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Bank outwitter fears $700k windfall could cost life, wants to leave Russia

Published time: August 09, 2013 17:34
Edited time: August 09, 2013 19:30
Headquarters of Tinkoff Credit Systems bank (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

Headquarters of Tinkoff Credit Systems bank (RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov)

Dimitry Agarkov, the man who hookwinked Russia’s largest online bank by penning his own byline terms to a credit card contract, “fears for his life” because he feels threatened by the bank he is suing for $700,000.

“I fear for my life and plan to leave Voronezh and Russia,” Agarkov said as quoted by RIA Voronezh.

Agarkov said the bank's founder Oleg Tinkov and the bank have failed to "to keep [their] tongues in check" in their Twitter response to the case.

“It is unlikely that I will be able to say something the foreign media hasn’t already said. In the near future I will go abroad after being threatened by bankers, specifically Mr. Tinkov,” he added, promising to stay in touch with media correspondents. 

The 42-year-old man from Voronezh - a small city located 500km south of Moscow - gained media fame as the man who tricked Tinkoff Credit Systems by ‘amending’ the bank’s credit contract with more favorable terms and then sued for $727,000 (24 million rubles) when the bank terminated his contract.

Tinkov took to Twitter to express his comments regarding the incident.

Image from twitter.com/olegtinkov

Agarkov’s lawyer, Dimitry Mikhaelvich, says his client has not committed fraud because the bank agreed to the’ amendments’ and even approved his unlimited credit.

“Stealing is a sin, in my opinion, of course, not everyone in Russia thinks so,” Tinkov tweeted on August 7.

“Our lawyers don’t think [Agarkov] will get 24 million rubles, but four years in prison for fraud. Now it’s a matter of principle for @tcsbank,” Tinkov added.  

Stanislav Rivkin, head of Rivkin and partners law firm, sees the situation as "nothing but negligence and arrogance of the bank's employees," RIA Voronezh reported.

Mikhaelvich, says his client has not committed fraud, because the bank agreed to ‘the amendments’ and even OK’d unlimited credit.

"The opened credit line was unlimited. He could afford to buy an island somewhere in Malaysia, and the bank would have to pay for it by law,” Mikhalevich said. 

Stanislav Rivkin, head of the law firm “Rivkin and partners” sees the situation as “nothing but bungling and self-confidence and the bank's employees," RIA Voronezh reports.

The next hearing will be held in September, and Agarkov plans to file a new lawsuit for the protection of “honor and dignity” surrounding the contract.