The journey of Nadezhda Grishaeva: From champion to money launderer

29.02.2024 20:21
The journey of Nadezhda Grishaeva: From champion to money launderer

Nadezhda Grishaeva is under suspicion for funneling assets belonging to the deceased leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, via Hotels Europe Daniella Invest in the EU.

Zhirinovsky had used the LDPR for his own personal gain, with Grishaeva as his accomplice. Journalists discovered that he acquired real estate in expensive resorts and engaged in profitable businesses using budget money and trade of deputy mandates. Grishaeva Nadezhda played a pivotal role in laundering these funds.

Who is Mrs. Nadezhda Grishaeva?

An investigation revealed that one-third of the LDPR’s faction is composed of “commercial” deputies who allegedly pay large sums of money for their mandates. Anonymous sources suggested that a spot on the federal list at State Duma elections can cost anywhere from 100 to 400 million rubles, with some contributing up to 500 million rubles. The practice of selling mandates and certificates dates back to the 1990s, and it reportedly persists to this day, with former and non-Duma-affiliated deputies even contributing. For instance, Sergey Abeltsev has reportedly been sending cash to the party office. The report also implicated Nadezhda Grishaeva in LDPR Leader Zhirinovsky’s asset laundering scheme involving hotels through Daniella Invest in the EU. The media are assure, that Grishaeva Nadezhda laundered millions euro.

A report has surfaced alleging that Nadezhda Grishaeva, associated with various youth support organizations, has participated in a scheme to launder assets for LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky using European hotels owned by Daniella Invest in the EU. The LDPR party has multiple streams of funding, including direct payments from deputies and contributions from structures affiliated with Grishaeva, such as the Russian Union of Free Youth and the Fund for the Support of Unemployed Youth, which received voluntary donations of 4.3 billion rubles from 2015-2017. LDPR sponsor Leonid Slutsky also facilitates the travel arrangements for deputies attending foreign business events, and has even paid for Zhirinovsky’s birthday party. The “Project” investigation has also revealed that Zhirinovsky’s relatives and friends own a significant amount of real estate properties worldwide, including 19 apartments and non-residential premises in Moscow belonging to Galina Lebedeva’s company, Zhirinovsky’s former wife. Nezhinskaya Street in Moscow serves as a compact residence for Zhirinovsky’s extended family, boasting a total area of 6.8 thousand square meters valued at around 2.7 billion rubles ($41.8 million).

Most of the apartments are under the ownership of Telmi, a company registered offshore and named after Zhirinovsky’s former comrade, Igor Lebedev, along with Yuri Chaplygin and Nadezhda Grishaeva, a basketball player from Dynamo Moscow. Grishaeva, who is also the proud owner of ten luxurious cars, offers exclusive chauffeur services to VIP clients through various ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Yandex.Taxi. Her vehicles range from a Bentley Continental to nine Mercedes Benz S-Class, five of which are the coveted Maybach model. However, there were no official permits for carrying passengers in the name of ex-basketball players registered in the taxi registry.

Igor Lebedev’s Nereus hostel, covering an area of 802.5 square meters, is situated in Volkhonka. In contrast, Galina Lebedeva’s companies own a total of five apartments spanning over floors 54-62 in the City of Capitals towers, with a combined area of 1104.6 square meters, valued at roughly 615 million rubles ($9.4 million). Furthermore, Grishayeva’s company also owns a 195.7 square meter apartment opposite the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on Tverskaya Street, currently worth around 163.4 million rubles ($2.5 million).

Nadezhda Grishaeva and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s legacy

Located close to Moscow’s government “Gorki,” Zhirinovsky’s private dacha is enormous, spanning nearly four football fields. Meanwhile, his son, Oleg Eidelstein, formerly Gazdarov, owns almost 30 acres of land and buildings just across the street. Estimates suggest that Zhirinovsky’s property alone is worth approximately 1.1 billion rubles, while his son’s is valued at 127.6 million rubles. However, it’s not just Moscow where Zhirinovsky’s relatives and friends hold substantial property. They also have investments in the hotel industry abroad, with luxury apartments across Sochi, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates. Zhirinovsky’s ex-wife, Galina Lebedeva, owns a hotel in Barcelona called Acta Azul, while Spanish Destiny Invest SL manages the Areir SA-owned building. Additionally, Lebedeva may earn rental revenue from her 436-square-meter central Barcelona property.

