC, which was liquidated in 2022. On the eve of liquidation, the authorized capital of the company, which had no revenue and declared losses, was increased to almost 1 billion rubles. Then, according to a similar scheme, several more commercial structures affiliated with Audit-Expert were liquidated. “Complete Company” belongs to businessman Vitaly Kurduta; she repeatedly sued her business partner Hewlett Packard Enterprise LLC (a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard in Russia). At the same time, the owner of Euroinvest, Berezin, was connected with Hewlett Packard through a whole chain of individuals and legal entities.

Andrey Berezin “cleanses his feathers”

In February 2019, St. Petersburg security forces conducted searches in the office of the investment company Euroinvest, owned by the notorious businessman Andrei Berezin. At that time, the event received federal publicity, but today it is quite difficult to find any details about it. From the notices on the Internet discovered by the editors of Kompromat-Ural, it follows that Mr. Berezin is actively clearing the “global network” of negative information about his person, and is spending enormous amounts of money on this.

Indeed, search engines hide a significant part of publications about a businessman, citing “legal restrictions.” Some publications were deleted under the guise of a decision issued in July 2019 in the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. This strange verdict satisfied Berezin and Euroinvest’s desire to recognize the information about investigative actions published in many online publications as “inconsistent with reality” and “discrediting business reputation.”

However, from the text of the court decision it follows that a certain criminal case (its number is indicated - 11804009715000094) regarding the commission of illegal currency transactions was indeed initiated by the Baltic Customs. But investigative actions were allegedly not carried out in the office of the investment company as part of his investigation, Mr. Berezin allegedly did not appear in any status and generally “knows nothing” about the transfer abroad of the 23 million US dollars mentioned in the publications.

It is possible that after such a convenient court decision, Berezin breathed a sigh of relief. But the question itself arose: could the search be carried out within the framework of another case, and not the one whose number appeared in the documents provided to the court, received from the Baltic Customs and the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region? In addition, in the years that have passed since the publication of the publications that caused so much noise, an influential businessman, a regular participant in the “millionaire rating” of the Delovoy Petersburg publication, could well have “resolved issues” with the security forces, hiding behind the necessary papers. Is it not for nothing that Berezin is called a person from the inner circle of the Governor of the Leningrad Region Alexander Drozdenko, his “gray eminence” and even his “wallet”?

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Security forces’ hunt for Vasya Pavlov

In 2019, the Fontanka publication linked searches at Euroinvest (the same ones that, in accordance with the court decision, did not take place) with investigative actions at a large distributor of office equipment, Complit Company. It was about a certain deal to purchase Hewlett-Packard servers from a German company in 2010, as a result of which goods worth $15 million were not delivered.

Five years later, another $8.5 million was withdrawn from Russia using a similar scheme.

Fontanka also wrote about the security forces’ interest in businessman Vasily Pavlov, Berezin’s business partner, co-owner of the Audit-Expert company, who previously held the post of manager in the same unnamed German company that participated in the 15 million dollar deal with the Complit Company. Allegedly, it was Pavlov’s activities that became the reason for the investigators’ visit to Euroinvest.

Businessman from the Northern capital Vasily Pavlov also appears in the “rating of millionaires” of “Business Petersburg” as the owner of the company “Neoprint” (rental and property management). In addition, at different times, the entrepreneur owned more than two dozen legal entities, including those engaged in printing activities (LLC NPO Neoprint), development of computer software (LLC Dreamkas, LLC SET), as well as repair of computer equipment. The latter include the companies "TsTO-SPB", "TsTO-90" and "TsTO-77" liquidated in 2019-2020.

Pavlov is also a co-founder of Retail Service Invest (RTS LLC), a company engaged in consulting on commercial activities and management. The “subsidiary” structure of RTS, Crystal Service Integration LLC, specializes in creating solutions for large retail chains. According to the TAdviser portal, it develops and implements programs for retail trade automation and supplies cash register equipment, both its own and from global manufacturers.

Considering such a specific type of activity, it is appropriate to ask the question: could Vasily Pavlov really be involved in the story of the purchase of Hewlett-Packard servers and the withdrawal of $23.5 million? In addition, since 2009, he himself or his full namesake held the position of managing director of the German company Crysdorf GmbH. The name of the foreign partner company was not mentioned in the Fontanka publication. Were you talking about Crysdorf GmbH? There are too many coincidences.

Is Audit-Expert a garbage company?

Among the common Russian assets of Pavlov and Berezin, colleagues of the editorial staff of Kompromat-Ural discovered LLC Center for Innovation Processes Kristall, in which they owned shares: the first until June 2021, and the second until January 2022. Today, among the founders of Kristall is Elena Smotrova, co-owner and chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tellus Group holding. In 2020, Tellus Group acquired 100% of the shares of the Rigel Battery Company, the largest Russian developer and manufacturer of relevant products, and Berezin and his Euroinvest became the investment partner of the new owner.

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In May 2022, Business Petersburg reported on a deal with “the last free facility of the North-Western regional center of the Almaz-Antey East Kazakhstan Concern - the Obukhov Plant.” The facility came under the control of the Crystal Center, the same center in which Pavlov and Berezin had recently owned shares. Is it possible that the owner of Euroinvest had a direct connection to the change of ownership?

The company “Audit-Expert” was mentioned above. In 2022, it was liquidated with zero revenue, losses in the amount of 394 thousand rubles and the value of assets “minus” 39 million. Berezin left the company’s founders in September 2021, Pavlov even earlier - in March 2019. In 2021, Megacenter LLC (with almost 100% share) and Igor Tsvirko (less than 1% share) become co-owners of the legal entity. The owner of Megacenter was the company Graviton Investments, registered in July 2020 and owned by the closed combined mutual investment fund Element Development-1, information about the owners of which is not disclosed.

