Billions stolen from cosmodrome Vostochniy "settled" in Barvikha

Billions stolen from cosmodrome Vostochniy "settled" in Barvikha

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has completed the investigation of the sensational criminal case involving the theft of more than 400 million rubles during the construction of the Vostochniy cosmodrome.

The main defendant is the former Head of the Federal Center of Price Formation in Construction Evgeny Yermolaev. It was him, according to the investigating authorities, who organized the embezzlement. His accomplices in the case are two former Heads of the Federal State Unitary Enterprises at Russian Spetsstroy and the CEO of a number of limited liability companies.

According to investigators, the persons of interest together could pull a scam scheme during the execution of the state contract. The stolen money, at that, they have invested in the land located on the territory of the elite suburban settlements, in particular in Barvikha.

The investigation of two following episodes of the large-scale theft of money in the construction of the cosmodrome was conducted for more than a year and a half by the specialists of the ICR Main Investigative Directorate. On the eve, the law enforcers announced that the preliminary investigation was completed. It is to be recalled that initially there was only one defendant – the ex-Head of the FSUE at Spetsstroy Evgeny Yermolaev. The criminal case against him was initiated in March 2015. He is charged with Abuse of Official Powers entailing grave consequences (Part 3 of Art. 285 of the Criminal Code).

It is noteworthy that Yermolaev was outside Russia, when the law enforcement agencies started having claims against him, but after the criminal case was initiated, he has returned to his homeland, where he was detained by the police and then arrested and placed in custody. Besides, as of the time of his arrest, Evgeny Yermolaev for the past few months has not been the head of the FSUE. He left his post in December 2014, moving to the post of the Head of the Department of Technology, Organization and Construction Management in the Moscow State Construction University. At the same time, in the previous post, he has worked, in fact, since the organization was founded in 2004. As for the claims of the investigating authorities, they are related to the period from June to November 2012.

The law enforcement officers found out about the fraudulent embezzlement scheme in the construction of the cosmodrome Vostochniy during inspections. The Federal Autonomous Establishment Federal Center of Price Formation in Construction and Building Materials Industry began to develop individual indices of change of the estimated cost of constructions and installation works on the cosmodrome Vostochniy. It was then when Yermolaev decided to earn and stole the money of the Main Directorate of Roads and Airfields at Spetsstroy of Russia. As an accomplice, he involved acting head of the organization Vyacheslav Fatkullin.

As a result, between the Federal State Unitary Enterprise and the company Central Research Institute of the Pricing Methodology, which was controlled by Evgeny Yermolaev was its affiliate, an agreement was signed, according to which 125 million rubles were transferred the settlement account of the company. At the same time, to simulate the reliability of this action, the FSUE’s conclusion was presented. Later, in the autumn of 2012, working in the similar way, the corrupt accomplices stole 280 million rubles from the Main Directorate of Special Construction Dalspetsstroy at Spetsstroy. According to the investigating authorities, in the second scam, then Head of ths FSUE Andrey Zakharov was also involved.

In the future, having identified the entire criminal scheme, the investigating authorities had reclassified the offense from the abuse of power in the Embezzlement committed by an organised group on an especially large scale (part 4, Art. 160 of the Criminal Code). At the same time, the circle of the accused in the case has expanded: in addition to Yermolaev, Fatkullin and Zakharov, the Central Institute’s ex-CEO Olga Zugaeva and CEO of the Gosnormativ LLC Sergey Polivanov also got under investigation.

According to the official representative of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Svetlana Petrenko, all persons involved in the case acted according a clearly developed plan. At that, each of the accomplices, depending on the role performed, was charged with complicity to embezzlement or its organization. To date, none of the defendants pleaded guilty, Yermolaev was released from a predetention center, and the others were not arrested.

Interestingly, none of them admitted their guilt. At the same time, Evgeny Yermolaev was released from the predetention center, and none of his alleged accomplices were arrested, only their property was seized.

According to Svetlana Petrenko, soon, the defendants together with their lawyers will begin to familiarize with the criminal case, which includes 50 volumes. As the two victims, the Spetsstroy’s FSUEs were recognized, but none of the organizations still have filed claims against the defendants.

The ICR also added that the investigators had separated proceedings regarding the alleged accomplices of the scam. Their personalities, at that, have not been identified.

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