Ex-State Duma Deputy Voronenkov personally allocated funds for bribes
According to the Investigative Committee’s estimates, about $55 thousand was allocated for bribes.
Former State Duma Deputy Denis Voronenkov, who has fled to Ukraine and who is accused of swindling in the case of illegal seizure of a building in the center of Moscow, had invested about $ 75 thousand in fraud. Of this amount, around $55 thousand was allocated for paying bribes to officials. However, according to investigators’ estimates, he had made $1.2 million and 6.4 million rubles on the real estate scam. Such amounts appear in the materials of the criminal case, which came into RBC’s possession.
According to the investigation, in 2010-2011, Denis Voronenkov and other persons illegally re-registered and sold the building on Mezhdunarodnaya Street, which belonged to the confectionery company Toma. The investigators believe the parliamentarian embraced the moment; he was informed that Toma’s management was in conflict. This information had been provided to Voronenkov by former FSB officers Sergey Shishakov and Andrey Murzikov, who are also involved in the fraud case.
To pull the real estate scheme, Voronenkov and his accomplices submitted fictitious documents to the tax inspectorate and increased the company’s authorized capital, adding to its assets a leather sofa worth 20 thousand rubles ($350). According to the case materials, the State Duma deputy used to personally allocate funds for forgery of documents and bribes to officials; he had to pay $15 thousand to officials for introducing changes into the constituent documents of the company, $5 thousand was the price of a false cadastral certificate for the store building and other forged papers, while the “unhindered registration by the tax authority of changes in the composition of participants and the head of Toma” costed $35 thousand. In addition, according to investigation, the swindlers spent another $20 thousand on other expenses. Thus, the scam costed Voronenkov at least $75 thousand.
As a result of the corruptive actions, a dummy shareholder Ilya Shcherbak was made a co-owner, whereas the actual founder Otari Kobakhidze was deprived of the opportunity to influence the decision-making. After these machinations, the building was sold to businessman Vitaly Kachur for 20 million rubles ($349.520) at the market value of 127 million rubles ($2.219.452).
Voronenkov made 6.4 million rubles ($111.846) on the sale; the former FSB officers Murzikov and Shishakov both received 4.8 million rubles ($83.884), and estate agent Oleg Krylov got 2.2 million rubles ($38.447); as for the remaining 1.8 million rubles, this amount was spent on cashing out of money. Soon after businessman Vitaly Kachur agreed to purchase the building, Voronenkov received another $1.2 million from the businessman.
Let us note that the case has been investigated since October 2011; sentences have already been rendered for 9 defendants. From the beginning of the investigation, Voronenkov had been only a witness in the case, but in February 2017, after the termination of his deputy powers and loss of immunity, he became a defendant. Former FSB officers Shishakov and Murzikov, estate agent Oleg Krylov, and Director General of Toma Maria Vladimirskaya (the sale of the building was carried out in her interests, but she made no profit from the scam) have testified against the ex-parliamentarian. They all have pleaded guilty and received suspended sentences.
The buyer of the building, businessman Kachur and his lawyer Vitaly Chaban had also testified against him. The men have been sentenced to one and a half years and four months in a colony, respectively.
However, in an interview with the media, Voronenkov stated that the case against him was fabricated, and the testimony against him was given under pressure. The ex-deputy called businessman Vitaly Kachur ‘one of the main cashiers of Moscow’, who was forced to declare a fictitious duty of seven years ago. At the same time, Voronenkov confirmed that he had previously been actively involved in real estate transactions in Moscow.
Let us recall that in late 2016, Voronenkov left for Kiev, testified before the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine in the case of high treason of former President Viktor Yanukovych, and revealed he had obtained Ukrainian citizenship due to "unfair prosecution." In early March this year, the former State Duma deputy was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list on charges of fraud and falsification of documents. The ICR does not have reliable information about his whereabouts, however, the CrimeRussia previously reported that the ex-deputy and his wife, Opera singer and former deputy from the United Russia Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs, were in Kiev in the headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine. Through his lawyer Andrey Grivtsov, Voronenkov has announced his readiness to testify before the ICR in Kiev. The accused himself does not intend to return to Russia at the moment.