$324m-embezzlement case closed for lack of corpus delicti

$324m-embezzlement case closed for lack of corpus delicti
Vladimir Kekhman

The case of fraud and money laundering has been investigated since December 2012.

The case of bank loans embezzlement amounting to 20 billion rubles ($342m) against Vladimir Kekhman is closed for lack of corpus delicti. This was reported by a source of the CrimeRussia, familiar with the situation.

Former general director of JFC group Kehman and two top managers Andrey Afanasyev and Yulia Zakharova were charged with 15 criminal counts, eight of them relate to especially large Swindling in the sphere of lending (part 4 of Article 159.1 of the Criminal Code), and another 7 are related to Money Laundering (part 4 of Article 174.1 of the Criminal Code). The case was instituted on December 21, 2012. At the same time, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Internal Affairs investigators, the total damage from the activities of swindlers exceeds 20.3 billion rubles, of which about 15 billion was laundered. Vladimir Kekhman, the head of JFC, was once considered one of the main fruit suppliers to Russia from abroad, in particular, bananas. Later, his company collected a lot of loans from banks that did not return. Vladimir Kekhman, who acted as a personal guarantor, owes Sberbank more than 4.3 billion rubles ($73.5m), and JFC - another 6 billion rubles.

In the summer of 2017, the bank appealed to the court for inaction of investigators. Bankers demanded "to speed up the process of bringing perpetrators to justice and to observe reasonable terms of investigation", conducted since 2012. Vladimir Kekhman, moving over from business after the bankruptcy of JFC, was the general director of Mikhailovsky and Novosibirsk theaters. And at the beginning of this year he took leave to care for the child (in April the 49-year-old manager became the father for the fourth time) and went abroad. For several months he lived in France, where his ex-wife has a villa worth 2.5 million euros. When he was suspected of running away, he returned.

Because of debts, Vladimir Kekhman was declared bankrupt both abroad and in Russia. On this basis, he is forbidden to occupy leading positions. In the Mikhailovsky Theater, he began to work hard. Kekhman resigned as director in the Novosibirsk theater, but still performs his duties.

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