UK-based Otkritie alleges that Russian trader George Urumov defrauded it in 2010. (Photo: REUTERS)
UK-based Otkritie alleges that Russian trader George Urumov defrauded it in 2010. (Photo: REUTERS)

Russian trader George Urumov has denied participating in false trades and paying bribes to colleagues after a British-based subsidiary of one of Russia's largest financial groups accused him of fraud totalling $183m.

Otkritie Securities Limited filed civil charges against Urumov in London's High Court after claiming that he defrauded the company in 2010.

The case centres around allegations that he failed to split an agreed $25m (€19m, £16.5m) "sign-on fee" evenly between himself and four bond traders when they were recruited by the firm three years ago.

Subsequently, Otkritie claims that Urumov kept over $20m for himself while using over $12m to bribe two Otkritie employees, Ruslan Pinaev and Sergey Kondratyuk, who supported his recruitment at the firm.

However, Urumov has denied all charges and says that he was effectively helping out colleagues when they made losses on bad trades.

"(Kondratyuk) was unhappy ... I was impeding his ability to earn huge profits for himself. I told them (Kondratyuk and Pinaev) I would potentially compensate them for their loss," said Urumov in court, after giving evidence for the first time.

Urumov added that he was taking over a large portion of trading that earned the pair substantial profits.

On top of the raft of allegations, Otkritie's legal representation, Barrister Steven Berry, repeatedly dismissed Urumov's testimony as a "pack of lies." He also accused him of inventing untruths and that Pinaev, Kondratyuk, Eugene Jemai and Urumov deliberately mispriced Argentinian government securities.

"I was not aware there was fraud. I thought this was simply a commercial misunderstanding," said Urumov.

According to court documents, Otkritie claim that Urumov and his three colleagues paid $213m for Argentinian warrants in 2011, on the basis that there was a binding forward contract to sell them to a third party at a higher price.

However, the Russian firm claim that there was no forward sale arranged and the warrants were only worth a quarter of what was originally paid.

Otkritie issued a statement to say that "none of its clients had suffered any loss in the alleged frauds and it has already recovered $52m."