“The company was liquidated in 2007.” As far as most of the world was concerned, that ended the Yukos Affair. But Bruce Misamore was still outraged at what Vladimir Putin had done to his friend and his company, and he wasn't about to stop fighting. Putin’s Oil Heist is an insider’s account of the Yukos Affair. In this episode, host Loren Steffy details Misamore’s efforts to salvage what he could of Yukos, with first-person accounts from the former Chief Financial Treasurer.
Hear him talk about:
The fight to recover Yukos assets outside of Russia. Misamore still wanted to return the stolen value to the company’s shareholders, despite being officially retired. The cases, which spanned the globe, were numerous, and some are still pending. The largest group of shareholders in Yukos’ Netherlands subsidiaries brought an international arbitration proceeding there in 2014 to recover pilfered assets. Russia was ordered to pay $50 billion dollars, but it appealed that decision to the Dutch Supreme Court. This was the Russians’ tactic: if they lost case, they would appeal as often as they could simply to delay cases.
The European Court of Human Rights. In 2004, Misamore and a human rights attorney filed a case against Russia to the ECHR in an attempt to protect their rights. The Court agreed to hear the case in 2010, and in 2014, ruled in Yukos’ favor, saying that the Russian government’s seizure of Yukos “threatens the very integrity and legitimacy of the European Convention on Human Rights.” They ordered the Russian government to pay $2.6 billion in damages related for the Yukos seizure, the largest judgment in the court's history. The Russian Duma passed a law that disallowed Russia from honoring any case deemed unfair to them, but the ECHR did not accept the legislation’s legitimacy.
Another scheme to protect Yukos. In 2005, Yukos’ executives moved all of Yukos’ international assets into two Dutch foundations they formed, called stichtings, and Misamore was a director of both. One was based in Cyprus, and the other held assets based in the Netherlands. The Russians were livid that he had managed to move Yukos’ assets beyond the government's reach, which may have been another motivation behind the burglary of Misamore’s home in Houston.
Legal battles over the stichtings. Even now, Misamore is still under criminal investigation for the theft of $10 billion Yukos assets, which is what the Russians contend was the value of assets they moved into the stichtings. The stichtings were involved in two other legal battles, one of which they recently won. The remaining case involved a subsidiary of Yukos that owned their treasury shares but received no money for the shares when they were expropriated.
Loren Steffy on LinkedIn
Stoney Creek Publishing