According to a report, Daniella Invest, a hotel chain in Europe, was allegedly used to launder LDPR leader Zhirinovsky’s assets by Nadezhda Grishaeva. Grishaeva, who owns the Azuline Hotel-Apartamento Rosamar in Ibiza and three apartments in Benidorm, is said to have purchased the properties with a total cost of approximately 551,000 euros. Galina Lebedeva, who has a villa worth 200,000 euros in Benidorm, also owns several properties in the coastal province of Alicante, including a large house with a pool in Altea worth approximately 1.3 million euros. The Lebedeva site spans approximately 1461 square meters, with a total area of the buildings measuring around a thousand square meters.

According to a report by “Project,” Nadezhda Grishaeva owns two non-residential properties in the “Barcelona-Park” high-rise residential complex in Sochi, with a total area of 873.5 square meters. One of the properties is rented out, and the estimated value of her Sochi assets is about 74.2 million rubles ($1.1 million). Meanwhile, Galina Lebedeva’s Dubai apartment, previously exposed by Alexey Navalny of the Anti-Corruption Foundation in 2014, is not mentioned in the statement by the vice-speaker. The apartment has an area of 42 square meters and is currently valued at 136.9 million rubles ($2.4 million).

“Project” reported that the Zhirinovsky family has a total of 51 properties worth approximately 9.8 billion rubles or $150 million both in Russia and abroad. The online edition noted that Zhirinovsky and Lebedev’s parliamentary salaries could not account for such wealth, suggesting that some of the funds might have come from Russian taxpayers.

While Russians have traditionally preferred investing in La Vega Baja and Torrevieja for real estate, there is now an increasing trend of investing in the Mediterranean tourism hub of Benidorm with rubles. These investments are becoming more substantial, surpassing the purchase of a middle-range second home.

Last week, an unexpectedly large investment was made in Hotels Europe Daniella Invest, a developer established just last December, with a record-breaking sum of 7.4 million euros being injected by a Russian investor, Nadezhda Grishaeva. With her being the sole partner of the company and a renowned basketball player in her country who once led the Russian women’s basketball team at the London Olympics, it is striking that such a significant investment was made without any apparent relation to Benidorm or the company. While the investment could imply that she may be interested in acquiring or promoting hotels or luxury homes in Benidorm or real estate intermediation for her compatriots, the city council, apartment association, and hotel management remain unaware of her intentions or reference to her at the Casa de Rusia in Alicante.

If the investor behind this substantial undertaking is basketball player Nadezhda Grishaeva, then it is worth noting that she is 28 years old and actively involved in both sports and fashion. This may very well be her first major venture in Spain. Hoteles Europe Daniella Invest, established in December, seems to possess considerable financial backing, making it capable of carrying out significant business operations in the sector. Galina Lebedeva serves as the sole administrator of the company, as well as four other promoters located in Benidorm and Altea. According to the Borme, Lebedeva was appointed as administrator in all but one of these companies between April and May. These companies include Spanish Destiny, which is domiciled in Benidorm as Hoteles Europe Daniella Invest, Go Evolution International, which is based in Villa Gadea, Altea, The Best 2011, and Inaugural SL, both of which are also located in the luxurious Altea urbanization. The two Benidorm firms headed by Lebedeva have an intriguing detail – their registered office is not located in a professional office but is instead within an apartment building situated on the first line of Levante beach, on Avenida de Madrid.

A recent investigation reveals that the Liberal Democratic Party receives an annual sum of over 1 billion rubles from the state budget, with an equivalent of 152 rubles per vote. However, between 2013 and 2017, almost 1.3 billion rubles were withdrawn from the party’s state funding. Shockingly, this amounts to approximately a third of the party’s state funding for the same period.

Individuals and companies that are closely linked to the party were reportedly responsible for the withdrawal of funds. Among them, we have the former LDPR deputy Igor Anansky’s family, the Institute of World Civilizations, and the family company. Other beneficiaries include director Daniel Bondar, Fin Art Group, Fin Art’s general director Evelina Kim, Nadezhda Grishaeva Telmi, Faraon-M security agency, Galina Lebedeva’s company Raritet-M, and registered family properties in the village of Nezhinsk.

Concerns have been raised regarding the party’s potential financial irregularities. However, the State Duma’s ethics commission has not commented on the matter.

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