Defense Ministry Colonel accused of embezzling $7.2m allocated for military plant reconstruction

Defense Ministry Colonel accused of embezzling $7.2m allocated for military plant reconstruction
Viktor Romanov Photo: Kommersant

Viktor Romanov said that the accusations were groundless.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Novosibirsk region removed a case of former Director of 15th Central Automobile Repair Plant JSC (CARP) Colonel of the Ministry of Defense Viktor Romanov, Kommersant reports. Romanov, who ran the enterprise from 2004 to 2013, is accused of stealing 428 million rubles ($7.2m) allocated for the reconstruction of the plant.

According to the materials of the case, fraud with budgetary funds consisted in overstating the volume and cost of the works performed. In 2015, chief of the Laitek contractor firm Denis Stetsurin was detained. His company was engaged in the construction of a complex repair shop for vehicles at the 15th CARP. The businessman concluded a deal with the investigation, his case was separated. Currently, it is being considered in court.

Stetsurin gave testimony against ex-director of the plant Viktor Romanov, who at that time moved to St. Petersburg and taught at a military academy. The Colonel was escorted to Novosibirsk and taken into custody. He was accused of Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code) and Money Laundering (part 2 of Article 174.1 of the Criminal Code).

According to the investigation, Romanov abducted 428 million rubles at the reconstruction of the plant. Part of this money, according to law enforcers, he was able to legalize by acquiring bank securities; he later paid for a cottage area of ​​more than 500 square meters in the Leningrad region. The house is registered with a relative of the Colonel.

Romanov considers the criminal case initiated against him a frame-up, and the accusations are unsubstantiated, said his lawyer Svetlana Tarasyuk. According to the Colonel, all repair work at the plant was accepted by the state commission. The inspectors had no complaints about financial issues. In the opinion of Tarasyuk, Romanov can be acquitted at the forthcoming trial.

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