Manufacturer of Tu-160 components suspected of power abuse

Manufacturer of Tu-160 components suspected of power abuse
A Tu-160 bomber Photo: Marina Lystseva / TASS

The Research and Production Enterprise Temp, whose leadership fell under suspicion, claims the criminal case is associated with an interest in the land in the heart of Moscow.

Soslan Aboev, detective of the Moscow Investigative Committee, filed a petition to the court for dismissal of Valentin Sukholitko and Denis Ivanov from the posts of the Temp Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General, RBC reports.

Aboev filed the petition in connection with a criminal case initiated in May 2016 in the Northern District department of Moscow’s Investigative Committee, the source said. The RBC said that the case was initiated at the request of Vitaly Klochkov, former executive director of the Salyut Gas-Turbine Engineering Research and Production Center under an article pertaining to abuse of official authority (Art. 201).

The indictment states that unidentified persons from the Temp management added the enterprise’s real estate with the book value to the authorized capital of subsidiaries they had established. The proceeds from the lease of the property provided about 20% of the enterprise’s income. According to the case file, the actions of the suspects resulted in an outflow of the renters’ money and a decrease in the solvency of Temp and Salyut.

According to the investigation, Temp’s management acted against the interests of Salyut, the owner of a 28.5% stake in the company.

The leaders of Temp claim that the criminal case is associated with Salyut’s intention to remove uncooperative managers and sell the real estate items the company is renting to implement development projects. Sergei Romanov, the attorney representing Ivanov and Sukholitko in court, stated that the prosecution “has in mind the interests of the realtor,” who had allegedly fabricated the criminal case in the first place. According to the defense, the trial initiator wants to build a shopping center in the territory occupied by the enterprise.

Two property complexes on Pravda and Butyrskaya Street are reckoned on the balance of Temp. A plot of about two hectares is located on 23 Pravda Street. There are 11 facilities built in the 1940s-1960s on its territory. 46 Butyrskaya Street houses a plot of about one hectare. The Moscow Government's decree of 2015 orders the demolition of old buildings in this area and the construction of new administrative and industrial buildings for Temp with a total area of 22.8 thousand sq m, as well as underground parking for 285 spaces. The enterprise uses both plots on a long-term lease basis. 

Sukholitko told RBC that he received offers from representatives of large development companies several times to sell site or a controlling stake. 

According to a source familiar with the investigation, in 2017, Rostech turned to ICR Chairman Alexander Bastrykin with a request to take personal charge of the Temp case. After Bastrykin’s intervention, the case was referred from district directorate to the ICR Main Investigations Directorate in Moscow. 

In late 2017, investigators conducted searches in the buildings of Temp, as well as in the offices and apartments of the enterprise management and employees. According to Ivanov, siloviki took away equipment and documents. Investigator Aboev took part in the investigation. 

Enterprise management notes that the car in which the seized documents and equipment were loaded belongs to Tsentr Finansovykh Rassledovaniy LLC (Center of Financial Investigations). Its experts conducted an economic assessment of Temp, which formed the basis of the criminal case. Temp director general added that all information seized is classified. The Enterprise management asked the FSB to intervene.

The criminal case does contain an assessment of Temp’s economic state, which was conducted by Tsentr Finansovykh Rassledovaniy. The company concluded that in 2013, the Enterprise’s shares cost 577 million rubles ($8.43 million), and at the end of 2018, 342 million rubles ($5 million). The indictment of the investigation is based on this assessment. 

Sukholitko said that even in 2012, the Center for Financial Investigations caused damage to Temp on a particularly large scale. On this fact, a criminal case of fraud (Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) was instituted, the materials of which state that an unidentified person from among the heads of the Center for Financial Investigations, along with the old management of the NPP, stole 3 million rubles, having received money for services.

According to the chairman of the board of directors of the NPP, when he reported on the embezzlement of investigator Aboyev, he ordered an examination at the autonomous non-profit organization Commission for Investigations, Examination and Control of Professional Communities in the Financial Sector According to the SPARK database, the co-owner of this organization is the Center for Financial Investigations.

The management of NPP conducted an alternative examination at FBU Moscow Forensic Laboratory of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and the Lair Consulting Group accredited with Rostech. FBU experts found that the findings of the Center for Financial Investigations do not correspond to the actual circumstances of the case. In Lair came to the conclusion that the NPP shares for 2018 did not fall in price, but, on the contrary, increased.

The Presnensky District Court of Moscow refused Aboev to satisfy his petition. During the meeting, the investigator said that the leaders of the SPE, while remaining in their posts, could continue to engage in illegal activities and destroy the necessary documents that could become evidence in the case. “We want to conduct a series of investigative actions. Including to recognize this society as a victim,” the investigator stated in court.

Sukholitko, in turn, said that they were trying to remove him from office, since he had fulfilled the presidential decree of 2012 “On the long-term state economic policy”, which says that all enterprises that have non-core assets need to take them into account in independent economic entities.

The prosecutor's office supported the petition of the investigator, but the judge refused to deprive Ivanov and Sukholitko of authority.

The press service of the United Engine Corporation said that since Salyut Research and Production Center is a shareholder of Temp, it is interested in the sustainable development of the enterprise. To decide whether the actions of the NPP leadership are illegal, only the court can, the corporation added.

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