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#24 - JRL 2006-191 - JRL Home
Court upholds Yukos bankruptcy ruling

Moscow, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - A court has upheld the decision by a meeting of Yukos Oil Company creditors to declare the company bankrupt, rejecting an appeal lodged by Yukos.

On August 17, Yukos [RTS: YUKO] filed an appeal against a court ruling declaring it bankrupt.

Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt August 1 after three years of litigation with tax authorities over the company's tax arrears.

The Yukos group, whose founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving an eight-year prison term after being convicted for fraud in May 2005, now faces a total of $16.6 billion in claims from creditors, including Rosneft-owned former production unit Yuganskneftegaz ($4.07 bln), the Federal Tax Service ($11.6 bln), Rosneft ($482 mln) and more than 20 other companies.

An investigation was opened August 8 into alleged fraud during Yukos bankruptcy procedures. The Prosecutor General's Office said Yukos secured a loan worth over $4.5 billion from Yukos Capital SARL, the company's major creditor, through affiliated legal entities.

It said ex-Yukos officials had masterminded a scheme to sell crude oil through trading companies Fargoil and Ratibor under their control, acting both as fictitious owners and buyers.

Eduard Rebgun, formerly the Yukos temporary manager whom the court appointed as the bankruptcy receiver, said he agreed with investigators that Yukos Capital had offered Yukos its own assets. Yukos Capital wanted to participate in the first creditors' meeting and made claims to Yukos during the external administration of the company, but the court rejected the motion.