$9.7m of FSB money gets stolen

$9.7m of FSB money gets stolen

Police detained Sergei Soverotkin, the general director of Kavkazsky Voyenno Stroitelny Otdel (“Caucasian Military Construction Division”) FSUE.

The Central Military Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case on abuse of official powers (Art. 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) against Sergei Soverotkin, the general director of Kavkazsky Voyenno Stroitelny Otdel (“Caucasian Military Construction Division”) FSUE, Kommersant reported. Sovertokin is accused of exceeding his authority by signing a contract with Invest-Viktoria, a construction company that had not met the completion deadline of residential areas for Sochi FSB officers. The head of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise allowed advance payments that 30% exceeded the contracted limit, of which 550 million rubles ($9.7m) eventually got stolen.

Earlier, a criminal case was filed in the Krasnodar region about swindling on an especially large scale, with Invest-Viktoria ex-director Mikhail Lyagin and ex-general director Andrei Simonov as defendants. Lyagin had been detained in Spain back in 2016, but had not been extradited until February 21, 2018.

According to the investigation, Lyagin and Simonov are involved in an extensive fraudulent scam that they pulled during the construction of stages 2 and 3 in Sochi’s Gastello Street. Kavkazsky VSO, the FSUE under the FSB, signed two contracts with Invest-Viktoria for 611 million and 600 million rubles. The executor broke the deadlines for the project completion, after which the FSUE demanded through court that the unearned advance payment be returned. The claim was satisfied in November 2014, and the defendant was obliged to pay 208 million and 296 million rubles to the plaintiff. However, Invest-Viktoria refused to give the money. Then the FSUE appealed to the law enforcement agencies, where a swindling case was initiated, this time a criminal one.

The investigation found that Lyagin and Simonov failed to fulfill their obligations intentionally, to steal the funds of Kavkazsky VSO under FSB for a total amount of over 550 million rubles. Lyagin also committed illegal transactions to launder 390 million rubles’ worth of stolen funds. By this time, Lyagin had already absconded abroad and was put on the international wanted list, while his accomplice Simonov was convicted in January 2016 and sentenced to four years in prison.

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