Nephew of former Penza Governor detained for stealing $2.3m

Nephew of former Penza Governor detained for stealing $2.3m
Veniamin Bochkarev (at the center)

He is suspected of embezzling funds for the resettlement of land for the construction of a bridge across the Sura River.

In Penza, former head of the regional Agency for Mortgage Lending (AIK) and the nephew of the former regional Governor Veniamin Bochkarev was detained. Regional management of the ICR initiated a criminal case under part 1 of Art. 201 of the Criminal Code (Abuse of Authority) and part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large committed with the use of official position). At present, the issue of choosing a preventive measure for a suspect is being decided.

According to investigators, with the resettlement of residents from houses at the construction site of the bridge over the Sura River, Bochkarev committed fraud by deception amounting to 133 million rubles ($2.3m). In addition, in the period from 2012 to 2015, AIK used budgetary investments of at least 19 million rubles ($329.900) not for its intended purpose. The damage was done to the participants of the target programs The Home for a Young Family and the subprogram Social support of certain categories of citizens of the Penza region in the housing sector. As a result of the actions of the agency management, some houses have not been completed, and people who bought real estate in this residential complex are actually forced to live in a clean field and without any infrastructure. At the same time, AIK transferred money for uncompleted work to the Sotszhilproyekt LLC developer. In June 2017, former general director of the company-developer Anatoly Vinogradov was charged with fraud in the construction of a residential complex. The regional department of the ICR believes that he stole more than 14.7 million rubles by signing fictitious contractual agreements. Vinogradov pleaded guilty and petitioned to consider the case in a special order.

Veniamin Bochkarev was the general director of the Agency for Mortgage Lending from December 2013 to December 2015. In March 2017, Penza region federal enterprise Regional Gas Company filed a lawsuit seeking to recognize AIK bankrupt. The reason was the outstanding debt of the agency in the amount of 304 thousand rubles ($5300). The total amount owed to creditors is 426.8 million rubles ($7.4m).

Uncle of Veniamin Bochkarev was the permanent Governor of the Penza region from 1998 to 2015. Then he became a senator, and in June 2016 Vasily Bochkarev died of illness.

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