Over the last three years, two businessmen, father and son, have obtained loans from the Social Bank worth millions of lei, pledging the housings of their employees, even though their value was much less than the amount of money borrowed. The company was declared bankrupt, and those who pledged their apartments and their family members risk remaining homeless after the Social Bank that is in the process of liquidation won the lawsuits initiated against them.

The Social Bank, along with the Savings Bank of Moldova (BEM) and Unibank, financial institutions that were brought to bankruptcy by the “robbery of the century”, remained unlicensed on October 16, 2015. The decision was taken by the Executive Committee of the National Bank of Moldova due to their insolvency, as it established their involvement in the fraudulent schemes in the banking system by granting bad loans.

The beneficiaries of the schemes include Vadim Demeanciuc and his son, Stanislav, the owners of the Grinvitas Group of Companies. They took million worth credits, then brought the companies to bankruptcy.

While their employees struggle to keep their homes, they continue to carry out their affairs freely.

Summoned to leave the apartment

Ivan Zavalii, a 24-year-old instrumentalist from Maria Biesu Opera and Ballet Theater, was summoned to leave the apartment, being threatened with forced eviction in the coming days.

Ivan Zavalii.jpg

The young man has learned from the executor that he lost a lawsuit, of which he had not known before. Both he and his father are to give up the 52-square-meter apartment on Miorita Street in Chisinau on account of Grinvitas's debts to the Social Bank.

The young man also found out that the apartment, of which he is a co-owner, was valued at 380,000 lei, about 18,000 euros, and subsequently pledged for a loan of 40 million lei. 

Zavalii asked Vadim Demeanciuc to supply explanations, but the latter urged him to comply with the decision of the executors and lawyers of the Social Bank and to sign what they say. The businessman warned the young man to keep still, otherwise he would remain homeless and moneyless, promising to solve the problem in a few years, when the cherry orchard would bear fruit.

Moreover, following this scandal, the young musician's relationship with his father, Serghei Zavalii, co-owner of the apartment, worsened. His father is working as head of a warehouse at Demeanciuc's firms and recently received a salary increase of one thousand lei. Therefore, he tries to convince his son to keep quiet.  

How the businessmen used Zavalii’s property

In early 2012, Sergei Zavalii was convinced by his boss to pledge his apartment in his favour. Having trusted his boss, the man signed a proxy into the name of Stanislav Demeanciuc, Vadim Demeanciuc’s son, giving him the right to pledge on his behalf the apartment. Ivan Zavalii, the owner of one third of the dwelling, who was only 18 years old then, was also convinced to sign the proxy in the name of Demeanciuc.

"I was only 18 years old then. My dad told me to sign it and I obeyed. I did not even read what was written there," the young man told us.

According to the decision of the Court of Chisinau issued on August 2017, in the period of 2013-2014, Grinvitas concluded with the Social Bank the following lending contracts, pledging Zavalii’s apartment.

• No. 139/2013 of 30.05.2013, for the amount of 1 400 000 lei, with an interest of 15% annually;

• No. 372/2013 of 26.12.2013, for the amount of 1 500 000 lei, with an interest of 14% annually;

• No. 336/2013 of 28.11.2013, for the amount of 7 500 000 lei, with an interest of 14% annually;

• No. 247/2013 of 05.09.2013, for the amount of 7,000,000 lei, with an interest of 14% annually;

• No. 152/2014 of 18.06.2014, for the amount of 6 800 000 lei, with an interest of 13.5% annually.

The same building was used as a pledge for a credit of USD 900 000, contracted by the enterprise in July, 2010.

Please note that two loans granted by the Social Bank pledged with the property of Zavalii were recorded in the cadastral database.

On March 31, 2015, the Social Bank filed a lawsuit against Serghei and Ivan Zavalii on the transfer of property pledged and the eviction of people from the apartment, and in August 2017, it won the law suit.  
The decision was made in the absence of the defendants and was not challenged to the hierarchically superior court. 

"I did not know anything until February 15, 2015. Following Demeanciuc's indication, Dad gave him all the letters coming from the court or the Social Bank, without opening them, "Ivan Zavalii told us.

