Black cash. Money embezzled from Rostec surface in Montenegro 

Black cash. Money embezzled from Rostec surface in Montenegro
Photo: The CrimeRussia

Detained professor Anatoly Filachev, ex-General Director of Orion Scientific and Production Association, owns real estate in Montenegro. Rumors about this had circulated long before the arrest of this ‘prominent’ academician. It is great that the Russian science – to be specific, some of its representatives – are not in distress, but the fate of state secrets entrusted to professor Filachev raises serious concerns.

Second fatherland in the Balkans 

As the old saying goes, there is no smoke without fire. The smoke now goes from the Balkan Peninsula – state secrets of Russia are likely ablaze. Zhaba I Gadyuka (Toad and Viper) Telegram channel (@zhabaigaduka) published documents confirming the old rumors that a Russian professor, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and former General Director of Orion Scientific and Production Association owns real estate in Montenegro. Anatoly Filachev acquired a lot 2200 square meters in size in the resort town of Tivat. Candidate of Economic Sciences Myasuda Korneeva, a former deputy of Filachev, has also settled in Tivat. The point is that both professors had access to state secrets and the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation was supposed to track all their travels abroad.

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Property ownership documents of Filachev and Korneeva

Apparently, the secret service did a bad job. Not only have Filachev and Korneeva settled abroad – but got new places of living in their native country as well. In March 2019, the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow detained the former top managers of Orion Scientific and Production Association following a motion brought by the Main Investigations Directorate of the General Administration for the City of Moscow of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation. The investigators suspect the enterprising scientists of swindling and embezzlement of 360 million rubles ($5.5 million). Too bad, after several months of work, the operatives still have no idea where is the stolen money. Perhaps, they should use publicly available information?

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Orion Scientific and Production Association is subordinate to Shvabe Holding belonging to Rostec. The state corporation calls Shvabe the core of the optical industry. Dozens of enterprises subsidiary to Shvabe produce civil and military products, including the optical system for Angara A5 space-launch complexes. However, nowadays, the holding is mostly known for criminal cases instituted against its top managers. In 2015, Aleksander Stasyuk, ex-Deputy Director of Shvabe, was convicted for embezzlement of 30 million rubles ($458.4 thousand).
 

Anatoly Filachev erected two ‘country homes’ – 116 and 120 square meters in size – on his lot. One of these buildings had officially belonged to the professor up until September 2016. Its approximate value is €300 thousand – so, together, the properties cost twice as much. This sum constitutes roughly one-fourth of the amount incriminated to Filachev and his female accomplice. Furthermore, two more cottages are currently under construction on the professor’s lot.

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Home in Tivat with a living space of 120 square meters

Version one. Semi-evolution 

In 2016, the scientist realized that he has access to state secrets and, therefore, may not visit EU countries without a reason. So, Filachev has transferred his real estate to his daughter. Lawyer Oksana Filacheva is known for her involvement in a number of high-profile cases, including defense of victims of the gang of black realtors led by Evgeny Makarov, ex-District Inspector of the Shchukino Department of Internal Affairs. Now the professor emphasizes his venerable age and poor health implying that the homes in Montenegro were built by his daughter on her lawyer’s fees. 

While Anatoly Filachev was inventing optics for the Russian defense industry, his family had creatively relaxed abroad. There are no Crimean landscapes in the voyages of Oksana Filacheva – only Montenegrin ones. Professor’s grandchildren prefer vibrant London. Of course, the passion for foreign lands does not do credit to them – but the children and grandchildren are not responsible for their father and grandfather having access to state secrets. Quite the opposite, they are proud of him. 

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Oksana Filacheva in Montenegro

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Members of the Filachev family in London

Trying to save her father from arrest, Oksana Filacheva had presented his numerous honorary certificates, while the defense attorney claimed that the entire Russian science depends on the General Director of Orion. It is necessary to note that the current state of the domestic science is pretty sad. The most notable products of Orion in recent years are SBKh-10 all-terrain vehicle and a drone. The drone is identical to the one unsuccessfully launched by Russian Post in the Republic of Buryatia. The produced all-terrain vehicles were disassembled in late May to avoid another faux pas.

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Drone developed by Orion Scientific and Production Association

The logical question is: are our technological failures somehow related to the personal successes of professor Filachev abroad? The law enforcement authorities are not rushing to call the academician to account. The Orion personnel had allegedly submitted an open letter to the FSB in spring 2016. The letter outlined all ‘achievements' of the scientist – from nepotism in the scientific and production association to real estate in Montenegro. Apparently, Filachev was the only person taking it seriously – so, he transferred the homes in Tivat to his daughter. 

