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Former Rosneft president Bogdanchikov claims $100 million he entrusted to Rothschild were transferred to Russian/Soviet emigrant enclave in Brighton Beach, New York

Bogdanchikov lost $100 million in Rothschild Bank.

By Sergey Varchenko
August 1, 2021

Sergei Bogdanchikov claims that the millions he entrusted to Rothschild were transferred to the Russian emigrant center on Brighton Beach.

Sergei Bogdanchikov filed a lawsuit in a New York court at the end of April 2021 against an amazing group of persons - a member of the legendary banking family of Edmond de Rothschild and several Russian emigrants from Brighton Beach. The content of the lawsuit was retold in the note "Lost luck sets up a rich Russian against Rothschild in the court of New York" by Bloomberg journalists Hugo Miller and Christian Bertelsen.

It turns out that in 2019, Sergei Bogdanchikov underwent a difficult operation to remove a brain tumor. Apparently, that's why he weakened his grip and control and fell victim to Brighton Beach financiers who operated on him in the millions, "hiding behind Rothschild's brilliance and reputation." So, we offer you a machine translation of the article:

"Litic claims. Oil tycoon Sergei Bogdanchikov claims that the bank lost half of its $150 million portfolio as a result of a rollback. His lawsuit tells a strange story about majestic European villas and lively Brighton Beach.

The old offices of the Bank of Edmond de Rothschild in Luxembourg were the most fashionable address ever obtained in the rich European duchy. Located in an alley near a well-fortified U.S. Embassy, the tower villa equally exuded prestige and security.

Two decades ago this month, senior employees there signed documents with Russian oil magnate Sergei Bogdanchikov, according to which his growing fortune was entrusted to the legendary bank. But instead of protecting and multiplying his fortune, says Bogdanchikov, a well-known public relations manager at the bank handed him over to a circle of accomplices throughout Europe and the United States, who cost him more than half of his $150 million due to wrong rates and kickouts to Rothschild.

Now he is suing the Luxembourg division of the Geneva bank, the manager of the bond fund in Manhattan and a couple in the noisy Russian enclave of New York Brighton Beach - far from the rich duchy - to get as much as possible. In court, he claims fraud, conspiracy and violation of fiduciary obligations and claims that Rothschild, a branch of a respectable family of financiers and winemakers, sought to enrich himself by conspiring with the three to survive his wealth at the expense of "illegal, unnecessary and inflated fees". Hiding behind the "brilliance and reputation" of his name. This case is marked by the attractiveness of Swiss banks as the safest repositories of wealth in the world.

The bank, which moved to a modern building on the other side of the city last year, denied violations in court documents and told Bloomberg that it would not comment on the case, but this compliance with legal and regulatory requirements "is an obvious priority for the group and all its employees." The Bank is trying to get a lawsuit filed in October with the Supreme Court of New York on legal grounds such as jurisdiction and timeliness. Sergei Bogdanchikov is seeking a jury trial. The hearing is scheduled for September 10.


The lawsuit shed light on Rothschild six years after he was fined for his alleged role in the tax evasion scheme, and may make it difficult for the bank to attract wealthy clients to an industry that is valued for its freedom of action.

"Rothschild stained his hands," said Tibor L. Nagy, Bogdanchikov's lawyer, in an interview. "It must be brought to justice."

The family-owned firm, founded in 1953, employs 2,500 people in 16 countries, and at the end of last year, its private bank had assets of 77 billion Swiss francs ($84 billion). Rothschild said he was seeking to double the assets he manages for wealthy clients over the next five years and is actively looking for smaller private banks. Ariane de Rothschild, chairman of the firm, has reorganized its numerous businesses over the past five years, from a private bank to a winery and hotel in the Megeve ski resort, to make it more competitive in a fragmented market serving wealthy people. The family moved to private business in 2019.

The dispute arises when Rothschild tries to leave behind the recent turbulent past. In 2015, he agreed to a $45.4 million fine to avoid prosecution for allegedly helping U.S. clients evade taxes without admitting or denying offenses. In 2017 and 2018, the net outflow of customers ranged from 4 to 5 billion Swiss francs, as European customers closed their accounts against the background of repression against Swiss banks by foreign tax authorities. Marc Ambroisie, the former head of the bank in Luxembourg, was banned for ten years by the financial regulator of the duchy last year because of his involvement in the global 1MDB bribery scandal.

Bogdanchikov claims that the millions he entrusted to Rothschild - seven generations of financiers of the royal family and railway barons - were transferred to the Brooklyn Russian émigré center. Ambroisien, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit but is mentioned as contributing to the alleged setback scheme, did not respond to a request for comments on the case.

Rothschild's financial picture improved in March when he announced that the net inflow of private clients in 2020 was positive for the second year in a row, increasing by 2 billion Swiss francs.


63-year-old Sergei Bogdanchikov was born in the Orenburg region, in the Russian steppes, in the family of a school teacher and a locksmith. He first studied at the Buguruslan Oil Technical School, then graduated from the Ufa Oil Institute. He worked in Sakhalin at Okhaneftegazvydobuvannya, Okhaneftegaz and Sakhalinmorneftegaz.

Having climbed the ranks of state oil and gas producers, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the state-owned company in 1998, during the economic turmoil in the country, and became rich, managing a large oil producer during the years of the freedom of Russian capitalism.

In 2001, he chose a Luxembourg unit to manage his money, attracted by his ancestry and low tax regime of the duchy, according to the claim. According to him, for 15 years he has seen nothing wrong with his investments, which he asked to invest in money markets and other safe funds.

