Investigation into sale of Kvant-N state assets at knockdown price is finished
According to investigators, suspects sold the assets for trifling sum to a subsidiary legal entity, established by offshore organizations.
The Investigation Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has completed an investigation of a large-scale fraud with the property of Kvant-N Open Joint Stock Company, where the state owns 100% of the shares. Investigators claimed that the transaction, concluded by the former staff of the Administrative Department of the Russian President, caused the state to lose 1 billion rubles, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
A criminal case under part 4 of art. 159 of the Criminal Code (Swindling on an especially large scale) was opened in June 2015 after Roscosmos members, who had supervised Kvant-N, appealed to the law enforcement. In December, the MIA conducted inspections in the Center for the Financial and Legal Support of the Administrative Department of the Russian President, since its former director was a suspect in the case. A total of 5 people were considered defendants. The alleged organizer of the crime, a former aide to the head of the Russian Federal Agency for State Property Management (Rosimuschestvo), Alexander Nistratov, fled to the United States.
In 2011, Kvant-N changed its occupation from space industry and Vladimir Kozhin, who was then the Head of the Administrative Department, proposed Rosimuschestvo to transfer the company to the jurisdiction of Financial and Legal Support Center. The first expertise has estimated 12 buildings on an area of 50 hectares at nearly 749 million rubles, and the second — at 703 million rubles. In April 2012, the shares of Kvant-N were sold for 760 million rubles to Temperans JSC headed by Stanislav Korenkov. A total of 40% of its shares were siphoned off to Cyprus, and the rest — to the Virgin Islands.
At the same time, according to prosecutors, the assets disposition was carried out in 4 months with no tenders announced, in violation of the law on privatization. The proceeds from the sale were not transferred into the budget. By order of the Administrative Department, 500 million rubles were received by Rublevo-Uspensky Federal State Independent Institution.
Later, investigators ordered a few additional assessments of the company’s assets, with their data being significantly different. The first examination assessed the market value of the company's shares at 4 billion 182 million rubles. Then, the damage was estimated at 3.5 billion rubles. But later, according to other estimates, the assets of Kvant-N did not exceed 890 million rubles. The third examination, which the investigators took as a basis, estimated the value of shares at 1.76 billion rubles. Thus, by the time the court session was held, the damages from the sale of state property were estimated at 1 billion rubles.
In September 2015, the Moscow Arbitration Court recognized a real estate deal null and void and obliged Temperans to return the shares of Kvant-N. However, after the appeal, the case was sent for a new trial in the court of first instance.
It should be noted that the criminal case was preceded by a series of prosecutorial inspections and arbitration court sessions for the transactions that had been committed by the Administrative Department in 2011-2013. At that time, the Kremlin’s economic department was led by Vladimir Kozhin. However, in May 2014, he was dismissed, and replaced by Alexander Kolpakov, who had previously worked in the Federal Guard Service. The contract for the sale of 100% of the Kvant-N shares was concluded at Kozhin’s consent. However, he is not in the list of suspects. The former Director of Financial and Legal Support Center Nikolay Skrypnikov, his Deputy Alexander Vedin, the former CEO of Kvant-N Andrey Grishin, his Deputy Anna Myagkova, and the CEO of Temperans Stanislav Korenkov are now studying the case materials.
The story with the arrest of Igor Vainshtok, creator of famous bifidok, in absentia and his escape is pretty confusing. The company founded by him still remains the largest probiotics producer in Russia and generates multimillion profits – however, somehow it was declared bankrupt. An international warrant has been issued against Vainshtok for non-payment of salaries – while the businessman calls his prosecution an element of the raiding takeover of his company that was already recognized a raidership victim in the past. Concurrently, employees of Partner Joint Stock Company created by Vainshtok claim that he has stolen not only millions of rubles from the base bank of Roscosmos – but, more importantly, the bifidok inventorship. So, whom has Vainshtok fled from?