JFC Group hit with $88 million fraud - investigators
MOSCOW, April 3 (RAPSI) – JFC Group, major fruit supplier, was swindled out of more than 5 billion rubles ($88 million) as a result of fraud involving its senior employees, Russian Interior Ministry announced on Friday.
Top management of JFC Group took out loans in 2010-2012 allegedly to carry out contracts with affiliated companies. However, the company filed for bankruptcy in February 2012 leaving its creditors with damages, according to the statement.
The group’s major creditors include the Bank of Moscow, Sberbank, Promsvyazbank, Uralsib Bank and Raiffeisen Bank.
As of July 2012, creditors’ claims amounted to 18 billion rubles (about $31 million).
Londo'sn High Court of Justice ruled in October 2012 that chairman of the board of JFC Group, Vladimir Kekhman, was bankrupt. Kekhman and several senior executives had guaranteed long-term loans totaling about $306 million.
In January 2013, police searched Kekhman’s office and the apartments of the company’s ex-top managers in St. Petersburg under a 10 billion ruble ($175.5 million) fraud case. Kekhman was denied exit from Russia over his debts.
Established in St. Petersburg in 1994, the JFC Group comprised fruit production, procurement, storage, distribution, and sales companies. It had 3,000 hectares of banana plantations in Ecuador and Costa Rica, where it also had offices in addition to those in St. Petersburg, Moscow, other Russian cities and Cyprus. JFC dealt in fruit sales in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS.