Elena Skrynnik is to testify in case of theft from Rosagroleasing

Elena Skrynnik is to testify in case of theft from Rosagroleasing
Former Head of the Rosagroleasing and former Agriculture Minister

In addition to the former Head of the Rosagroleasing and former Minister of Agriculture, in the case of fraud amounting to 1.6 billion, the Voronezh Governor Alexei Gordeyev and the Lipetsk Region Head Oleg Korolev will be witnessing at the court.

The Pravoberezhny District Court of Lipetsk is hearing the high-profile criminal case on the theft of 1.6 billion rubles from the Rosagroleasing (RAL) and the Russian Agricultural Bank (RSHB). The businessmen Sergei Burdovsky and Igor Konyakhin are charged with four episodes of fraud on a large scale (P. 4, Art. 159 of the Criminal Code). According to the investigators of the regional FSB, Sergei Burdovsky and Igor Konyahin siphoned in their own interests the budget funds for the construction of a distillery, elevator and dairy farms.

The first episode, according to the investigation, took place in 2007: the accomplices transferred 265 million of the 573 million rubles that the Rosagroleasing (RAL) has given them to build a distillery in the Lipetsk Region to the Centralnaya vodochnaya companiya LLC controlled by Sergei Burdovsky. Then, the 243 million rubles the state company has directed for the construction of a dairy farm in the Ryazan region were withdrawn as well. The third episode of the theft consists of stealing 331.5 million rubles which was planned for the construction of the elevator for RAL in the Lipetsk Region. The fourth episode is linked to 500 million rubles which the Rosselkhozbank (RSHB) issued as loans.

The total amount of stolen funds exceeded 1.6 billion rubles. For monetary damages cause the investigation has arrest the property of the accused businessmen in the amount of over 705 million rubles.

Fraud in RAL came to light in 2011, and the investigation on it became the first in a series of resonance investigations related to financial fraud in the agencies under the control of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. According to the security officials, along with Burdovsky and Konyakhin, one of the organizers of the theft is a former director of the department of administrative work and external relations of the Ministry of Agriculture Oleg Donskikh. Until 2009, he was the head of the Rosagroleasing division in the Central Federal District. Donskikh disappeared at the beginning of investigation and is now being sought. The case against himseveredfromtheother.

Interestingly, Oleg Donskikh is considered to be a good friend of the former Director of the Rosagroleasing and former Agriculture Minister Elena Skrynnik. Skrynnik herself is participating in the criminal case of theft as a witness. Along with her, the former Head of the Ministry of Agriculture, now the Voronezh Governor Alexey Gordeyev, and the Head of the Lipetsk Region Oleg Korolev, will be witnessing.

The defendants in the case still do not plead guilty to defrauding RSHB, but confess in respect with fraud associated with RAL.

As the Kommersant notes, the people surrounding the defendants’ insist that the case "is not all clear." "Money for the distillery was not stolen. It’s just under the license requirements, the major industrial property should be in the ownership of the plant. The money was really withdrawn, but not in his pocket, and for the relevant purchase. Formally, this is theft, essentially it is not a fact", said the Kommersant’s source.

According to Igor Konyakhin’s lawyer, Andrey Ganin, the defense intends to negotiate commutation of the sentence to fraud in the field of entrepreneurship.

The criminal case has 109 volumes. Preliminary hearings have not been assigned yet.

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