Mr Lisitsin was approached by Alexander Shadrin and his company Eco3 Capital to provide funding for the deal. The Russian businessmen knew each other through their membership of the Russian Orthodox Church. Mr Lisitsin backed the scheme on the understanding he would provide £2m as equity to help buy the land for £12.3m.
Unbeknown to Mr Lisitsin, the three defendants – helped by their agent and co-defendant in the case, Alexander Shadrin – used his money to buy the land for £9.3m before immediately selling it on to Mr Lisitsin for the higher price.
This is, well, at risk of libel I’ll simply quote:
Between them, Mr Balfour, Mr Maggs and Mr Shadrin, shared over £1.5m of the profit that resulted from the “turn”. Mr Mellor was paid a £500,000 consultancy fee. Not only did the presiding judge, Mrs Justice Rose, find the defendants were complicit in fraudulent misrepresentation, she also called into question the evidence they presented.
Mellor wasn’t being sued.
But really, that is just total scumbag behaviour.
The most important part of the story though is this:
Speaking after the case Mr Lisitsin said he welcomed the decision.
He said: “I welcome the ethical and professional standard of the English judicial system. It is a reason to do business in this country.”
Another phrase for this is “the rule of law”. Whosoever you may be, however high and mighty, you really do face the same strictures as everyone else. And that, of course, is one of the things which is worth defending in our current society. Rather than, you know, replacing it with the spirit of the law as to be decided by whichever fuckwit manages to gain political power……