The beginning of this material was completely innocent little things, such as the fact that quarters are not given paper or stationery. But each question posed to the possible perpetrators of the careless work of the quarters made it clear that this problem was not even the tip of the iceberg, but a snowfield at its tip. An innocent and, at first glance, a simple problem that could be solved with a brief explanation, grew into a story with the illegal alienation of communal property, the arrest of the executive committee’s accounts and bizarre schemes, in which, it seems, everyone, except for the territorial community of the city, benefited for several years .
The accounts of the executive committee of the Novomoskovsk City Council were arrested
The answer to the question why the quarters do not receive stationery was that the accounts of the executive committee of the Novomoskovsk City Council were arrested.
As it turned out, the accounts were arrested by the State Executive Service at the suit of a private individual Dmitry Demchenko for the return of erroneously transferred funds by Credit-Dnepr Bank.
These funds were allegedly paid for the rent of communal property to the accounts of the Novomoskovsk City Council. The arrest was imposed on the accounts of the executive committee, because, according to the decision of the session of 2007, the executive committee is the manager of communal property.
But, as it turned out, three years ago, the communal property was sold without the knowledge of the city council to another owner, Dmitry Demchenko. The tenants of this property (Credit-Dnepr Bank) continued to pay funds to the city council, because the new owner did not make himself known to either the tenants or the previous owner – the territorial community represented by the city council. And now, for three years, the new owner requires funds for the lease of this property.
The question arises why the new owner of the premises requires funds not from the bank-tenant, but from the city council-landlord? Why did the new owner of the premises fail to claim ownership of the property and, consequently, the proceeds from the rental of the premises for three years? There is an assumption that the fact is that 3 years is the statute of limitations. It is within three years from the date of the dubious transaction that you can go to court and annul the illegal agreement.
So, we decided to find out how it happened in such a way that the city council did not know that the property of the territorial community was sold, and at the same time the community still owes about half a million hryvnias. A retrospective study took us to 2005.
Beginning and creation of a scheme for the withdrawal of communal property from the property of the territorial community
We have at our disposal only a certain number of documents that can help clarify the true state of affairs. Since, in connection with the criminal case against the former mayor of Novomoskovsk, Viktor Litvishchenko, documents from 2006 to 2010 were confiscated by the prosecutor’s office.
Recall that Viktor Litvishchenko was accused under two articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine: Part 1 of Art. 364 – abuse of power or official position, that is, deliberate, out of selfish motives or in other personal interests or in the interests of third parties, the use of power or official position by an official, and Part 3 of Article 365 – excess of power or official authority, that is intentional commission by an official of actions that clearly go beyond the limits of the rights or powers granted to him, if they entailed grave consequences.
But from open sources, you can also determine many eloquent facts.
In 2005, by decision of the session of the Novomoskovsk City Council (No. 502 of 12.01.2005), the Communal Property Department was established with the status of a legal entity. That is, this Department had an independent balance sheet, accounts and seal.
By the same decision of the session, the property that was on the balance sheet of the communal enterprise “Housing and Operational Association” (KP ZhEO) and SKU “Trubnik” was transferred to the balance of the Office.
However, the Unified State Register contains information that the Communal Property Administration was registered on February 10, 2005, and liquidated on March 6, 2006.
That is, during the year there was a Department on the balance sheet of which was communal property and which should conclude additional lease agreements with those tenants who worked with the previous balance holders – KP ZhEO and SKU Trubnik.
We consider this moment in such detail, since it was at this time that KP ZhEO became a debtor to various utility providers – Novomoskovskteploenergo, Ukrlift and others.
Since KP ZhEO was not able to pay the debt, according to the suit of Novomoskovskteploenergo, the property that was on the balance sheet of the enterprise was seized. The State Executive Service (GIS) conducted an inventory of the property and seized it for expropriation and debt coverage.
Here we have several questions to which we cannot give an unambiguous answer in the framework of a journalistic investigation:
– If the property of KP ZhEO was transferred to the balance of the Department of Public Utilities, which at the same time acted as a lessor, then why does the State Executive Service recognize this property as the one that is on the balance of KP ZHEO?
– Why is the property of the territorial community recognized as the property of the KP ZhEO, if it is only under his right of operational management?
– Why does the Novomoskovsk City Council not cover the debt of KP ZhEO in another way, for example, by selling one of the communal property objects by decision of the session?
– Why does the Novomoskovsk City Council not make a decision on which it prohibits bankruptcy for KP ZhEO?
With the same success, a residential building, which is on the balance sheet of the KP ZhEO, but is in the private joint ownership of the residents of the house, could be arrested. I don’t even want to offer Novomoskovites to imagine a situation where it turns out that a completely different person turns out to be the owner of their apartment, because their housing office owes someone.
