Ex-Deputy Chief of State Duma Staff Vakhonin declared federally wanted
The former official, who had served a sentence for rape, is accused of attempted swindling in the amount of 1.5 million dollars.
As Kommersant reported, the former Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Duma Committee on Natural Resources and Nature Management Anton Vakhonin has been declared federally wanted. The ex-official is accused of an attempt of illegal appropriation of real estate worth 1.5 million dollars. Vakhonin has tried to misappropriate the property of his business partner as payment of a debt, which had accumulated while the former public servant had been serving a sentence in prison for participating in a gang rape.
The lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin has confirmed his client had been declared wanted, noting he knows nothing about the whereabouts of the latter.
A criminal case against Vakhonin under Art. 30 and part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code (Attempted Swindling on an especially large scale) was filed on September 4, 2013. Back then, the ex-official, who had just been released from prison, began demanding from his business partner Aleksandr Shevarov and his father, the former employee of the MIA Central Board, the money received from jointly owned premises with an area of 180 square meters, located on Sretenka Street. According to the former public servant, his partner gave him less money while Vakhonin was serving a prison term. In support of his arguments, he presented a promissory note for the amount of 47.5 million rubles, allegedly signed by Shevarov Sr. The former State Duma Deputy took this note to the court, demanding to recover 1.5 million dollars from Shevarovs. The same day Judge Aleksey Gorodilov satisfied the claim and ordered to seize the defendant's property, without notifying him about the proceedings.
It was by chance, after taking a reference from the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr) that Anatoly Shevarov learnt his property had been seized. After finding out the details of the case, the former police officer turned to law enforcement agencies. FSB officers analyzed the promissory note, determining that the victim's signature had been forged. In this regard, a case of attempted swindling was initiated against Vakhonin. Initially, Vakhonin would come for interrogations, but then he ceased answering the subpoena, and was declared wanted. The suspect’s lawyer expressed doubts as to the quality of the analysis and accused the investigation of “excessive confidence in the victim’s testimony.”
Let us recall that the former State Duma Deputy had been sentenced to 8.5 years of imprisonment for participating in a gang rape. The investigation established that Anton Vakhonin, his brother Ilya Vakhonin, who held the position of the Head of the Inspectorate for Control over the Use of Federal Property at the Russian Chamber of Accounts and the Assistant to State Duma Deputy Vladislav Gerasimovich had tricked a 18-year-old girl into a rented apartment, where they would rape and beat her for several hours and then threw her onto the landing platform threatening punishment for contacting the police. Other participants in the crime also received sentences – Ilya Vakhonin was sentenced to 11 years in prison, whereas Gerasimovich, who had testified against his accomplices, was sentenced to four and a half years. However, Anton Vakhonin has not served his sentence in full, being released on parole for “for good behavior and active participation in the correctional institution’s social life.”
The Russia’s Investigative Committee central office has taken the case of former Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Marat Oganesyan for investigation. However, the St. Petersburg’s Investigative Committee dept (regional dept where the case had been investigated previously) did not find state budget damage in the Zenit Arena fraud case.
Among his accomplices are a lawyer, who presented himself as the plenipotentiary of the self-proclaimed republic in the International Criminal Court with the United Nations, and an entrepreneur, already serving a sentence for attempting to seize a building.