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Russian court seizes another banker’s property in London

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A luxurious mansion in Belgravia Sq. belonging to the former Russian oligarch Georgy Bedzhamov (pictured), was seized by a Russian court, which will most probably prevent Bedzhamov from selling it. This was reported Thursday (28 January) by Forbes in Russia.

The story of the Russian banker Georgy Bedzhamov has long beeen one of the most popular London legends. This man, who is wanted in Russia and Europe, continues to hide in England. At the same time, he doesn’t limit himself in luxury.

According to Russian prosecution, Georgy Bedzhamov is the legal owner of the luxury estate in Belgrave Square, although the scheme of its acquisition has a very complicated outline and is associated with both offshore and other complex legal structures.

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The Tverskoy court of Moscow seized the London home of the former owner of Vneshprombank Georgy Bedzhamov. If the decision is recognized by the British court, the ex-banker will not be able to sell the property, which is estimated as being worth £35 million.

The London home of the ex-owner of Vneshprombank was arrested in a crimin£al case of fraud for 113 billion rubles (more than £1bn), citing a court ruling and an interlocutor familiar with the case.

Vneshprombank is in bankruptcy proceedings and has filed a lawsuit against Bedzhamov in the High Court of London for fraud for £1.3bn. The bank expects to use the decision of the Russian court to exclude the sale of this property by a fugitive banker. Also seized are properties located at 17 Belgrave Square and 17 Belgrave Mews West in London, a plot and buildings that overlook the square on one side and the street on the other. The High Court in London has previously valued the property at £35 million. Tverskoy district court forbade Bedzhamov to dispose of real estate: to sell, give, rent or make other transactions with these objects.

"Vneshprombank plans to appeal to the High Court in London with a request to recognize the decision of the Russian court," a source close to the bank's creditors reported. "This will eliminate the possibility of selling the object. The freezing order imposed by the High Court prohibits Georgy Bedzhamov from alienating his assets, but the defendant (if he does not have other sources of financing for his expenses) has the right to ask the court to allow the sale of real estate in order to finance legal proceedings and live within the limits of spending on personal needs.”

Bedzhamov in Russia is accused of fraud (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code) for 113bn rubles in Vneshprombank. The investigation believes that Bedzhamov, together with his sister Larisa Markus, issued non-refundable loans to fictitious companies affiliated with them, and also debited funds from clients accounts without their knowledge. Currently, the issue of extradition of Bedzhamov to Russia is solved, according to a decision of the Court.

The British court confirmed that Bedzhamov lives in London. His wife Alina Zolotova and their two younger children live in Monaco.

The Central Bank of Russia revoked the license from Vneshprombank in 2016, and the bank owed its creditors more than 200bn rubles. In order to recover the assets of the ex-banker abroad, the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) filed a lawsuit against Bedzhamov in the High Court of London on behalf of Vneshprombank. In the search and recovery of assets, the DIA helps A1 (part of Mikhail Fridman's Alfa Group). The ex-owner of Vneshprombank left Russia in 2015, and his sister was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison.

The investigation also emphasizes that attempts to acquire this property from Bedzhamov may have serious legal consequences for a possible buyer.

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How to get a house valued without an estate agent

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So, you’ve decided to sell your home. Before you put your property on the market, one of the most important things to do is decide on a realistic asking price. To do this, the current market value of your home will need to be determined so that you don’t undervalue your home or have it on the market for longer than it needs to be with an unrealistic price tag.

You may wish to use a local high street agent to complete all aspects of the sale of your home, including the valuation. Whilst it can certainly be reassuring to hand over the reins to an industry expert, particularly if this is your first property sale, doing so will also come at a significant cost. Indeed, estate agent fees are generally the most expensive aspect of moving home and can cost anywhere in the region of 0.75-3% of your total property price. 

You will also need to factor in the cost of solicitor fees, stamp duty, energy performance certificate and removals, not to mention any redecorating, remortgaging and extra costs such as the additional fees for selling a buy-to-let property or second home. If you do not factor in all of the costs which your sale will incur you many leave yourself without enough money to purchase your next property or free up necessary capital. Since the average cost of selling a property in the UK is a not unsignificant 2% of the total property price, it is important to make the process as cost effective as possible.

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When it comes to valuing your property, some local estate agents will offer this service free of charge. However, always check the fine print as arranging a valuation with a high street agent could mean you are obliged to market your property with them should you choose to proceed with a sale within a certain timeframe of the valuation date. Unless you have signed a no sale, no fee contract it can also cost you money if an agent is then unsuccessful in selling your property.

Alternatively, you can undertake the valuation yourself by researching the local housing market and the recent sold prices of properties which are of a similar type and location to your own. Local planning authority websites will also provide further information on any renovations and extension work undertaken for a given property. However, this will likely only give you a rough estimate in terms of an asking price to place on your own property since no two properties (or prospective buyers and their budgets) are entirely the same.

For a more comprehensive valuation of your property, there are now a number of free of charge online valuation tools available. However, it is very tricky to sell your home completely independently unless you already have a buyer lined up, since your ability to reach prospective buyers will be very limited for a private sale. This is because the main online property portals like Zoopla, Rightmove and On the Market do not list properties for individual vendors.

