New criminal case initiated against ex-Vympel SWAT commander convicted for ghost employees

New criminal case initiated against ex-Vympel SWAT commander convicted for ghost employees
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The military court has considered an appeal from the lawyers of Major-General Vladimir Podolsky and reclassified his charge to Abuse of Official Powers, reducing the fine originally imposed along with 4 years’ ordinary imprisonment by 10 thousand rubles ($160). However, it turned out that the honored general had become a defendant in a new case of swindling on an especially large scale; this time, on two occasions.

In early July, the Moscow District Military Court mitigated the sentences in case of ghost employees, handed down late last year to former Director General of Departmental Security of Industrial Facilities of the Russian Federation FSUE under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, ex-Commander of Vympel Special Forces Unit, and Major-General of the FSB, Vladimir Podolsky, ex-Head of the Department ‘P’ of the FSB Economic Security Service, Colonel Sergey Gorbunov, and his sister, Accountant at Aviazapchasti OJSC, Tatyana Lityagina. This is reported by Kommersant.

All three had been previously convicted in case of swindling associated with a fictitious employment to the Departmental Security of Industrial Facilities of the Russian Federation. As the Moscow Garrison Military Court found in December 2017, six years ago, General Podolsky, who had become Director General of the FSUE, Adviser to the Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Sergey Gorbunov, and his sister, Accountant at Aviazapchasti OJSC, Tatyana Lityagina, having conspired, got a certain Vladimir Bely, seconded from FSB Major-General Podolsky, the job of Advisor at an enterprise ensuring the safety of nuclear, chemical and military industries. For a year and half, the former was charged a salary of 3.3 million rubles ($53,031), which was actually received by the defendants. In addition, General Podolsky and the FSUE he headed ensured the provision of Colonel Gorbunov – he was illegally allocated official transport for personal trips, as well as secretaries and assistants.

Consideration of the appeals took six months. The Moscow District Military Court reduced Gorbunov’s sentence from 4 to 2 years’ imprisonment, and he has been already released, as he had served his term in a pre-trial detention center. His sister’s charge was mitigated by one year; however, the fine in the amount of 300 thousand rubles was upheld. The term of General Podolsky was upheld, and his fine was reduced from 150 to 140 thousand rubles ($2,410 to $2,249).

Meanwhile, according to Kommersant, Major-General Podolsky has become a defendant in a new criminal case initiated against him by the ICR Military Investigations Directorate on two occasions of swindling on a large and an especially large scale (part 3 and 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code) based on the testimony given by former Executive Director of the Departmental Security of Industrial Facilities FSUE, Andrey Polshchikov, in the Moscow City Court. 

Polshchikov and a US citizen Oleg Grishchenko are accused of the attempted murder of Aleksandr Pautov, an employee of the ICR Moscow Military Investigations Directorate, who dealt with the investigation into the illegal employment to the Departmental Security of Industrial Facilities under Major-General Podolsky. Polshchikov said in court that in 2012-2016, he would illegally give his wife Larisa and son Maksim job at the Security Service on the direct order of General Podolsky. According to Polshchikov, this case was not the only one – there were dozens of ghost employees. The investigation estimates the damage from Podolsky’s actions at 25.4 million rubles ($408,178).

In addition, according to Polshchikov, in those same years, the Major-General took a mortgage for the purchase of several apartments in Moscow, for which several FSUE employees paid; the employees confirmed the testimony of Polshchikov at the trial.

According to the publication’s sources, Vladimir Podolsky has been recently charged with the final wording of indictment. Currently, he is getting acquainted with the case materials. Moreover, the investigation is checking the possible involvement of the general in the attempt on Investigator Pautov, as well as in the frauds with a purchase of expensive cars at the expense of the FSUE, which he later sold to his relatives for a pittance.

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