Head of Russian Authors Society arrested under case over fraud of 500 million rubles

Head of Russian Authors Society arrested under case over fraud of 500 million rubles
Sergey Fedotov

The director general of the Russian Authors Society (RAO) Sergey Fedotov was placed into custody under suspicion in fraud. He did not admit himself guilty.

Tagansky District Court of Moscow arrested Director general of RAO Sergey Fedotov for two months. He is suspected in fraud with 500 million rubles by illegal alienation in favor of third parties of four buildings of RAO. Fedotov was placed into custody, he did not admit his guilt, reports Kommersant.

Lawyer Denis Baluyev was asking to leave his client under the house arrest or release him on bail of 5 million rubles, appealing that his client was diagnosed a diabetes mellitus. However, the court dismissed the petition.

The court hearing, appointed on 12 hours of 28 June, started only at 7 p.m. Due to such a delay the lawyer asked the court to reschedule the hearing of the case – there was not enough time to review all the materials. Nevertheless, the representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office and the investigation did not support the lawyer’s request and the petition was dismissed again.

The court decided that Fedotov was better to be left under arrest. As the investigation believes, the head of RAO can influence witness while he is at liberty, hide or even continue to conduct criminal activities. The investigator proved his arguments by the fact that the suspected has investor of the United Kingdom visa, according to which he has to visit the Great Britain not less than once in 180 days.

Fedotov did not agree with the investigation’s position, motivating it with the fact that he would be “much more comfortable staying at home”. Nevertheless the suspected expressed a desire to cooperate with the investigation and to give testimonies. And the Russian Authors Society is ready to assist an investigation in every possible way.

It should be recalled that on June 27 officers of the Federal Security Service and General Administration for Economic Security and Combatting Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs searched the main building of RAO at Bolshaya Bronnaya Street in Moscow, country house and flat of the director general of RAO Sergey Fedotov. After what, they delivered him to the Administration of the MIA in Central Federal District of Moscow.

According to Denis Baluyev, the questioning continued all night along and next morning, June 28, Fedorov was detained for two days, as a suspected under the case over fraud on large scale (art. 159 para. 4 of the Criminal Court of the Russian Federation) with four non-residential spaces of RAO.

According to the investigation, the damage made by the director general estimated at 500 million rubles.

As Baluyev believes, the cause of the case’s initiation was Fedotov’s conflict with his colleagues, who gave testimonies against him in 2015.

The statements of the suspect’s former partners provoked an inspection, which showed that RAO purchased four non-residential buildings in 2007-2011. They could not been used in commercial purposes, so some of them had not been in operation at all.

At the same time the Society needed money for development of expensive electronic system for receiving author’s assignments. That is, why RAO decided to hand the constructions to fixed assets of affiliated structure of closed joint stock company Servisno-Expllutatsionnaya Companiya (Service and Operational Company), which was created by the Society in 2012.  

This company, in its turn, became an owner of several enterprises, including Media Management and Muzikalny Olymp (Musical Olymp). In which authorized capital the property was transferred. Later the investigators established that the buildings were sold then to third parties – companies Rosavtotrans and Siberia leasing, and to a private individual.

The money received for selling the real estate with the total square estimated at 2 square meteres has never been transferred to the RAO ownership. The investigation is sure that such scheme had already had a foreseen extortion. Moreover, the servicemen suppose that during the criminal case’s investigation more incidents of real estate speculation would appear.

Fedotov’s lawyer is categorically disagree with these statements and assures that the real estate’s transfer to the authorized capital had absolutely legitimate character.

Baluyev also mentioned that in May 2016 the investigation had already refused in intitation of a criminal case on materials of last year’s check “for lack of evidence”.

The investigation insists on arranging Fedotov a face-to-face confrontation with his former colleagues, who gave testimonies against him, instead of becoming defendants of the case themselves.

According to Kommersant, the head of the Ministry of Communications and Media of the Russian Federation Nikolay Nikiforov commented on the situation. The official believe that the system for copyright control needs to be reformed. Nevertheless, as Nikiforov emphasized, this need is not connected with the investigation of the case over fraud in RAO. 

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