Eduard Berman OKO Group Pavel Tio Vladislav Doronin

How Doronin, Tio and Berman use corrupt Moscow courts to whitewash their personal histories

That Capital Group shareholders are sensitive to negative publicity is well known in Russian and international real estate circles. Doronin and Tio, who maintain a much more public profile than the secretive Berman, have for many years gone all out, boosting the numbers of their internal PR staff and hiring Russian and international PR advisory firms in an effort to build reputations of respectable and worldly business people. The fact that under a veneer of respectability this trio attempts to hide connections with organized crime, corrupt security services and corruption and money laundering on a gargantuan scale is well known in Russia, where any experienced real estate market observer knows of Capital Group’s intimate connections to the Moscow and federal governments and where a simple Russian-language Internet search yields thousands of pages devoted to its shady business practices. Now, however, it appears that Doronin, Tio and Berman have decided to engage in some reputational damage control but the way in which they attempted to contain negative information on the Internet speaks volumes about themselves and their methods.

On July 9, 2020 Anna Mishenko, Judge of Moscow Arbitrage Court, announced a decision in case № А40-73740/2020 in which OOO (LLC) Yumanova petitioned the court to delete from the Internet information, which ‘…is untrue, discredits the honor, dignity and business reputation of OOO Yumanova’. The judge, having considered the petition, approved it and ruled that the damaging information is prohibited from circulation and publication.

The judge’s decision was appealed by a physical person (one M.A. Medvedev) who seemed to have no connections to the petitioner or the materials in question. The Appellate Court denied the appeal with precisely such reasoning – that the appeal was submitted by a person, who did not participate in the case and had no direct relationship to the case. Thus, the decision of the primary circuit judge was upheld and with the decision of the Court of Appeals, the petitioner obliged Ruskomnadzor, Russia’s federal body in charge of policing the Internet and mass media, to block access to the materials detailed in the petition.

The fact that Yumanova LLC, a microscopic legal entity registered at an ‘address of mass registration’ (i.e. an address where hundreds of other legal entities are registered) would not in and of itself have been interesting had it not been for the content of the petition. The first several pages and a few last pages of the petition contain numerous statements that were supposedly left by Internet users on various websites and forums that criticize the level of service and business practices of Yumanova LLC. However, the remaining hundreds of pages of text fully consist of information about Doronin, Berman and Tio, their corrupt practices and connections to Moscow and Russian governments.

  1. Full resolution (Arbitrazh court of Moscow, case No A40-73740/20-110-545) (English version)
  2. Ruling of discontinuance of proceedings (Arbitrazh court of Moscow, case No A40-73740/20-110-545) (English version)
  3. Full resolution (Arbitrazh court of Moscow, case No A40-73740/20-110-545) (Russian version)
  4. Ruling of discontinuance of proceedings (Arbitrazh court of Moscow, case No A40-73740/20-110-545) (Russian version)