Georgy Trefilov

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Georgy Trefilov
Born Georgy Yuryevich Trefilov
(1971-06-01) 1 June 1971 (age 46)
Moscow, USSR
Occupation Businessperson
Spouse(s) Julia Trefilova
Children 3 daughters[1]

Georgy Yuryevich Trefilov (Russian: Гео́ргий Ю́рьевич Трефи́лов; born 1 June 1971) is a Russian multimillionaire, businessman, the founder and the former co-owner of the "MARTA" holding. According to the "Daily Mail" newspaper, Trefilov was among hundred richest Russians.[2]

Trefilov was charged with fraud and in November 18, 2010 has been put on an international wanted list by the Investigative Committee of the MVD (the Ministry of Internal Affairs) of Russia.[3][4] As of 2013 Trefilov is internationally wanted, the situation is curated by the Interpol.[5]


Early life[edit]

Georgy Trefilov was born on June 1, 1971 in a family of civil servants. In 1988 he graduated from the comprehensive school No. 689 and entered the BMSTU (Moscow State Technical University named after Bauman), "Special machine engineering" faculty. In 1992 Trefilov interrupts his training and decides to start a business.[6][7]


In 1992 Georgy Trefilov sets up a JSC "MARTA" and organizes the household and kitchen furniture manufacture in cooperation with his schoolmate Dmitry Oktyabrsky. Later the company changes its field of work, however the name remains the same - "MARTA" (Intersectoral Alternative Russian Trade Association; Russian: Межотраслевая Альтернативная Российская Торговая Ассоциация).[8]

After the financial crisis in 2001 Trefilov buys a subfranchise of the Dutch "SPAR"[9] supermarket chain from the Russian "Spar Retail"[10] franchisee and opens the first supermarket of this kind. For the next 3 years the "MARTA" Holding opens 22 more supermarkets and the retail trading becomes company's main type of activity. After a while Trefilov's cooperation with "SPAR" breaks up. "Serious disagreements" with the Dutch partner[11] are said to be the reason.

In 2004 at the Moscow German-Russian economic summit Georgy Trefilov signs the framework agreement with the REWE Group about the creation of a Joint Venture Company and the development of an international supermarket chain Billa[12] in the presence of the President of Russia and the Federal chancellor of Germany.

In 2006 the "MARTA" Holding together with the “Vremya” company establish the “RTM” JSC. Trefilov was the Chairman of board of directors in this company till March, 2008. "RTM" has become a public company, having passed IPO in 2007.[13]


In 2008 began the non-payments crisis for the "MARTA" Holding and other companies under Trefilov’s control.[14][15] According to analysts the reason of the crisis was Trefilov’s aggressive regional expansion[16][17] that led the "MARTA" Holding to the dramatic increase in debt loading.[18][19][20]

Since autumn 2008 there is a time of general crisis of the Holding structures. Banks creditors (Alfa Bank, BTF, Sberbank, Sviaz-bank, Surgutneftegazbank, Rus’-bank, etc.) filed a lawsuit against Trefilov seeking to collect over 1,9 billion rubles. The bank representatives addressed personally to Trefilov as he acted as the warrantor for the loans in these banks.[21][22] Trefilov tried to keep the shares of the ”RTM” JSC and at the same time he used these shares as a bank pledge. "MARTA Finance" bonds claim was repaid by the credit obtained from this activity. For this purpose the stocks were transferred to E. Vyrypayev (Э.Вырыпаев). In his turn Vyrypayev sold these stocks to "KIT Finance" and sent the received money to Trefilov, who used it to pay the bonds owners. It was followed with a public scandal[23] concerning whether Vyrypayev or Trefilov would have the right of holding this stock of shares. This scandal led to the sharp decline of a stock value. Soon after the “RTM” JSC declared bankruptcy.[24]

Criminal prosecution[edit]

A criminal case was opened against Trefilov in 2009-2010 (Russian Federation Criminal Rule 176, part 1 and 159, part 4). November 15, 2010 the Investigative Committee of the MVD of Russia made the official statement concerning Georgy Trefilov, who was charged with fraud in absentia.[25] According to that statement and the demands, Trefilov stole funds of several companies. Moreover, Trefilov provided some property to the banks as a security for loans, however this property was already encumbered previously several times or even wasn't his property at all. For example, the “Business group” JSC, which is controlled by Trefilov and is a part of the "MARTA" Holding, received a loan in excess of 1,3 billion rubles from six banks including Sberbank on the security of the same retail equipment of the supermarkets working under BILLA trade name. Several months before he was charged with fraud, Trefilov runs away to Great Britain.[26]

