Former Lenenergo deputy director Roman Temkin, evading investigators in the Sabadash case, is building residential buildings in Miami and a shopping center in Finland, and his family, which owns the Polis Group, is building a business in St. Petersburg.
DP has learned that the development company associated with Roman Temkin, Polis Group, bought land a month and a half ago for its projects Vernisazh and Kraski Leta in Kudrovo from Sergei Kuznetsov, a top manager at Setl Group. “All my plots of land were bought in full by TiN Group, part of Polis Group, and the company has met all its financial obligations to me,” Sergei Kuznetsov told a DP reporter. He owned four plots of land totaling around 6.5 hectares in area. The Agency for Real Estate Development and Research estimates their total value to be 500 million to 800 million rubles.
Polis Group, founded in 2010, has in recent years become one of the biggest builders in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Province. In the 2011–2013 period, the company bought up around 40 ha of land in Kudrovo, in the towns of Shushary, Murino and Devyatkino. The company is currently build the Vernisazh residential complex (93,000 square meters).
The company also lists five other projects among its assets: Kraski leta (60,000 sq.m.) in Murino, Berezovaya Roshcha (49,000 sq.m. on 2.3 ha) and Avstriisky Kvartal (31,000 sq.m. on 5 ha) in Kudrovo, Moi Gorod (116,000 sq.m. on 8.6 ha) in Devyatkino and Yunion (72,000 sq.m. on 3.3 ha in Shushary.
Currently, according to data from SPARK, 80% of the company belongs to Olga Petryashova, while before 2014 Elena Temkina held a 48% share. Market players consider both businesswomen to be Roman Temkin’s sisters (all three do in fact have the same father). Previously Sergei Kuznetsov was also a co-owner (30%), but he says he sold his share to Olga Petryashova. Meanwhile, planning declarations state that Elena Temkina also owns several plots of land on which Polis buildings are being built. Roman Temkin himself, according to market players, still makes all of the company’s strategic decisions. “They have different people in the founding documents and the management, but Roman is the one who makes the decisions,” says one developer.
Polis Group itself denies any connection with Roman Temkin, saying, “Neither Elena Temkina nor Roman Temkin are part of the current management or group of founders of TiN Group or Polis Group.”
In 2012 and 2013, Roman Temkin headed Lenenergo’s financial block within Andrey Sorochinsky’s team. Sources confirm that it was under his leadership that the energy company began to actively store up cash deposits at Tavrichesky Bank, whose owners were connected with Alexander Sabadash, the disgraced entrepreneur, former senator and vodka king.
In 2015 that bank, which was holding 16.5 billion rubles belonging to Lenenergo almost collapsed and was subjected to restructuring. In January 2015 that cost Andrey Sorochinsky his post, and he was released early from his position of General Director of the distribution company.
But by then, Roman Temkin no longer worked at Lenenergo: he had resigned voluntarily back in December 2013, after which Alexander Sabadash was arrested on charges of fraudulent VAT refunds of 1.8 billion rubles during the reconstruction of capacity at Vyborg Cellulose.
Incidentally, Tavrichesky Bank was until recently also Polis Group’s operations bank. The voice mail message at that company says that if you are an investor, then payments should be sent not to Tavrichesky but to an account at a different bank.
In the spring of 2014, charges were announced against Temkin in that case: his firm Es- ContractStroi was actively involved in Alexander Sabadash’s business scheme for tax optimization. That summer he was declared a wanted man.
Immediately afterwards, Roman Temkin left the country. Emigration in no way impaired the entrepreneur’s business acumen. By early in 2015 the Verzasca Group had appeared in the United States, and it had invested $10.5 million in constructing two residential buildings in Miami.
The company’s top managers are the hockey player Darius Kasparaitis, Polis’ former marketing director Tim Lobanov, and Gennady Barsky. The latter asserts that “Roman Temkin was not and is not a co-owner of our company.” But the company’s list of projects includes all the projects of St. Petersburg’s Polis Group.
Aside from the buildings in Miami, Verzasca Group has announced it is building a shopping center in Finland.
Talking with American journalists, the company’s general director Gennady Barsky says that it will invest another $700 million “in all our projects” in the next three years. Roman Temkin did not answer phone calls yesterday.
Roman Temkin first went into property development in Arkhangelsk, where he had a series of projects (he proposed unsuccessfully that Alexander Nekrasov get involved in them).
Later, close collaboration with Alexander Sabadash helped him enter the construction market in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Province, and to make a career at Lenenergo. In 2007, Temkin and the president of Leader Group, Alexander Nekrasov, founded the joint stock company TiN Group.
“Roman and I had a common project before the financial crisis, but in the fourth quarter of 2008 we had some serious financial issues arise and we parted ways,” says Leader Group chairman of the board Alexander Rassudov.
In 2009, Temkin became the sole shareholder of TiN Group, and in 2011 the company was obtained by Elena Temkina and Olga Petryashova (in the same proportions in which they owned Polis Group).