Rosgosstrakh former vice president accused of laundering money

Rosgosstrakh former vice president accused of laundering money
Former Vice President of Rosgosstrakh Sergey Khachaturov Photo: Kommersant

Previously, he was accused of embezzling shares of an insurance company for 6.1 billion rubles ($92.1 m).

The FSB's Investigation Department accused the former Vice President of Rosgosstrakh (RGS) Sergey Khachaturov of laundering 6.1 billion rubles ($92.1 m), reports Kommersant. Previously, he was charged with embezzling insurance company shares for the same amount.

The new accusation became known at the hearing of the Lefortovo Court of Moscow, which extended the arrest of Khachaturov until April 18. Thus, the entrepreneur will spend exactly one year in the detention center at the preliminary investigation stage, which is the maximum term of custody. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the final charge against Khachaturov is to be brought in a month.

The investigation charges Sergey Khachaturov and ex-shareholder of RGS Bank Nadezhda Klepalskaya, who is under house arrest, with Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and Legalization of Monetary Funds Acquired as a Result of an Offence (Art. 174.1 of the Criminal Code). Previously, they were accused of Embezzlement on an especially large scale (part 4 of Art. 160 of the Criminal Code). The factual allegations in the criminal case did not change, but the investigation qualified the same facts in different ways.

According to investigators, in May 2017, the defendants, when passing control of RGS PJSC to Otkrytie Bank, invested slightly more than 3.6% of the shares of PJSC Rosgosstrakh, owned by Khachaturov's company RGS-Assets, to the authorized capital of Tekhnika and automation also controlled by him. In August 2017, these shares were sold through the stock exchange to the Trust Bank, which is being reorganized by Otkrytie, and the funds received were invested in Alfa Bank bills, and then in foreign currency.

The FSB believes that the shares were stolen. The lawyers insist that Khachaturov conducted transactions with his own property, and note that in 2017 the transfer of RGS assets was carried out openly, under the direct control of the Central Bank, and did not cause complaints from the regulator. Selling shares through the stock exchange for 6.1 billion rubles ($92.1 m), he paid a tax of more than 1 billion rubles ($15.1 m).

The businessman’s lawyer Alexey Melnikov believes that by updating the charges, the investigation is trying to exert pressure on the accused.

“The investigation has been going on for more than ten months, and there have been no answers to the questions required for the passing of the case to the court. The investigation tries to ignore the existing written agreement in the case regulating the stock transaction. At the same time, there is no answer to the question of who Sergey Khachaturov deceived if none of the participants in the transaction reported deceit,” the lawyer told. According to him, the investigators can put pressure on the accused, since they count on their self-incrimination. Melnikov also noted that adding an article on money laundering does not make the accusation more grounded.

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