FSB officer deceiving playmate for $176.5 thousand founds himself on the dock
Not having fulfilled the promise to close a criminal case against a well-known businessman, given to his son, an FSB operative tried to return the money, but it was too late.
The criminal case of the FSB operative officer of the Krasnodar Territory, Alexey Ivanov, was sent to the regional garrison military court by military investigators. The former operative of the FSB is accused of swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code), Kommersant reports. According to the investigators, in April 2012 35-year-old officer of the regional FSB Alexey Ivanov received 10 million rubles ($176.5 thousand), promising to stop the criminal prosecution of an authoritative businessman, extradited to Russia from Ukraine.
Entrepreneur Vasily Stepanyan was engaged in various types of business and owned a number of real estate objects in Krasnodar, including hotel and restaurant Merotel. According to some information, he was part of the closest circle of mafia enforcer of the Krasnodar Territory, thief in law Armen Arutyunyan (Armen Kanevskoy), a protege in the region of Aslan Usoyan (Ded Khasan).
Ivanov was friends with the son of entrepreneur Mikhail Stepanyan since childhood, but, he said, he broke off all contacts with him during his service in the FSB.
According to the case materials, the resumption of communication between Alexey Ivanov and Vasily Stepanyan was related to the fact that due to the service Ivanov was engaged in operational monitoring of the criminal ‘authorities’ of the region, including Armen Kanevskoy. However, after some time old friends began to communicate again. This happened after the murder of 50-year-old merchant Timur Sadoyan in Krasnodar in September 2010, which was first associated with the attempt on Ded Khassan in Moscow – the investigation believed that the thief in law and the businessman had common business interests.
One of the defendants of Sadoyan's criminal case was Vasily Stepanyan, who was suspected of handing over mobile phones to the killers. As part of the investigation in early 2011 his home and office were searched, after which Sadoyan fled to Ukraine, stating his innocence before leaving.
After Vasily Stepanyan was put on the wanted list, his son and FSB agent Ivanov renewed their contacts. It is not known exactly whose initiative it was, they nod at each other.
According to Stepanyan Jr., Ivanov volunteered to help his family disinterestedly. To convince him of his abilities, Ivanov told how he helped the defendants of another criminal case, on the attempt on businessman Armen Vanetsyan (Babay) to avoid responsibility. According to some reports, Babay was suspected of stealing money from the common fund. Once he was severely beaten, for which thieves in law Matvey Karabulat (Matvey Sukhumsky) and Armen Arutyunyan (Armen Kanevskoy) were convicted with long sentences under art. 111 of the Criminal Code. Later another attempt was made on Babay, as a result of which he was wounded. Alexey Ivanov, he said, helped the suspects in the organization of the attempt on Vanetsyan escape punishment, ‘agreeing’ with the leadership of the ICR in the Krasnodar Territory. Ivanov said that the suspects were allegedly registered as agents of the FSB, which cost them 15 million rubles ($264.8 thousand).
The FSB officer offered a similar scheme to Stepanyan, asking for 12 million rubles ($211.9 thousand) for the release of his father. According to the investigators, in April 2012 Mikhail Stepanyan handed over 10 million rubles ($176.5 thousand) to the officer, the remaining 2 million ($35.3 thousand) were supposed to be given after the criminal case was closed. However, as early as May 2012, Vasily Stepanyan was detained in Ukraine by SBU officers, who handed him over to the FSB. After questioning in Krasnodar he was released.
Before the transfer of the second tranche (the sum had already increased to 6 million rubles ($105.9 thousand) by then), Stepanyan Sr. was suddenly rounded up and arrested on trial. His son presented Ivanov with claims and demanded a refund, but he refused, saying that "the money has already left for Moscow". However, a year later Stepanyan Sr. was released from the remand center, and the criminal case against him was stopped for lack of proof. But his health was undermined and after a while he died.
A few months later Mikhail Stepanyan was sent envelopes with money from Ivanov. Their total amount was 4.7 million rubles ($82.9 thousand). Nevertheless, Stepanyan Jr. gave testimony against his former friend to law enforcement agencies. Ivanov was detained, but still claims that he communicated with the Stepanyans with the authorization of the leadership to monitor them.
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.