Main ‘protector of St. Petersburg against floods’ suspected of embezzlement

Main ‘protector of St. Petersburg against floods’ suspected of embezzlement
Vladimir Shchekachikhin

The Audit Chamber found that the head of the Protective Structures Complex would grant himself bonuses and go on expensive business trips using the budgetary funds.

The prosecutor’s office will check into the actions of Head of St. Petersburg Protective Structures Complex Vladimir Shchekachikhin, Life reports.

The enterprise is in charge of all dams in the northern capital and is managed by the Ministry of Construction. It is the ministry that decides who will go on a business trip and how much money he/she will receive. However, the Audit Chamber that conducted an audit of the enterprise discovered that Shchekachikhin would go on business trips on his own initiative and never stinted on these trips. Subsidies worth 1.3 million rubles ($22.4 thousand), allocated from the federal budget for the maintenance of the Protective Structures Complex, were spent on the directors’ journeys. Shchekachikhin has spent 337 thousand rubles ($5.8 thousand) on complex service in VIP-zones of Sheremetyevo for himself and some of his employees.

In addition, a source in the Audit Chamber told the publication that Shchekachikhin would grant himself bonuses and supplementary benefits in the amount of 2.28 million rubles ($39.3 thousand). Such a decision could only have been made by his employer, that is, the ministry.

Adding all expenses of the enterprise director together, the Audit Chamber estimated the violations at 3.9 million rubles ($67.2 thousand). The auditors have referred the audit report to the St. Petersburg prosecutor's office.

According to Life’s sources, the enterprise had already had violations in the expenditure of state subsidies. Last year, it was allocated a subsidy of 347.5 million rubles ($5.99 million) by the federal budget. The enterprise managers would deposit the subsidy in parts in a bank and receive interest. However, the Budget Code prohibits placing budget money on bank deposits and receiving income from them.

The prosecutor’s office will deal with these violations further. As suggested by the publication, the case may as well be referred to the Investigative Committee and the MIA.

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