St. Petersburg: Two suspects of embezzling $801k from Maly Drama Theatre arrested
The FSB Directorate in St. Petersburg had launched a fraud investigation; three suspected were arrested.
The Smolninsky District Court of St. Petersburg imposed pre-trial restrictions on the suspects on February 22. They are suspected of stealing money when building a new stage for the Maly Drama Theatre (or the Theatre of Europe), according to Kommersant.
The Court refused to release Maksim Korneev on a 1.5-million-ruble ($17,600) bail and put him in the pre-trial detention center No. 3 until April 20. Aleksandr Puchkov – the second suspect – was placed in detention for the same period several hours later, according to the St. Petersburg Courts’ Press Service.
The Court released Olga Sharikova – the third suspect – on a 2.5-million-ruble ($44,200) bail. Puchkov and Sharikova are heads of Korneev’s companies. The former is the head of M-Proekt, while the latter is the head of Mira Grupp. Korneev owns a 25% and 100% stake in the two companies, respectively.
The FSB argued Korneev needs to be arrested since he may flee; the businessman had held the Ukrainian citizenship and the US visa.
The FSB Directorate in St. Petersburg had launched a fraud investigation; three suspected were arrested. 45 million rubles ($793,000) allocated for the stage were stolen, according to investigators’ estimates.
Korneev orchestrated the fraud and stole at least 45.5 million from bank accounts of the Russian Ministry of Culture’s Severo-Zapadnaya Direktsiya Po Stroitelstvu, Rekonstruktsii I Restovratsii between October 2015 and March 2016, according to the investigators. The public money was allocated to design a new stage for the Maly Drama Theatre. First, it was transferred to Teatralno-Dekoratsionnye Masterskie and then to its subsidiary Stroysoyuz SV. Korveev was the latter’s beneficiary. When questioned, Korneev insisted the work had been completed and claimed there are documents proving this.
There was no crime, attorney Anatoly Loginov said. He promised to appeal his client’s arrest in the St. Petersburg City Court.
In late May, a private Sud-Aviation Gazelle helicopter has crash-landed in the Khabarovsk krai. As a result, a 72-year-old man died from heart seizure. Another passenger has got a spinal fracture, while the third one – the pilot – came out of the accident with only a minor brain concussion. Later it became known that the deceased person was an FSB colonel general, the one with spinal fracture – a former overseer of the Khabarovsk krai, while a prominent Khabarovsk businessman had piloted the helicopter. The CrimeRussia obtained some exclusive information about this strange company.