'Putin’s chef' Prigozhin liquidates school catering company after food poisoning scandal

LLC SP Concord, owned by the Russian businessman Yevgeny “Putin’s Chef” Prigozhin, went into liquidation on 10 April, The Bell reports, citing data from the Russian registry of legal entities. The company is responsible for supplying food to a large number of schools in the Moscow region.

Equal portions of SP Concord are owned by two of Prigozhin’s well known companies, Concord M and Concord Management and Consulting. Prigozhin himself owns 100% of both legal entities directly or through other organizations. According to the legal entities registry, the company undergoing liquidation was involved in a broad range of activities, from vehicle licensing to meat processing.

At the end of 2018, there was a mass outbreak of dysentery among school students in Moscow. The YouTube channel “Navalny Live” claimed that all of the affected schools received the contaminated food from one of two catering companies – “Vito-1” or “Food Plant Concord”.

On 29 March this year, Lyubov Sobol, a legal expert from the Anti-Corruption Foundation who is representing the interests of 28 affected families from 9 schools, said that a representative of Concord had offered the parents compensation money if they agreed to settle out of court.

This was confirmed to The Insider by the mother of one of the affected children, who said that at present she is not willing to withdraw the lawsuit. “I don’t know how it will end, but I think that we have already achieved a lot through the very fact of filing a collective lawsuit”.

One of the parents was reportedly offered 5 million rubles (around $77,700) to persuade the other plaintiffs to withdraw the case.

Earlier in April, Moskovsky Shkolnik (“Moscow School Student”), another catering company linked to Prigozhin, filed a lawsuit for defamation against Alexey Navalny, Lyubov Sobol and the Anti-Corruption Foundation, demanding 500 million rubles ($7.77 million) in compensation from each of them.

  Putin, Prigozhin, Russia, Navalny, Moscow