Prosecutor’s Office: “Toughen punishment for members of Serezha Two Percent’s OCC”

Prosecutor’s Office: “Toughen punishment for members of Serezha Two Percent’s OCC”
Sergey Magin

Out of 12 persons accused of multi-billion cash withdrawal, only 5 received jail time. The defense, on the other hand, claims the innocence of its clients.

The Moscow City Court has received an appeal against the conviction in the Magin case. The prosecutor’s office believes that the sentence of the persons accused of 122-billion-ruble ($2 billion) encashment is too mild.

Whereas it had initially asked to sentence Sergey Magin to 15 years of maximum security correctional facility, late last year the Presnensky District Court of Moscow sentenced him to 8 years and 5 months of general-regime colony. This is reported by Kommersant. Magin’s closest henchman Vadim Rybalchenko will serve the same sentence. The terms of imprisonment of Andrey Krivtsov, Aleksandr Pluzhnik, and Igor Levin range from 3.5 to 5.5 years in colony. The remaining seven defendants in the case, also accused of participation in an OCC (Art. 210 of the Russian Criminal Code) and illegal banking activities (Art. 172 of the Russian Criminal Code), have been put on probation.

It was found that the OCC has cashed out a total of 122.2 billion rubles. In the course of financial transactions, Magin (also known as Serezha Two Percent) and his partners earned more than 600 million rubles as a commission ($10 million). Earlier, the prosecution had accused Magin of cashing out 169 billion rubles ($2.8 billion), out of which the criminals took 846 million rubles ($14.2 million). However, Judge Tatyana Vasyuchenko found the evidence of encashment of 47 billion rubles ($789 million) unconvincing. 

The prosecutor’s office notes that the defendants have received “unreasonable” punishment below the lowest limit under Art. 210 (Creation of an organized crime community). Whereas, under this article alone, they had faced from 12 to 20 years’ imprisonment. The prosecution also noted the social significance of this case, explaining that the illegal banking activities, imputed to the convicts, “undermines the basis of normal functioning of the state’s banking system and reduces public confidence in banks,” and that such an indulgent court decision “does not meet the requirements of social justice and the goals of correcting convicts.”

Accordingly, the prosecutor’s office demands to reconsider the verdict to Magin and Rybalchenko in the direction of increasing the terms up to 15 years of maximum security correctional facility, sentence their accomplices Pluzhnikov and Levin to 9 years of imprisonment, and sentence the remaining members of the crime community to terms from 2 to 8 years of general regime.

In addition, the fate of the so-called material evidence, which includes 700 million rubles, more than 5 million dollars, half a million euros, as well as 10 thousand pounds sterling and 23 thousand Swiss francs, seized during searches in the Voenno-Promyshlenny bank, MAST-Bank, Intercapital-Bank, and Oksky bank, connected with Magin, has yet to be sealed. The prosecution has offered to turn this money in favor of the state.

In its turn, the defense has also filed an appeal, insisting that the accusation should be completely abolished. In particular, Magin’s lawyer Karen Egiazarov believes that his client could not have been the creator of the crime community on the grounds that there is no “crime event” in his actions. According to Egiazarov, the OCC leadership itself is not described in the case file. Moreover, Magin did not, allegedly, know the names of the gang members and has never met them.

At the same time, the defense believes that the court has unjustifiably considered the transactions conducted by Magin and his business partners as illegal banking activities. Whereas, it was only mutual settlements of legal entities. 

Let us recall that the operation on cracking a big gang of cashiers was carried out by officers of the MIA GUEBiPK in summer 2013. The case went to trial as late as in 2016.

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