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8 Jul, 2020 16:31

Hero to zero? Former Communist presidential candidate Grudinin may go bankrupt after $15 million judgement

Hero to zero? Former Communist presidential candidate Grudinin may go bankrupt after $15 million judgement

Pavel Grudinin, the Communist Party candidate in the 2018 Russian presidential election, may be facing bankruptcy after the Tenth Arbitration Court of Appeal upheld a decision against him for 1.066 billion rubles ($15 million).

Grudinin called the judgement “dangerous,” as he does not have the money to pay.

The former Communist political candidate is the director of Lenin State Farm, a 2,000-hectare sprawl of fields growing fruits and vegetables on the outskirts of Moscow. His farming enterprise has enabled him to become a millionaire.

Grudinin’s potential bankruptcy comes as the result of attacks from multiple directions. Since 2018, minority shareholders of the farm have been pursuing payment after he sold a plot of the farmland to IKEA. Grudinin claims that the decision on the deal was made at a general meeting of shareholders, but the court supported the plaintiffs.

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He has also been sued by the farm’s former shareholders from the 1990s, who believe the land is rightfully theirs. As a result, Grudinin has not been able to sell any of the Lenin State farmland. In 2019, he also got into financial trouble with his ex-wife, who sued him for 42-percent ownership of the farm.

The latest decision upholds a 2019 judgement by the Moscow Region Arbitration Court, which stated that director Pavel Grudinin is expected to pay Lenin State Farm's shareholders more than one billion rubles ($15 million) for the illegal transfer of lands.

As he doesn’t have the financial means to pay the judgment, he will likely lose his shares in the farm.

In 2018, Grudinin participated in the Russian presidential election as the Communist Party candidate and came in second with 11.77 percent. The victor, Vladimir Putin, garnered 76.69 percent of the vote.

During his campaign, Grudinin attracted a lot of attention for being a very wealthy, business-owning Communist. The head of the Liberal Democrats, long-time politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, remarked that, after nominating a billionaire candidate, the Communists “have finally turned to the side of capitalism.”

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