The courtroom dramas and surrounding events relating to Oleg Bourlakov that have taken place over the last several years in more than a dozen countries are already enough for a Hollywood movie with decent chances to win an Oscar.
Oleg Bourlakov, an officer in the Soviet army, left the forces during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and started doing business with his partner and friend Nikolai Kazakov. Their joint enterprise, initially focusing on trading fur and cement, became a staggering success. Throughout the late nineties, the Bourlakov-Kazakov duo managed to acquire control of a number of leading enterprises in the cement and oil industry.
For the last 5 years, a fierce battle for the multi-billion dollar fortune arising out of their business empire has been unfolding involving thugs, ambitious mistresses and embittered children and their clever and eager partners.
It all started in February 2018, when the wife of the famous Russian billionaire Oleg Burlakov decided to withdraw her husband’s assets from the company’s accounts to unknown offshores. It was by chance that the businessman himself and his partner Nikolai Kazakov found out about their depleting wealth. >Unfortunately, the wife’s operation was so well planned and sophisticated that it has to date been impossible to locate the almost $2 billion that were siphoned off Mr Bourlakov’s account. As if the $2 billion were not enough, the individuals engaged in diverting these assets have not been held to account and are now engaged in placing their hands on the remaining $1.5 billion.
The main character in this family drama is the estranged wife of businessman Oleg Bourlakov, Lyudmila Burlakova. Ms Bourlakova is the holder of several passports and has access to a seemingly bottomless barrel of money. Despite being charges for embezzlement of her husband’s assets, she has been skillfully trying to evade any questions relating to her actions.
The growth of the gang’s influence of Lyudmila Burlakova and Gregory Gliner
A closer look reveals that Lyudmila Burlakova is a puppet on a string in in a rather elaborate scheme. This is devised by the daughters of the Bourlakovs – Elena and Veronica, together Veronica’s husband, Russian-born Grigory Gliner. Gliner, a hedge fund manager with badge and expert in devising transactional schemes appears to be the mastermind behind the asset grab.
Oleg Burlakov was apparently not very happy that the youngest beloved daughter Veronica decided to marry Gliner in 2014, who, at the time, had great ambitions coupled with a sense of entitlement to the assets of his father-in-law. But Gliner managed to charm Veronica and also her mother that this marriage was a deal not to be missed.
Veronica, Elena and Lyudmila Burlakov’s
For the wedding, Oleg Burlakov gave the newlyweds a generous gift exceeding hundred million dollars, which Gliner invested in creating his own hedge fund Ironwall. Unfortunately, Ironwall’s did not make the killing he had hoped for and so Gliner’s eyes fell on the entire wealth of his father-in-law.
Gliner’s plan was simple: Lyudmila, who had authority over Mr Bourlakov’s accounts, withdraws assets which then get transferred to accounts outside Mr Bourlakova’s control. From thereon, funds would be placed in a trust and other vehicles that would ensure an juicy income stream for Veronica, Elena, Lyudmila and Gliner without any need to exert oneself.
Unfortunately,Mr Bourlakov found out. Shocked to see the fruits of his life-long hard work disappearing, he held his wife and daughter to account. The Bourlakovas did not budge. In late 2017, they raised the existence of a young mistress with whom Mr Bourlakov was apparently trying to have a child. Ms Bourlakova filed for divorce.
In November 2018, an assignation attempt was made on Mr Bourlakov in Moscow leaving him injured. Various tracking devices were found in Mr Bourlakov’s bags and increased his ever-rising sense of persecution. Mr Bourlakov felt that his wife and daughters and were “coming after him”. He made a criminal case against his wife for embezzlement and initiated several civil cases seeking a return of his assets. Armies of lawyer were hired by both sides, engaged in the myriad of claims that followed both from the Bourlakovas and Mr Bourlakov.
But Mr Bourlakov would not see the end of this family dispute. In June 2021, he died unexpectedly of the consequences of a Covid infection. His body was rushed off to Canada by the Bourlakovas and buried in a cemetery on the outskirts of Toronto. Any respect and remaining decency for their father and husband fell by the wayside: It was the fight for the assets he left behind that the Bourlakovas and Gliner needed to focus on. Although Mr Bourlakov had left all his wealth to his beloved sister and his business partner under a handwritten will, the Bourlakovs were quick to assert all rights to the estate.
As it became clear that the estate would not be simply handed out to them on a plate but would involve lengthy legal proceedings in various jurisdictions, appetite for a quick fix grew. Gliner and the Bourlakovas remembered the good old 90ies in Russia where assets could be grabbed swiftly. They started to engage in classic corporate raiding tactics to gain control over entities that hold assets they had not yet placed their hands on. A Latvian notary used in an attempt to obtain control over an enormous yacht built by Mr Bourlakov and to get a swift inheritance certificate. Thus far, these attempts failed.
We are awaiting with baited breath what is next to follow in this drama where money appears to be the driving point of the plot.