Comments Andrew Mikonin on the situation with the stolen money from the accounts of Alexander Kerzhakov specially for "Business Petersburg"

19 March 2013
330 million roubles were stolen by the striker of the Petersburg football club “Zenit” Alexandr Kerzhakov. The money were stolen from his account in the Gazprombank. The investigation revealed that the swindlers transferred money by forging the signature of Kerzhakov on the deposit slip.

Earlier this year, Kerzhakov found out that all money from his accounts were stolen, and then examined that he did not sign the payment orders according to which the money were withdrawn. Handwriting analysis has revealed that the signature of the player on the bank documents was forged.

The police opened a criminal case for fraud on a large scale.

Kerzhakov himself believes that the money was transferred to the General Director of the "Module" OOO (LLC) Mikhail Surin, who has built an oil refinery in the Voronezh region. Kerzhakov has invested about 100 million rubles in the construction of the plant.

Igor Reshetnikov, the attorney representing the striker, did not answer the call of the reporter.

Alexander Kerzhakov has signed a contract with the "Zenit" till the end of the season 2015/2016. According to the agreement, the annual income of the football player amounts to $ 5.5 million a year

According to one version, there was a personal bank assistant of Alexander Kerzhakov in the "Gazprombank". Their relationship was arranged in such a way that the client could call the bank and ask the employee to transfer money to another account. Then, in a few days, Alexander Kerzhakov had to come and sign the documents, or send them through an intermediary.
According to this version, some of the documents, in particular, orders, have been signed, according to a football player, by another person.

Representatives of the "Gazprombank" did not comment this issue.

However, the other bankers are skeptic about the version of Alexander Kerzhakov, which he distributed to the media through his attorney Igor Reshetnikov.

According to a member of the Board of Directors of the "Petersburg Social Commercial Bank" OAO (JSC) Vladimir Pribytkin, such cases are extremely rare. "Everything happened when the banking system in Russia was only new born, when the bank statements were not experienced. Course, there are cases of misunderstandings with the bank cards. There are fraudsters who scan the card in the ATMs. But now, stealing money from the current account of such a large bank like the “Gazprombank",sounds unbelievable. Rather, in this story there is something that we do not know", he said.

According to Vladimir Pribytkin, in Russian banks it is not possible to take money from the account without prior written or electronic document. Some U.S. banks permit that, if the amount does not exceed $ 10 thousand, "If the amount is more, the operation can be accomplished only in the presence of a witness, for example, a bank employee. In Russia, this practice is not exercised, so I do not understand how the client of the “Gazprombank", according to this version, could make transactions on the phone”,
he said.

According to the partner of the law firm “S&K Vertical” Andrey Mikonin if the customer starts such a practice with the bank, it must be understood that he falls out of the legal field and creates the risk of being tricked by cheaters.

"If it turns out that the bank transfers the money only after a phone call – that is unacceptable”, he said. If the bank provides the payment orders as evidences, the law enforcement agencies should only to determine whether they are forged and how did they get to the bank."

According to Andrey Mikonin, if it turns out that the bank was not able to control the authenticity of the payment order, he should be responsible in this case. If this has happened because of the client’s failure and the bank could not prevent that, perhaps, the customer will be liable.

According to the insurers, the banks rarely insure their clients' money from fraud, even though this type of insurance exists. "Based on my experience with the bankers, monthly bank receives dozens of requests from its customers that their accounts lost money - said the president of the" Union of Insurers in St. Petersburg and North-West Evgenii Dubenskii. - Of course, in most cases these are small amounts. In 90% of such treatment does not end because some of the customers are also unfair".

According to the head of the "Law Office Lepshina", Attorneys at Law, Pavel Lepshin, law enforcement agencies should prove the bank employees who had access to the client's account. "Let us think how often in the recent years the collectors were killed in St. Petersburg and Moscow. In the Kerzhakov case, there were 330 mln roubles which a bank employee could obtain just by copying of the Kerzhakov’s signature”.

According to Lepshin, the very reason of this issue is that people like Kerzhakov do not know the money worth. In case he does, there will be no steal.

Since 2011, the amount of cases is rising where the clients are trying to recover from the banks a small amount of money, from 50 thousands to 200 thousands, which had previously been written off by fraudsters to duplicate bank cards. According to Andrey Mikonin, it shows that more and more customers are starting to realize that if the money is stolen not because of their failure, it is necessary to enter into a dispute with the bank.

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