Case against Federal Penitentiary Service ex-head is “circum-bloody-stantial”, defense says

Case against Federal Penitentiary Service ex-head is “circum-bloody-stantial”, defense says
Oleg Korshunov

Lawyers of Oleg Korshunov, who is charged with a large fraud in organizing the production of footwear for prisoners, do not see corpus delicti in his case. The prisoners did get their shoes, and the difference in the cost of footwear made from leather and split leather is about 10%.

Investigators from the ICR Main Investigations Directorate have completed the investigation into the criminal case against Federal Penitentiary Service Deputy Director Oleg Korshunov on charges of Swindling on an Especially Large Scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code), Kommersant reports.

The case has been referred to the Prosecutor General's Office for confirmation of the indictment with its subsequent reference to the court.

According to the investigation, Head of the Proizvodstvenno-promyshlenny dom FSIN Rossii FSUE Korshunov and his accomplices, Vitaly Morusov and Director General of TPK DATsE Grupp LLC Smbat Arutyunyan have embezzled over 263 million rubles ($4.15 million) by using split leather instead of leather in manufacturing shoes for prisoners.

According to ICR Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko, Korshunov and Arutyunyan entered into a criminal conspiracy aimed at embezzling funds for the purchase of footwear for the needs of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in 2015.

The investigation believes that the defendants created an appearance of footwear production at the facilities of PPD FSUE within the scope of state contracts. In reality, the investigators conclude, the footwear from poor-quality raw materials was produced at the direction of Korshunov by prisoners of colonies located in Lipetsk, as well as in the Perm and Krasnoyarsk regions using the materials purchased by Arutyunyan and the equipment of TPK.

After that, upon instructions from Korshunov, heads of the territorial bodies of the Federal Penitentiary Service and the FSUE concluded state contracts for the supply of footwear, the quality of which did not match its price.

As a result, FSIN PPD FSUE received more than 263 million rubles, which Head of the unitary enterprise Morusov then used to pay off Arutyunyan’s company for the lease of equipment and raw materials.

The investigation into some other offenses involving Oleg Korshunov is ongoing. The case of Smbat Arutyunyan, who has admitted his guilt and reached a plea agreement, has also been referred to court and will be reviewed using a special procedure.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of former Deputy Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service Sergey Starovoytov has appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office with a demand to return the criminal case to the investigation due to numerous mistakes. According to the defender’s appeal, in April 2018, Korshunov was charged with the final wording, the facts given in which did not correspond to reality. For example, the fact that Arutyunyan's equipment in colonies was installed at the direction of Korshunov.

Starovoytov notes that according to the order of distribution of powers signed by Federal Penitentiary Service Head Gennady Kornienko, the production activity from July 2015 to May 2016 was supervised by his other deputy, Oleg Simchenkov. It was him who opened new footwear production along with Arutyunyan in 2015, which later won prizes at many exhibitions of Service products. 

Korshunov’s defense does not agree with the assessed damage of 263.278.421 rubles ($4.15 million) indicated in the case, since the difference in the cost of footwear made from leather and leather split is no more than 10%, which may be the subject of a civil-law dispute, rather than a criminal case.

During the confrontation with Korshunov, Arutyunyan said that they had first discussed the possibility of embezzlement in the manufacture of footwear in mid-January 2016, and not in the second half of 2015, as stated in the indictment. Therefore, the installation of equipment in colonies “no later than January 1, 2016” runs counter to the investigation’s version, the defense believes.

In addition, the lawyer noted that in the single letter, which was reproduced for the heads of the territorial bodies of the Federal Penitentiary Service with instructions to buy footwear from PPD FSUE, Korshunov insisted on the examination of products before purchase, otherwise the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service unit who purchased the defective product would be responsible for it. According to its charter, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise was not engaged in the production but in the organization and “enforcement of the implementation of state contracts for the supply of goods of appropriate quality.” The lawyer claims that this decision was not made by Korshunov on his own, but by the board of the Federal Penitentiary Service.

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