Case of embezzlement in construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome initiated

Case of embezzlement in construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome initiated
Photo: Stanislav Zalesov / Kommersant

The grounds for initiating the case was the audit of contracts for the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome carried out by the Prosecutor's Office of the Eastern Military District.

The ICR investigative bodies have initiated a criminal case against Director General of the Stavropol company Upravlenie mekhanizatsii stroitelstva (Construction Mechanization Management) Andrey Tolstikov. He is charged with embezzlement and use of a knowingly forged document. According to the investigation, the company that acted as one of the contractors of Vostochny Cosmodrome, had received about 800 million rubles ($13.6 million) as advance payment, but failed to complete the work for 500 out of 800 million. The general contractor of construction – the Main Military Construction Department for Special Facilities – has filed a claim to arbitration demanding a refund.

The grounds for initiating the case was the audit of contracts for the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome carried out by the Prosecutor's Office of the Eastern Military District. According to the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office, supervisors revealed the fact of provision of false bank guarantees by the head of one of the cosmodrome construction subcontractors, Upravlenie mekhanizatsii stroitelstva LLC (UMS) from Stavropol. Military investigators initiated two cases against Director General of UMS Andrey Tolstikov, namely under part 4 of Art. 160 (Embezzlement on an especially large scale) and part 3 of Art. 327 of the Russian Criminal Code (Use of a Knowingly Forged Document). According to the investigation, the businessman had provided forged bank guarantees to Spetsstroytekhnologii FSUE at the Spetsstroy of Russia (since May 2017 – the Main Military Construction Department for Special Facilities FSUE) “in order to obtain an advance payment for five contracts for the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome.” As a result, the general contractor paid an advance in the amount of about 800 million rubles to Upravlenie mekhanizatsii stroitelstva LLC. However, according to the audit, Mr. Tolstikov “has not fulfilled the contractual obligations, embezzling most of the advance payment.”

It is notable that in August 2017, the Arbitrazh Court of Moscow received the same claim from the Main Military Construction Department for Special Facilities FSUE with a demand for recovery of more than 525 million rubles of "Unearned advance" from the Stavropol company under four contracts for 2015 and 2016. In total, taking into account the penalty and interest, the claim amounted to about 742 million rubles ($12.6 million). It is worth noting that according to Kartoteka LLC, there are only three contracts with Spetsstroytekhnologii FSUE at the Spetsstroy of November 5, 2015 for the amount of 1.304 billion rubles ($22.2 million) in the Stavropol company’s file, marked as fulfilled by September 1, 2017.

Previously, Tolstikov had already received contracts for the construction work for government agencies. For example, from 2013 to 2016, he won about 10 tenders for the construction work for the FSB Directorate in the Stavropol region and the FSB Directorate in Crimea and Sevastopol for the total amount of over 10 billion rubles ($170.4 million). In July 2016, he won a 498-thousand-ruble ($8.4 thousand) tender to carry out construction supervision for the administration of Tsiolkovsky Closed Administrative-Territorial Unit. By the way, Head of Tsiolkovsky Nikolay Kokhno has been recently arrested on suspicion of bribe-taking.

Andrey Tolstikov has not commented on the criminal case. Earlier, Tolstikov told journalists that he had spent money to build a town for the workers.

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