If you are keen to put in more effort for a higher financial reward, an alternative option is to use an online or hybrid agent. An online only agent offers fees from as little as £99 for selling your property (with some even undertaking the sale free of charge and recouping their costs through optional extras) but you will still need to undertake a lot of the leg work yourself and your property valuation will generally be based on online data only rather than a physical appraisal.

A hybrid agent is the middle ground between an online and high street estate agent. They offer a fixed fee for the sale of your property in the region of £999-£1999 so you know exactly how much the sale will cost you from the get-go and can budget accordingly. There are also pay now or pay later and no sale, no fee options available and services such as property photographs, creation of listings, hosted viewings and support with buyer negotiations so you are not doing all of the legwork for the sale. Most importantly, they will also undertake in person valuations via a dedicated and knowledgeable local agent to ensure an accurate asking price for your property.

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How cashbacks have become a powerful marketing tool

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Of all the different types of customer bonuses or incentives available, a cashback is possibly the most attractive. We all love to get money back when we spend, which is why this technique has become a powerful tool for companies that want to attract and retain customers.

Banking with a Cashback

One of the earliest cashback schemes came from Discover Financial Service, a part of Morgan Stanley. Starting in 1986, they gave their cardholders a sum of money at the end of the year, based on the overall charges that were applied throughout the year.

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There are now many credit cards, from numerous banks, that provide cashback to their users. American Express has some of the highest cashback rates, at up to 5% if you spend up to £10,000 in a year. Others like Sainsbury's Bank and Tesco let you collect points that can be turned into cash or other rewards.

You will also see special rewards-style bank accounts on offer, with a monthly cashback. These include Barclays Blue Rewards, Santander 123 Lite, and TSB Spend & Save Plus. In these cases, the cashback is typically based on the monthly bills paid or other activities carried out on the account.

Retail offers with cashbacks

Another great idea is to get money back as you shop. This is something that can be done on sites like Quidco and TopCashback. They each work with thousands of retailers, with Quidco giving up to 160% cashback and TopCashback giving you as much as 165%.

These sites work by passing on part of the commission that retailers give them for sending you to them, so, in theory, everyone wins. You can also get cashbacks directly from retailers. Among the brands that have realised the potential of offering rewards are H&M and New Look.  

Travel, games and other leisure activities  

No matter how you like to spend your free time, there are probably ways of getting a cashback as you do it. If you love to travel, then you could look at those cashback sites in the last point. You will find cashback offers are available from the likes of Expedia, Travelodge, and British Airways.

Another example comes with online casinos, where you can pick up a no-deposit bonus UK 2020 with £10+ free cash and new bonuses for slots on certain sites. This lets you try the games at Pink Casino, Monster Casino, or other sites without using any of your own funds to get started.

Among the other companies you will find on cashback sites are Ticketmaster, GameStop, and Netflix. As you can see, there is something to suit every taste and lifestyle, so you should look to take advantage of the deals that are of most interest to you.

The surge of cashback offers in recent years is proof of how effective these deals are, for the businesses that offer them as well as for the clients that use them. Before spending any money, you should take a look to see who could give you the best cashback right now.  

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'Cruella' sequel is in the making at Disney

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After a successful $48.5 million global take in just under two weeks, Emma Stone has been confirmed for the sequel's line up.

Emma Stone has been commended on her strategic performance that she displayed in the Disney Cruella adaption. The director of the movie franchise Craig Gillespie has expressed how eager he is to return alongside screenwriter Tony McNamara for the sequel. It is believed that upon the sequels return, Stone will be playing a centralised role around the character we are used to seeing from the One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The Cruella de Vil adaptations will follow that of the Disney cartoons, meaning we can very well expect to see the cartoon story adapted into film.

Other announcements for this weekend, is the new series of betting offers today that have been made available to readers of this article. Should you find yourself intrigued, you know what to do.

Cruella the movie debuted on the 28th May within theatres all around the world. Disney fans could also get hold of the title from home, under the Disney+ streaming service that is available, however an early access purchase was needed that equates to $30. While the movie has made some impressive takes in just under two weeks, it's the story line and 1970s punk aesthetic that has really got everyone impressed. 

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Jenny Beavan is the academy awards costume designer that takes the limelight for incredible creation and bringing to life the genre and age of fashion here. It has been confirmed by Variety, that the costumes designed by Jenny were in fact sold after production for a collaboration with Rag and Bone. While it is often usual that huge franchises do not give credit to the designers once the clothes have been sold off after filming, it is yet to be confirmed should this affect the academy award winner’s future with the sequel. Sure, filming huge movies such as these provide huge exposure to the talent, but it can also mean to ‘sign your life and rights away on that dotted line’, as Beaven said in conversation with press.

Aside from the internal drama on set, the film has been received very well from all angles of the media. With a 97% audience score on huge film review platforms, the cinema scores for opening weekend rank it as the most popular of all remakes from Disney based cartoons. Film critics and audiences that have yet to see this movie will of course go in with a bias of the beaming success that the movie has had thus far. 

Cruella will join the long list of movie adaptations that have made huge success and grossed large amounts of money in their opening weekend. Examples of such movies include Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. It is believed that titles such as Peter Pan and Wendy, Pinocchio and The Little Mermaid are in the works next. For the latest updates on their release ensure you keep up to date with lifestyle news releases.

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