However, in 2006 the Economic Court of the Dnepropetrovsk region decides to recover funds from the KP ZhEO in favor of legal entities-suppliers of utility services in the amount of almost 4 million hryvnias (3905741, 73 hryvnias). And the State Executive Service seizes the property of the debtor, which is on his balance sheet, in order to put it up for public auction and pay off the debt (26 objects of communal property).
Mayor Litvischenko’s inaction?
It would seem, what then should the then acting mayor Litvishchenko do?
Viktor Litvishchenko files a motion to ban public auctions. City council member O. Pidodnya also filed a lawsuit with the DVS for the release of property from arrest.
But in a strange way, Litvishchenko then withdraws his petition, and Pidodnya’s claim remains without consideration.
Such an illogical step from the point of view of protecting communal property may look logical from the point of view of our own protection. If the mayor tried to prove the unlawfulness of the court’s decision to recognize communal property as security for a lawsuit regarding a debt, then it seems that he can no longer be charged with official negligence.
Why then he then submits an application that the need to remove the arrest from the property has disappeared and why this is not considered criminal inaction, is also a question for law enforcement agencies.
In 2006, the Economic Court of the Dnipropetrovsk region makes two decisions, according to which two objects of communal property are released from the list of seized property.
Then, by a court decision, it was established that an arrest could be imposed on property belonging to the debtor on the right of ownership, and not on the right of operational management, that is, it is simply on the balance sheet, as is the case with KP ZhEO.
In addition, it is indicated that the participant (founder) of the legal entity is not liable for the obligations of the legal entity.
To better understand the situation, let’s take an example. The person who created the enterprise should not be responsible with his own apartment for the debts of the enterprise. In this case, the seizure is imposed on property owned by the enterprise, and not owned by an individual.
But in May 2007, the State Executive Service again seizes communal property for the debts of KP ZhEO, only not for 26 objects, but for 121.
In April 2010, Ivan Ivanko, an assistant to a deputy of the Novomoskovsk city council, Sergei Moroz, filed a lawsuit with the Dnepropetrovsk District Administrative Court. The essence of the claim is the recognition of the actions of the DVS on the arrest of communal property in 2006 and 2007 as unlawful.
The substantiation of the claim states that it is the territorial community of Novomoskovsk represented by the Novomoskovsk City Council that is the owner of the seized property. Consequently, this property cannot be seized and forcibly sold for the debts of the KP ZhEO.
The defendant in this case is the GIS Department of the Novomoskovsk City District Department of Justice, and the third party is the Novomoskovsk City Council.
The court starts proceedings on the case, but does not satisfy the claim, despite the explanations of the Novomoskovsk City Council and confirmation of its claims, without taking into account the previous judicial practice, according to which 2 properties of the territorial community have already been released from arrest.
Plaintiff I. Ivanko files a lawsuit in the second instance, that is, in the Dnipropetrovsk Administrative Court of Appeal.
Long range calculation
And here comes a new round of business. In 2012, it turns out that three years ago, in 2009, a public auction of seized property was held to cover the debts of the KP ZhEO.
According to the law, auctions are held at the assessed value of the property and with each next round of auctions, in the absence of a buyer, the price decreases, but not less than 50% of the assessed value.
According to our information, when the price was reduced to the maximum possible, Aldi Mashgroup LLC appeared and bought these premises.
Then Aldi Mashgroup sold these premises to third parties, and the company itself became bankrupt after the sale of these facilities (09/06/2010).
It is interesting that according to KVED in Aldi Mashgroup, the main activity is “Other ancillary activities in the field of financial intermediation”. That is, it can be assumed that the company was created specifically to conduct a financial transaction with communal property.
The company was declared bankrupt following a lawsuit filed by the Economic Court of the Dnepropetrovsk region against LLC Lawyer Bureau RITOR-VT. The basis for starting the bankruptcy proceedings was a debt to the “RITOR-VT Lawyer Bureau” in the amount of 25,000 hryvnias.
Please note that the company buys out a large number of communal property in 2009, and already in April 2010 there is a court decision according to which Aldi Mashgroup is declared bankrupt for a debt of 25,000 hryvnias to lawyers.
The scheme was executed perfectly: the premises were bought at an obviously not market price for debts that were not proven, resold to third parties, and the company itself became bankrupt.
Communal property as a gift
Recall that the sale of premises belonging to the territorial community took place in 2009 to cover the debts of the KP ZhEO due to the arrest of the executive service. During these three years, neither the owner of the premises (the territorial community represented by the Novomoskovsky City Council) nor, what is important, the tenants of the premises knew about the sale.
That is, tenants continued to pay rent, which, moreover, systematically increased. But in 2012, the new owner made himself known, who turned to the city council with a demand for the return of funds to him.