Perhaps, the FSB should also check other facts described in this open letter? Take, for instance, the weird sale of Vishnyaki-MKAD company affiliated with Orion – Filachev received $1.6 million for it. This sum is sufficient to build a hacienda in Montenegro. The Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration for the City of Moscow should also pay attention to that episode. 

Version two. Economic games 

But so far, the MIA investigators are entirely focused on the embezzlement of 360 million rubles ($5.5 million) from Orion Scientific and Production Association under fictitious supply contracts. The scheme resembles the one used by Aleksander Stasyuk, ex-Deputy Director of Shvabe. Similarly with the previous case, the management has signed several contracts to supply equipment and siphoned off the money via dummy companies. Apparently, Aleksander Stasyuk has returned to Shvabe as a consultant for a reason – his master classes are in high demand at all enterprises subordinate to the holding. 

The Orion management has replicated the scheme invented by Stasyuk in every detail. Myasuda Korneeva, ex-Deputy General Director of Orion, has played the key role in it. Filachev called her in court a specialist “having a gust of the market situation”. Concurrently, the professor poses as a titan of thought communicating with our fallen world only through pseudoscientific publications. 

On the other hand, Candidate of Economic Sciences Myasuda Korneeva is really engrossed with the economy. Apparently, her main passion is the games theory. The criminal scheme pulled off by the excessively enterprising scientists resembles an old Soviet game – Black Cash: every month, each person in the company pitches in – and the winner determined by drawing lots takes the entire sum. However, the researchers found a way to help the blind fortune and avoid chipping in their own money. 

Korneeva and Filachev invented a plausible pretext to embezzle the public money: it was decided to re-equip Orion Scientific and Production Association whose drones fall down immediately after the take-off. Where a military enterprise can be refitted? Of course, in an online store! As a result, Orion signed contracts with Smart Control e-commerce site unbeknown to anybody and several other dummy companies. Their director, Valery Mitrichenko, is the third member of the criminal trio specializing in embezzlements of public funds. 

Version three. Sad phantasmagoria 

The people of science are really playing the leading role in Orion. As the Englishmen say, great minds think in a similar way. Their amazing like-mindedness can be illustrated by the final destination of the stolen money. Having “a gust of the market situation”, Korneeva has also purchased a piece of land in Montenegro and erected a home with a living space of 365 square meters on it. Similar mansions in Tivat cost €1.2–1.5 million. Following her boss, Myasuda Korneeva has also officially got rid of the foreign real estate in 2016. Her wealth in that period seems truly impressive.

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Mansion of the same size worth €1.45 million

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Mansion of the same size worth €1.2 million

Supposedly, Korneeva did not try to save a penny on her Montenegrin home, and its cost was close to the maximum possible one. The scope of her economic interests indirectly confirms this. Her scientific preferences are not limited to the games theory. Myasuda Korneeva has successfully defended a dissertation on human resource management. The scientist has implemented in Orion her academic pursuits on remunerative incentives. The main complaints of the personnel pertained to the remuneration: salaries were substituted with bonuses arbitrarily paid at the discretion of the management. 

To feel themselves important and irreplaceable, the top managers had delayed salary payments and seized travel passports from the staff. The technical equipment of Orion Scientific and Production Association is impressive as well. No heating in winter and broken windows contrast with the office of Anatoly Filachev over 300 square meters in size. By the way, after transferring from Orion to Sapphir Moscow Plant, Filachev had tried to apply his habits and skills there. However, the Sapphir personnel refused to tolerate salary delays and seizures of passports. The academician became a defendant in the arbitration court and ultimately ended up in the pretrial detention facility. 

The ‘Orion case’ is progressing slowly but surely. It is not necessary to be a scientist to pull off a time-tested fraud scheme. For instance, Aleksander Stasyuk, who had embezzled funds from Shvabe, is now rendering consulting services to the enterprise robbed by him. Another well-known suspect, who used to be a minister, is currently in charge of the Aviation Cluster in Rostec. Such jobs require very specific skills. There is no doubt that Filachev and Korneeva find new employment very soon: the state corporation is going to establish an advisory board. This body can be entitled “The Board for Combating the MIA, FSB, and Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation”.

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