MIA initiates case into $417k+ embezzlement in developing the largest space telescope

MIA initiates case into $417k+ embezzlement in developing the largest space telescope
Photo: NPO Lavochkin

At the moment, there are no suspects in the case.

The MIA has initiated a case of embezzlement in the development of Т-170М telescope, which is included in the federal space program.  The damage estimated at more than 28.5 million rubles ($424,777), Kommersant reports referring to its sources.

According to the publication, the case of swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code) was initiated in late December 2018 after inspection of the compliance of state contract for the creation of the World Space Observatory Ultraviolet. At the moment, there are no suspects in the case.

An ultraviolet telescope T-170M was to be the basis of the Ultraviolet project, which is listed in the Federal program as UV Spectrum. According to the developers, it can compete with American Hubble.

Investigation believes that the Lavochkin Research and Production Association, which worked on the creation of the telescope, signed a contract with the contractor for the manufacture of technical equipment for the main and secondary telescope mirrors. At the same time, the Association workers themselves performed the work.

The UV Spectrum project was conceived back in the early 1990s, and the launch of the system was planned for 1997, Kommersant reports. However, the complex is still not working. In the summer of 2018, Roscosmos reported the postponement of the launch of the observatory's basic elements to 2024.

Earlier, Director General of the NPO Lavochkin Sergey Lemeshevsky, as well as two of his alleged accomplices, were accused of swindling when condlucing fictitious contracts with a law firm. The services prescribed in the contracts were provided by staff lawyers of the Association.

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