ICR names those responsible for $346.500 embezzlement at Khrunichev Space Center
The case about the fraud while purchasing machine tools was initiated a year ago against unidentified persons.
The Investigative Committee has found the suspects in the embezzlement during the modernization of the Angara carrier rockets at the Khrunichev Center plant. As reported by Kommersant, the defendants are Alexander Pozdnyakov, the former deputy chief engineer of the State Space Research and Production Center, Viktor Tarasov, deputy head of FSUE Spetsstroyservis, Vyacheslav Logvinenko, the director of Stankomashkompleks and Yulia Barkova, his subordinate.
According to the investigators, Tarasov was the initiator; he suggested stealing over 20 million rubles ($346.500) to the others while Schaublin lathes were being delivered to production facility number 32 of the Center’s rocket and space plant in Fili. In 2012, the company Stankomashkompleks won a tender for the supply of 42 pieces of equipment (including those made by Schaublin) worth more than 116 million rubles ($2m). Then in October 2013, Pozdnyakov sent a letter to Tarasov asking to replace four new machines with more primitive ones. The new orders were passed to Logvinenko, who followed the instructions. The ICR believes that to make the amendments the tender documentation had to be changed, which Pozdnyakov did not do. According to ICR’s calculations, instead of over 20 million rubles earmarked on the machines under the contract, Stankomashservis spent less than 3 million rubles on them.
Investigators opened a criminal case under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale) as early as in 2016, but until recently, it had no defendants. In early October, when the Stankomashkompleks director Vyacheslav Logvinenko was in the Voronezh regional hospital because of a heart condition, the prosecutor summoned him to Moscow. Logvinenko said he could not show up for the interrogation on October 18. On the same day, the Voronezh FSB forced the businessman into a minibus and took him to the ICR department. "He collapsed during the questioning and was hospitalized at the Sklifosovsky Institute. Scarcely had he been discharged from the hospital, the prosecutor immediately sent him to another hospital that had to see whether he could be kept in custody," said his lawyer Alexei Mamontov. Logvinenko denies all the charges. According to him, the decision to replace the machine tools was taken at the Center after a few meetings: it was found out that the machine tools stipulated in the contract were no longer produced in the required configuration. "I do not know how the investigators came up with the figure of 3 million rubles spent on the machines, because in fact it was about €500 thousand and some real losses for Logvinenko. While the equipment purchased is even more efficient technology-wise," the lawyer explained.