Then, in May 2016, another former executive, who was a client of Carlo Thewes, relations manager with the Rothschilds, told him that he was concerned about the state of his own funds, according to Bogdanchikov's son Alexei in an interview. (Bogdanchikov, who does not speak English well, underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2019, as a result of which he could not follow the complex case in detail for several months and prompted him to appoint Alexei as an official representative, the press representatives said.)

Bogdanchikov found Tews, who "provided confusing information and then repeatedly evaded Dr. Bogdanchikov's phone calls and his requests to make an appointment for several months," the lawsuit said. According to Alexei, he went to Tews' house in Luxembourg and met him. Tews appeared in a robe and cried, saying that he was under pressure to increase the profitability of the portfolio, which was invested too conservatively, said Alexei. Bogdanchikov, who sues the bank through his family investment company, never gave it the authority to cancel its investment directions, he claims in the lawsuit.

This report of the meeting is based on the records of the time that Bogdanchikov made during the meeting, long before the operation, according to Alexei.

"I met with several family members in Cannes, Moscow and Dubai," said former manager Rothschild, describing happy days with Bogdanchikov.

In the end, Bogdanchikov learned that Tews had been deceiving him with fake account statements for years, as he claims in the lawsuit. In total, he lost more than $81 million and tens of millions more as a result of the growth he would have received under reasonable management, according to a complaint in which, according to him, the bank fired Tews in 2016 and "refused to explain why". It was "one of many cases when Rothschild refused to share important information with him," "relating to fraud," he claims.

Tews, who does not appear in the lawsuit, but is among the "other bad actors," denies the offenses. In an interview, he said that he was not fired, but resigned due to burnout and health problems. He said that he never gave Bogdanchikov false testimony and did not shy away from him, explaining that at that time he was abroad for treatment. Carlo Tuz said that the meeting at his house was not dramatic, but heartfelt, and that they discussed the portfolio over tea. He said that Bogdanchikov gave the bank the right, at his discretion, to invest his money more ambitiously when necessary.

"The relationship was very good," he said about his early years of working with Bogdanchikov. "I met several family members in Cannes, Moscow and Dubai."

According to the lawsuit, the spouses of Brighton Beach, Vladimir and Olga Oblonsky, helped Rothschild find managers who are ready to pay recourses to the bank in exchange for investment. Oblonskikh is accused of complicity in "almost half (and possibly more)" of the total losses, and Rothschilds are accused of estimating inflated fees of $12 million, although there are no details of the broader alleged scheme in the complaint.

Oblonsky's lawyer George Benaur said in an email that the accusations against his clients were false and that they were seeking their rejection.

As part of the alleged scam underlying the lawsuit, which, according to Bogdanchikov, began in 2010, the Oblonskys "sent" more than $15 million from his wealth to Manhattan investment manager Mikhail Filimonov, who managed a firm called OIM Capital, which specialized in emerging markets. market convertible bonds.

Bogdanchikov claims in the lawsuit that OIM paid Oblonsky's firm, Fontanelle Capital Inc., "incredible fees" for inaction, including all 1.5% of the subscription fee that OIM charged him, and a "staggering" 30% of management and execution fees. Oblonsky's company Fontanelle, in turn, used a rich pool of commissions to pay kicks to the Rothschilds, according to the complaint.

Bogdanchikov claims that, including investment losses, he lost at least $10.4 million only under the alleged OIM scheme, citing "the seven-digit amount paid as a fee to New York defendants".

"Filimonov and OIM turned out to be terrible investment consultants, which was to be expected from the investment company chosen by Rothschild on the basis of its willingness to participate in the set-out scheme," says Bogdanchikov.

The claims against Filimonov and OIM are "unfounded," David Livshiz, Filimonov's lawyer and the company said in a statement. "We are looking forward to being acquitted in court."


According to the complaint, Olga Oblonskaya grew up in St. Petersburg with his wife Tews, Filimonov has known Vladimir Oblonsky for decades. Tews said that he and Vladimir Oblonsky just worked together to find clients for Rothschild in Russia.

The roots of the Oblonskys are far from the old European banking scene and the Rothschild Empire, seven generations of financiers who have been advising royals, governments and railway barons for 250 years. Their company Fontanelle is registered in the state register in an apartment building in Brooklyn on Brighton Beach, near the sandy strip of the Atlantic Ocean, which limits the Russian émigré community of New York. Closer to the water, brick buildings are replaced by houses with columns and arches and access roads dotted with Range Rover and Porsche. The Hot Potato House restaurant down the street serves specialties such as red caviar pancakes and the domed "King Pie" filled with layers of chicken, rice and other things.

According to the claim, for almost two decades, Vladimir Oblonsky had a brokerage license, last associated with New York's Legend Securities. Legend was expelled from the industry by its regulatory authority Finra in 2017 for failing to pay fines for previous violations, including cold calls and stirring. It is not clear from Finra's records whether Oblonsky ever worked for this firm. His name was not listed in the disciplinary sanctions. According to Bogdanchikov's claim, at some point he started driving a taxi in New York.

His time was unsuitable. In 2014, the taxi medallion market in New York collapsed, leaving hundreds of drivers without means of subsistence. The price of the medallion exceeded $1 million just as Uber entered the New York market. People invested their savings in this product and got into debt by buying the right to drive a car in the city.

City records show that Oblonsky owned or drove a taxi under four medallions belonging to two limited liability companies. He took a loan of $1.46 million against two medallions in 2013, a year before the market collapse, and a loan of $238,000 against the other two in 2019. In the January legal documentation, Benaur said that Oblonsky is on the verge of personal bankruptcy," journalists Hugo Miller and Christian Bertelsen write in a note Lost Fortune Pits Rich Russian Against Rothschild in New York Court.