Former lawmaker Parakhin accused of stealing more than 500 million rubles from Okhotny Ryad bank clients

Former lawmaker Parakhin accused of stealing more than 500 million rubles from Okhotny Ryad bank clients
Vladimir Parakhin Photo: Dmitry Dukhanin / Kommersant

The criminal case was opened 3 years ago, but law enforcers managed to detain Parakhin only at the end of 2016, when the parliament member lost his seat and immunity status.

Former member of the State Duma from Spravedlivaya Rossiya (Just Russia) party Vladimir Parakhin has been accused of stealing more than 500 million rubles from the clients of the Okhotny Ryad bank, where the lawmaker was the deputy chairman of the board of directors.

The criminal case of Deliberate Bankruptcy (Art. 196 of the Criminal Code) had been initiated in June 2013, while Parakhin became a defendant later. Law enforcers became interested in the Okhotny Ryad bank after the Central Bank had revoked its license in February 2012. Along with that, in the years 2012-2013, law enforcement authorities started receiving claims from the bank's customer. Individuals and legal entities insisted that Okhotny Ryad owed them money and did not return it. The first claim was filed by US citizen Mark Kogan. Kogan submitted his statement to the MIA Investigative Department in the Central Federal District, noting that in November 2011, he had transferred $ 300 thousand from Okhotny Ryad to the account of his business partner in Florida, but the latter had never received the money. At first, to clarify the situation, the US citizen tried contacting Parakhin, whom he knew personally. However, the attempt of communication failed. The bank staff also ignored the issue. By that time Kogan had no choice left but to write a statement to the police.

Investigators established that the total sum demanded by the bank’s clients from the former chairman of the board was more than 500 million rubles.

For a long time Vladimir Parakhin could not be held criminally responsible, because in 2011, he was elected member of the State Duma of the 6th convocation, and therefore had parliamentary immunity. Law enforcers managed to detain him only the end of 2016, after he had lost his seat. The former banker was charged with Theft of other people’s property on an especially large scale (part 4, Art. 160 of the Criminal Code) and arrested upon the order of the Tagansky Court of Moscow. Recently, the court decided to extend the term of his detention until April 12.

Parakhin himself pleads not guilty, claiming that the case is purely civil in nature. His lawyer Sergey Zhiganov says he does not understand how the investigation has come with 0.5 billion rubles of damages caused, when the courts have estimated it at 199 million rubles.

"It is also unclear to me how Parakhin, who started repaying it, can do it while in custody," Zhiganov told Kommersant, noting that he did not agree with the decision to arrest his client.

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