Here it is worth returning to the beginning of the article, which deals with the arrest of the accounts of the executive committee of the Novomoskovsk City Council.
The property of the territorial community was sold at public auction for the debts of the KP ZhEO. And after 3 years, the new owner Demchenko Dmitry Alexandrovich filed a claim that the rent should be paid to him as a new owner, and not to the city budget.
In the case of a lawsuit filed by Dmitry Aleksandrovich Demchenko, an individual who claims ownership of the premises of Credit-Dnepr Bank, an additional nuance appears in this case.
The premises were bought by him at the auction for 400 thousand hryvnia. The amount of monthly rent is 45 thousand hryvnia. The question arises why, for example, Credit-Dnepr Bank did not take part in the public auction, because it was possible to get the property at a price of less than a year of rent?
Perhaps the auction was not too public? Or was it profitable for Credit-Dnepr Bank not to participate in the auction for some reason?
But if we assume that the owner of Credit-Dnepr is associated with the supposedly new owner of the premises, then everything becomes clear.
In addition, the rent increase could also be beneficial for the tenant, if he knew in advance that he would demand a refund from the budget.
The new owner does not inform the tenants or the city council of his existence for three years. Three years later, he files a claim for the return of the funds paid by the tenant. Thus, if the assumptions about the connection between the bank and the new owner are correct, then as a result of this scheme, they received premises at a non-market price: 400 thousand hryvnia from public auction against 3 million market value. And then, for three years, they decided to return the rent paid. Thus, the premises are free of charge. Four hundred thousand, paid at the auction, are easily covered by almost half a million hryvnia returned for the rental of funds.
But this is only our assumption, because we have not yet been able to document the direct relationship between the owners of Credit-Dnepr Bank and Dmitry Aleksandrovich Demchenko.
It is known for certain that Dmitry Demchenko, in a lawsuit filed with the Economic Court of the Dnepropetrovsk region against the executive committee of the Novomoskovsk city council, requires the recovery of 488,013 UAH 92 kopecks. and receives a decision on the payment of the entire amount of funds, including 20 thousand hryvnia for the services of a lawyer.
In parallel, in 2011, the Novomoskovsk City Council, represented by Mayor Sergey Moroz, filed a counterclaim to declare public auctions invalid and recover property from someone else’s illegal possession, i.e. from the property of Demchenko.
The city council notes that the communal property belongs to the territorial community, and the communal enterprise (in our case, KP ZhEO) was only on the right of operational management. The right of ownership takes precedence over any other rights, including the right to manage.
The executive service, having seized the property on the balance sheet, violated the rule of communal property. After all, neither the territorial community nor the city council, by their decision of the session, gave such consent.
In addition, judicial practice, according to which court decisions have already been made that the property belongs to the community and cannot be alienated for the debts of the utility company.
It is interesting that in November 2011 the court did not immediately accept the application due to the failure to provide evidence that a copy of the statement of claim was sent to a third party – Novomoskovsk BTI.
Literally a week after the evidence that the materials were sent to the BTI, in December 2011, the court returned the claim due to non-payment of the court fee, although the city council asked to be released from it, since the claim was filed out of public needs.
The return of claims or their non-examination through non-essential moments is indicative in these cases.
And already in May 2012, the DVS seized the accounts of the executive committee of the Novomoskovsk City Council.
The city council files a complaint against the actions of the state executor with the Economic Court of Dnepropetrovsk region. Firstly, only the State Treasury Service of Ukraine can seize the accounts of local budgets, and secondly, funds can only be debited from the accounts to which they were received, and for the rent of communal property, funds go to the local budget plus VAT goes to the state budget, and not to the accounts of the executive committee.
So, at the moment the situation is developing in such a way that the Novomoskovsk City Council, even if it wanted to pay the funds, could not. Although, in principle, there is no reason to pay.
The preliminary conclusion of this material can only be a fixation of the fact that communal property was withdrawn from the property of the territorial community through the implementation of raider schemes.
By raiding, despite the fact that this concept does not have a single, let alone academic definition, we understand the implementation of a scheme with illegal alienation of property, when illegal decisions are legalized through court decisions.
But, like any scheme, this one has its drawbacks and empty links.
In addition, in this material we have not touched on the question, who are all these people who implemented the schemes? After all, behind every legal entity is a real person. It is possible that we will continue to explore this topic and, of course, tell our readers about those who are behind this.
So, now we can only say for sure that there is a chance to return the property to the ownership of the territorial community. The Novomoskovsk City Council, represented by Mayor Sergey Moroz, is challenging the arrest of accounts and is taking steps to return property to the ownership of the territorial community.
We hope that the residents of the city will understand from our material that there is a much more serious problem in the city than the lack of stationery from the quarters. They brazenly got into the pockets of Novomoskovites by selling their property illegally, and now they are trying to pocket another half a million hryvnias.