Shortly before the Bank's administration appealed to court, on March 13, 2015, Grinvitas LLC  filed a lawsuit requesting the initiation of insolvency proceedings against itself. Following the decision of the Chisinau Court of Appeal, on June 2, 2015, Grinvitas LLC was declared insolvent. According to the data submitted to the court on April 17, 2015, Grinvitas LLC had debts to creditors amounting to almost 31 million lei and 2.79 million euros. The Chisinau Court of Appeal described the case as over-indebtedness.

In court, the company's representative explained the company's financial difficulties are due to the difficult situation in agriculture, the natural disasters and the embargo imposed by the Russian Federation.

Zavaliis risk losing another real estate facility

The apartment on Miorita Street is not the only real estate facility that the Zavalii family entrusted to Grinvitas. In the period of 2010-2014, Grinvitas LLC borrowed 4.5 million lei and 2 million 70 thousand euros from Eximbank Commercial Bank. The pledge to that loan was an old house of 37,6 square-meter b on the Balanescu street, near the Central Market.

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The "million worth" building on Balanescu Street

The owners of the property are Zavalii spouses and their four children, holding equal shares each.

It is assumed that Sergei Zavalii is not the only employee of Grinvitas LLC, who accepted to pledge the dwelling for the company.

Who are the businessmen from Grinvitas?

Grinvitas LLC was founded in early 2001 by Vadim Demeanciuc and Oleksandr Dzoma. At Demeanciuc's initiative, a network of Grinvitas firms, such as Grinvitas-auto and Grinvitas-northern, was formed.

For many years, Grinvitas LLC has been one of the main importers of phytosanitary and agricultural products.

Grinvitas-auto was founded in 2003, one of the main founders was Vadim Demeanciuc’s wife.

The legal address of both enterprises is in an apartment on 8 Lomonosov Street in Chisinau.

In 2004, Grinvitas-northern was founded with the legal address in the village of Pocrovca, Donduseni district. The company acquired more than one hundred hectares of agricultural land, planted an orchard and purchased a 2000 tons of fruit storage refrigerator. The company also developed an agro-tourism complex in Pocrovca, called "Pokrovskaia usadiba". In 2016, the company, having contracted loans of several millions from the Social Bank, went into insolvency.

Grinvitas-northern LLC is one of the beneficiaries of bad loans, mentioned in the report of 2013, made by the former deputy head of the Anti-Money Laundering Department of the NAC, Mihail Gofman.

Last year, the Social Bank auctioned several assets seized from Grinvitas for debts.

Mainly Stanislav Demeanciuc was in charge of the business in Pocrovca. He has worked for a long time at his father's enterprises.

Stanislav Demeanciuc.jpg

Stanislav Demeanciuc in 2012. Source: facebook.com

At the moment, Demeanciuc's son is director of Agrocenter EuroChem, member of the EuroChem group of companies, one of the world's leading fertilizer manufacturers. The group entered the Moldovan market independently in early 2017.

Stanislav Demeanciuc 1.jpg

 Grinvitas-auto LLC is functional. In the period of 2015 - 2017, the company won several auctions for car repair and maintenance services with the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, the National Patrol Inspectorate, the NAC and the Teleradio-Moldova Company.

Vadim Demeanciuc: "It is the fault of those who stole the billion!"

Vadim Demeanciuc acknowledges that he used the property of the Zavalii family as a pledge, but he declares himself not guilty: "I can also be banished in the street. Not only Zavalii can remain homeless, but other friends and colleagues of mine, who helped me. I lost all the trials I had with the Social Bank. I am not guilty. Those who stole the billion and robbed the Social Bank are to be blamed. I have taken loans to invest in business, to develop it. But in 2014, the robbery from the banking system occurred. The Social Bank asked me to repay the loans immediately, but the money had already been invested. That is why the enterprise went bankrupt. At the moment, the debts amount to 41 million lei ".

Demeanciuc was not very optimistic with regard to the restitution of Zavalii’s dwelling: "I have no money. I thought I would work, and repay it little by little. Ivan Zavalii did not have to make such a row. He could live there three months, then three more, until the bank found a buyer for the apartment. Until then, maybe we could find a solution. But if he wants me to be criticized in the media, then he will not get anything."

Investigation
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