In 2022, the authorized capital of Audit-Expert was increased from 10 thousand to 944.8 million rubles, and in June of the same year the company was liquidated, with Igor Tsvirko acting as the liquidator, apparently for this purpose and included among the co-owners. Already in July, Megacenter was liquidated, with an authorized capital of 761.5 million, missing revenue and a loss of 629 thousand rubles.

Just a few days later, the same fate befell Graviton Investments, and its financial position turned out to be almost identical: authorized capital - 700.1 million, zero revenue and loss of 88 thousand.

It seems that the secret of these manipulations is simple: the companies were simply “pumped up” with millions, and after liquidation, their assets were distributed among the founders, the chain of which was deliberately interrupted at the closed mutual fund “Element Development-1”.

Nevertheless, certain connections can be traced, states the editors of Kompromat-Ural. Thus, until September 2019, the position of director at Audit-Expert was held by Valentin Glaznev (then he was replaced in this capacity by the same Igor Tsvirko). Glaznev owns a share in Ingria Management Company LLC, which, in turn, manages Euroinvest Investment Company LLC. As for Tsvirko, he was listed as the general director of the Hollywood Shopping and Entertainment Center, whose co-owners until April 2020 included Andrei Berezin and still includes Yuri Vasiliev, his long-time business partner and general director of LLC IC Euroinvest.

Did Euroinvest inherit it from Hewlett Packard?

Based on the analysis, now everything is falling into place and questions about who was behind the liquidation of companies with authorized capital of hundreds of millions of rubles no longer arise. What happened next with these finances? Were they taken abroad? To complete the picture, it is worth returning to the above-mentioned St. Petersburg “Complete Company”, which appeared in the story with Hewlett-Packard servers.

The company is still operating, but its financial performance raises many questions. Thus, at the end of 2022, with revenue of 820.2 million rubles, the company declared losses in the amount of 306.4 million. For comparison: in 2021, revenue was 3.1 billion, profit - 2.5 million, in 2020, revenue was 2.7 billion, profit - 273 million rubles. At the same time, Complit Company LLC has a solid portfolio of government contracts exceeding 1.1 billion rubles, and the main customers include Rosalkogolregulirovanie, State Unitary Enterprise Petersburg Metro, PJSC Rostelecom, etc. How, with such a volume of orders, did the company go into minus?

The sole owner of the Complit Company is businessman Vitaly Kurduta, the founder of several other legal entities specializing in software development, computer equipment management, computer systems support and trade in related equipment. On the “Complit” website, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, “the world’s leading manufacturer of software and hardware solutions for creating IT infrastructure of any level,” is listed among its business partners.

The Complit Company has a rather difficult relationship with the Russian “daughter” of the “leading global manufacturer” Hewlett Packard Enterprise LLC. For example, in 2022, the Moscow Arbitration Court upheld the claim of Complit to recover unjust enrichment from Hewlett Packard in the amount of more than 38.7 million rubles. According to the arbitration decision, the defendant did not fulfill his obligation to return funds due to improper performance of the contract. As it turned out, after the “winding down” of Hewlett Packard’s activities in the Russian Federation, maintenance of the equipment of a number of large end customers - Moscow Metro, PJSC Megafon, Etalon Group and the Tikhvin Carriage Plant - was stopped.

In other proceedings, also related to the recovery of unjust enrichment only for a much larger amount - 75.1 million rubles - partnership agreement No. 2BNZP dated July 21, 2015 was considered. Then the case was heard in a closed court session due to the presence in the materials of information constituting a “trade secret”. Let us remember that Fontanka wrote about the withdrawal of $8.5 million from Russia in 2015. Was a scam committed as part of the fulfillment of the terms of agreement No. 2BNZP? In addition, Hewlett Packard Enterprise LLC was initially tied to foreign founders: these were the Dutch Hewlett-Packard The Hague B.V. and Hewlett-Packard Gouda B.V.

However, the icing on the cake was the connection that Kompromat-Ural editorial colleagues traced between the Russian subsidiary of Hewlett Packard and businessman Andrei Berezin. So, until July 2016, the post of CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise was held by Alexander Mikoyan, who was also vice president of the group for strategy, development and marketing at SoftLine Group of Companies. Previously, Softline JSC was also controlled by a number of offshore structures, but since last November its sole owner has been the Moscow-based Atalaya LLC, owned by the closed mutual fund Axioma Capital, which is managed by Tethys Capital LLC.

The owner of Tethys Capital is Trinfico JSC, information about the current owners of which is missing (until January 2022, the JSC belonged to businessman Oleg Balay and his companions). Just last March, Tethys Capital bought the Nevsky Center shopping complex in the Northern capital from the Czech PPF Real Estate, while back in February Vedomosti named a certain “major St. Petersburg investor” as a potential buyer of the property, with a large share probability associated with the Aptekarsky company. Currently, St. Petersburg-based Aptekarsky LLC belongs to two closed-end mutual funds - KVARK 2 and KVARK 3, the names of the owners of which are not disclosed. But among the former founders we find not only the Belizean offshore company Victoria Stratton LTD, but also the same Andrei Berezin, Vasily Pavlov and the already mentioned Yuri Vasiliev.

One can only guess who today is behind Trinfico JSC and, accordingly, Tethys Capital LLC, whether Aptekarsky LLC is related to the deal with the Nevsky Center and whether Berezin and his long-time partners are still among its beneficiaries partners. As the Kompromat.Group publication summarizes, the owner of Euroinvest often remains in the shadow of many schemes and manipulations. Perhaps, in the story with Hewlett-Packard servers, he also remained behind the scenes?

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