Since 2010 Trefilov has been on the international wanted list. Remuneration is provided for any information on his location and the help with the search. The Russian Federation Investigative Committee demanded Trefilov's extradition from Great Britain.[27] November 16, 2012 in London Trefilov won the case concerning his extradition to Russia, but in March, 2013 at the Gatwick Airport[28][29] he was arrested for crossing the British border with a fake passport and a false ID card. In May, 2013 at the Lewis city court Georgy Trefilov received a 1,5 year suspended prison sentence for using false documents.[30][31]

At the moment Trefilov lives with his family in London.[32]

Prosecuting of the trial participants[edit]

December 12, 2012 a criminal case against the senior public prosecutor Victor Gvozdev was opened. He is said to have received $50 000 from Trefilov for the suspension of the criminal proceeding.[33][34][35] On January 24, 2014 he was found guilty and given a 4 years suspended sentence with accordance to article 159 part 4 of the Russian Criminal Code (Large scale fraud).[36] He admitted his guilt during the course of the case. The investigation established that Gvozdev entered negotiations with Trefilov while being in retirement.[37]

None of Trefilov’s accusations about the involvement of others from the General Prosecutor’s Office in V. Gvozdev’s actions could be proved during the investigation or in court. This is particularly true for the former investigator I. Konovalova, who for several years was in charge of the fraud case against Trefilov.[38] The whole investigative unit of the Investigation Committee was disbanded several months before Trefilov’s appeal.[39]

Court confrontation with the REWE concern[edit]

In 2013 the REWE concern in the commercial court of Austria charged Trefilov with falsification and the attempt of illegal use of the contract. According to its conditions, the REWE concern supposedly undertook an obligation to redeem Trefilov’s Grossmart distribution network at an obviously high price.[40] In REWE representatives’ judgment, Trefilov used a forged contract to receive the bridge financing in one of the British investment funds and also in a Russian bank.[41][42]

Court confrontation with Alfa-Bank[edit]

In January 2014 Alfa-Bank appealed to London’s High Court with a claim against Trefilov seeking to collect approximately 600 million rubles worth of loans and interests. The Russian bank demanded recognition of a court decision about Trefilov’s liability as a guarantor for the debts of his company “Elekskor” LLC (a subsidiary of the MARTA Holding).[43]

On June 4, 2014 the London High Court reviewed the case and ruled in favour of Alfa-Bank.[44][45]

The total amount of claims to be paid is 521.44 million rubles (including 153.2 million rubles of accrued interest). By the court’s decision Trefilov must pay this amount by June 25, 2014. This includes a clause where “in the case of no repayment by set date a further statutory interest is applied at the rate set by the Russian Central Bank (8.25%).”[46][47]

Court confrontation with Maksim Vasiliev[edit]

In 2005 there was a conflict between Trefilov and Maxim Vasilyev, the shareholder of the Neftekhimprom concern, who was also the former owner of the Prodmak supermarket chain. This conflict ended with an initiation of the criminal case against Vasilyev, who was charged with theft of 1,8 million dollars from the "MARTA" Holding. This criminal case was initiated in 2005 after the deputy of the State Duma Gudkov appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs informing that according to “MARTA”’s representatives Vasiliev tried to steal 30 million dollars handling a buying transaction. The point was that Trefilov want to buy Vasiliev’s “Prodmak”.[48]

Upon the Vasilyev and his lawyers’ application, the representatives of "MARTA" extorted 25 million dollars from him for a possible "termination of criminal case".[49] This process and investigation attracted the attention of human rights activists including the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Alekseeva, who supported the defendant. The accused also applied to the European Court of Human Rights.

Vasilyev was sentenced to eight years of a colony.[50] His case was twice reconsidered and he was discharged early.

In 2013 Maxim Vasilyev's father applied to the Investigation Committee and to the Prosecutor-General’s Office demanding to check the provided proofs and to punish Trefilov, who is still in the international wanted list, along with the other people, who were the former investigators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In his opinion, they were involved in organizing the fraud and the criminal prosecution of his son by Trefilov. He also demanded a trial and a legal rehabilitation of his son Maksim Vasilyev, who in his opinion was illegally condemned in 2009.[51]


Trefilov has been married with his second wife Julia Trefilova since 2005. He has three daughters from the both marriages.[52][53]


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