Sberbank Files Criminal Report Against Agrokor Owner

Total Croatia News

The Agrokor investigation continues.

Russian Sberbank has filed a criminal report against the still majority owner of Agrokor, Ivica Todorić. As early as late May, the first deputy chairman of the Sberbank’s board of directors Maksim Poletaev said they were thinking about suing the Todorić family because they concealed from them as creditors the crucial facts about Agrokor’s finances, reports Jutarnji List on 2 August 2017.

Sources close to the investigation of Agrokor say that Sberbank’s complaint involves the final 100 million euro loan granted by the Russians in March this year when the major problems with Agrokor’s liquidity were already well known to financial circles and the general public. This credit was approved by the Russians, as CEO of Sberbank in Croatia Mario Henjak said, “in order to stabilise the situation.” Of the 100 million euros, three-quarters went to payments to suppliers, 21 million euros on tax liabilities and 4 million euros for salaries of employees. Russians claim that Todorić presented them with incomplete and unrealistic financial statements in order for the loan to be approved.

Sberbank is now dissatisfied because this 100 million euro loan did not get the so-called seniority status for future repayments. This issue is a crucial point of contention between the government and the Agrokor extraordinary commissioner on one side and Sberbank on the other.

Sberbank has refused to comment on the criminal report.

The Russians’ criminal report is just one of main legal problems faced by Ivica Todorić, his family members and other former leaders of Agrokor. According to unofficial sources, the investigators are very satisfied with the pace of their work. The figures which show the scope of the investigation are impressive; allegedly, about 20 million documents will be involved.

The adoption of the Law on the Procedure of Extraordinary Management in Companies of Systemic Importance has been helpful to investigators since it ensures the full co-operation of all the management structures. For example, when investigators want to check the background of individual transactions abroad, they can easily receive all the requested information. Without the Lex Agrokor, it would be much more difficult for them to get all the necessary data.

It is believed that thanks to a large number of investigators engaged in financial forensics, the State Prosecutor’s Office is even faster in its investigation than PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a highly respected consultancy which is analysing every detail of Agrokor’s business operations to determine all the errors in Agrokor’s accounting reports accurately.

It is expected that the first concrete conclusions of prosecutors will be known sometime in September. The focus of investigators is also allegedly on huge personal spending by the Todorić family.

Translated from Večernji List.


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