Ex-head of Rossiya Molodaya convicted of embezzlement of money allocated for Chernobyl cleanup workers
The former MP Maxim Mishchenko was found guilty of fraud.
The former head of the movement Rossiya Molodaya (Young Russia) and former State Duma deputy Maxim Mischenko was found guilty of white collar fraud, Life reports. The court sentenced him to 2.5 years in a penal colony and a fine of 80,000 rubles; in addition, he is prohibited from holding public and municipal offices for a period of 3 years. Another person involved in the case, Gennady Yefimov, was sentenced to 1.5 years in a colony of general regime. He is obliged to pay a fine of 40 thousand rubles. After the verdict was announced, both convicts were arrested in the courtroom.
Mishchenko and Yefimov were convicted of embezzlement of funds allocated for the events involving disabled people and participants in the elimination of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident consequences. According to the materials of the case, Mischenko, who was the deputy minister of internal policy and development of the Tula Region municipality, reached out to Yefimov who headed the public organization for helping the Chernobyl victims. Mishchenko said that the Russian government is going to cancel benefits to the eliminators of the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. However, as claimed by Mishchenko, the governor Gruzdev and the government of the Tula Region were against this idea, and decided to prevent its implementation. To protest against the abolition of benefits, Yefimov's structure was supposed to hold a series of rallies, which were financed from the regional budget. The events were financed through the issuance of a state grant for the organization. According to another version, the grant was allocated for one event – a conference in which 170 NGO members were to take part.
Thus, the Union for the Protection of the Disabled and Participants in Eliminating the Consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, headed by Yefimov, received 650,000 rubles. Yefimov, on Mishchenko's orders, distributed these funds to the accounts of the Moscow companies Alliance LLC and Wold Trade Service LLC, which were supposed to help with the technical issues related to the organization of the rallies. As Yefimov later told, no services were actually rendered, and all the contracts were fraudulent. However, shortly before Mishchenko left his office in September 2015, Yefimov returned the money to the budget.
The special services believe that Russian Interior Ministry officials could have cooperated with the press to sell passport applications and border-crossing data of the two men suspected of poisoning the Skripals in Salisbury.