Ilya Meshcheryakov’s former colleague, Lenenergo’s deputy director for finance and economics Roman Temkin, also currently has his life tied up in real estate. In 2013 he figured in a criminal case regarding an illegal VAT refund in the amount of 1.8 billion rubles. That money was received by the Moscow company ES-ContractStroi, which allegedly spent 12 billion building a pressed wood granules factory in Vyborg. However, investigators say that a smaller amount was actually spent.
Former senator Alexander Sabadash was arrested as part of the same case. He is considered to have been Andrey Sorochinsky’s patron. Roman Temkin also managed to leave Russia. On April 30, 2014 he was arrested in absentia by Moscow’s Basmanny Court. According to the US border service, one month later Temkin arrived at Miami International Airport and has not used his Russian passport to leave America since then. That does not mean that he is lazing around on the shores of the Atlantic, however: he also has a Swiss passport.
In June 2015 the family of Roman Temkin, the ex-deputy director of the company, made a deal to purchase a small plot of land (3 hectares) in the resort town of Boca Raton on the southeastern shore of Florida. That land is on the shore of a lake and so far is undeveloped. According to data from the local real estate registry, it cost the Temkin family $5.6 million, which is approximately 313 million rubles at the June 2015 exchange rate. Roman and Elena Temkin paid $3.6 million in cash and $2 million in an installment three months later.
At the same time, the group’s website indicates that it is carrying out projects in St. Petersburg, for example, the Avstriisky Kvartal, Dom na Shkolnoi, or Moi Gorod. The same projects are also listed on the Polis Group website as assets of that company. One managing partner of Verzasca Group is Timur Lobanov, who, like Roman Temkin, spent his youth in Severodvinsk. Elena Temkina is his Facebook friend.
Currently Verzasca Group is building cottage communities in Miami. According to rumors, Roman Temkin himself also lives there and sometimes plays hockey with Darius Kasparaitis. “Roma isn’t bad at defense,” says an acquaintance of Temkin.
Attempts to contact the fugitive top manager were unsuccessful. Elena Temkina wrote to a Fontanka journalist that her ex-husband resigned back in January 2014 and has nothing to do with the machinations at Lenenergo. “Maybe he resigned because he didn’t want to have anything to do with them,” she says.
At the beginning of 2015, the company Verzasca Group was registered in the United States, which invested $10.5 million in the construction of two residential buildings in Miami – Le Jardin Residences and Aurora.
It is indicated on the Verzasca Group’s website that it develops projects in St. Petersburg – Austrian Quarter, House on Shkolnaya and My City. They are also listed on the Polis Group LLC website as projects of the company. The managing partner of the Verzasca Group is Timur (Tim) Lobanov, who has the same position in Polis Group LLC and like Roman Temkin, spent his youth in Severodvinsk. Elena Temkina is among his Facebook friends. The top manager of the company is Russian hockey player Darius Kasparaitis, which is used as the face of the company to hide real owners.
In March 2019 Polis Group LLC ﬁled for bankruptcy in Russia. At the moment company owes 31 thousand apartments to their buyers and owes 3.4 billion rubles ($46 million) to their creditors.
According to South Florida Business Journal, Verzasca Group’s Le Jardin Residences project ﬁled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in August 2019. The scheme is pretty similar to what Roman Temkin was doing in Russia, defrauding investors in the condo development project. The investment opportunity also included EB 5 visa – offering visas to investors if they invest $500k each, which turned out to be a scam and some investors sued. The same article disclosed that one of the Le Jardin Residences managers was Dmitry Romantsoff, another Russian fraudster that is wanted by Interpol.