IT'S A THIN LINE BETWEEN CRIMINAL MISDEEDS AND VICARIOUS LIABILITY
A discussion of the topic ‘It’s A Thin Line Between Criminal Misdeeds And Vicarious Liability’ was held in Clubhouse on April, 13
Alexey Kasatkin, Criminal Defense Firm Senior Partner
Anna Golub, Criminal Defense Firm Partner
Andrey Bezhan, Counsel, ‘Dispute Settlement’ practice of ‘Borenius’ law firm
Anastasiya Bogurenko, Deputy Director, Department Head of Bank’s Protection of Interest in Corporate Business and Cooperation with Legal Public Authorities of Srednerusskiy Bank of SberBank PJSC
Viktoria Petrosian, Deposit Insurance Agency employee
In the beginning of the discussion Alexey Kasatkin dwelt upon bankruptcy corpus delicti (Sections 195, 196, 197 of The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and its nature. Anna Golub told about the latest public statistics on the mentioned components on Judicial Practice, and Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation websites. She mentioned that there are singular cases of criminal prosecution for illegal acts upon bankruptcy and premeditated bankruptcy. This bears evidence for the fact that law enforcement agencies are mostly in favour of alternative corpus delicti (Sections 159, 160, 201, 330 of The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
Alexey Kasatkin continued the discussion asking a question: ‘What are the reasons for investigators never notice corpus delicti in bankruptcy cases while analyzing conclusions prepared by insolvency officers?’ He drew the audience’s attention to the existing and current instruments needed to be put into practice, to make things work.
Given meager public percent of criminal bankruptcies, the government endorses lawyers’ predictions on its possible upsurge, and undertakes certain initiatives.
Hence, at the State Duma’s committee meeting on state construction and legislation on April 6th the following changes were accepted:
- For premeditated bankruptcy, including controllers’ liability for illegal actions – to increase the sum of penalty from RUB 500,000 to RUB 5,000,000, and to raise the custodial penalty from six years to seven years;
- For ignoring debts, prioritizing satisfaction of a particular creditor – to increase the sum of penalty to RUB 2,000,000, and to raise the custodial penalty to four years.
Viktoria Petrosian told about a complex case of Investbank – the bank’s 20 top managers were held accountable for vicarious liability to a penalty of RUB 40,000,000,000, defining controllers’ liability in shares.
Anastasia Bogurenko introduced examples of SberBank’s practice – she talked about difficulties the team encounters while working on bankruptcy projects and shared her experience on successfully handling bankruptcy cases.
Andrey Bezhan focused on issues one encounters while working on cases of vicarious liability, defined controllers and their characteristics, and shed light on reasons for controllers to hold debtors accountable for vicarious liability. During Andrey’s talk, the participants tackled the issues of proving the status of a controller and shared their experience in similar cases.
Alexey Kasatkin summarized the talk: ‘Further to the discussion, cooperation with the representatives of related to criminal branch specialists greatly expands the perception of the issue. During the talks with invited experts, we have addressed the topic of bankruptcy in a holistic way. Not only have we disclosed the problem of business in bankruptcy, but have got outside perspective of creditors, insolvency officers, lawyers and advocates. We thank our guests, lead lawyers and advocates in criminal law and law of arbitral procedure, and our audience for participation. We are hoping for further collaborative effort!’