Perpetuating the name of Dr. Liza by building a commercial clinic
Between the overseas trips, the president of the fund of the deceased Elizaveta Glinka presented to the government of Moscow a project of the clinic the income of which, according to her calculations, would amount to 1.5 billion rubles ($ 22,12 million) in five years. At the same time, Ksenia Sokolova refuses to disclose the financial report of the fund mired in scandals and calls all accusations against her “bogus stories” and a race for power.
After the death of Elizaveta Glinka in a plane crash on December 25, 2016, her charitable fund Spravedlivaya pomosch (Fair Aid) stopped to be that worldwide-renowned establishment of Dr. Liza. And it is not because the organization changed its name and legal status, becoming the Mezhdunarodnaya blagotvoritelnaya obschestvennaya organizatsiya (MBOO) “Spravedlivaya pomosch Doktora Lizy (International Public Charity Organization (IPCO) "Fair Aid of Dr. Liza.”
The fund mired in financial scandals related to the activities of its new president, journalist Ksenia Sokolova.
In December 2017, the assistant to the deceased Elizaveta Glinka, Natalia Avilova, applied to the ICR with an appeal to check the financial activities of the fund. In her statement, she listed a number of violations she found in the organization’s accounting documents, as well as in the draft financial report and the current work on attracting charitable donations and reporting on them.
Recently, the media has reported that Ksenia Sokolova left Russia because of the criminal case on abuse of authority (part 1 of Art. 201 CCRF) in the fund. It turned out that the fund’s management concluded two identical contracts with lawyers who were required to perform the same functions. So, allegedly in July 2017, the organization concluded a contract with lawyer Anna Agranovich to provide legal services. At that, in 2015, the fund entered into a similar contact with human rights lawyer Alexander Kulikovsky. As a result of these actions, the fund was suffered damages in the amount of 1.79 million rubles ($ 26000).
Sokolova herself claims that she went on vacation; her lawyer Anna Stavitskaya confirms this information. A source close to Sokolova's social circle also confirmed the holiday version to the CrimeRussia.
“Sokolova travels abroad 2-3 times a quarter, this is her usual lifestyle. She has a professional lawyer who would not deceive,” the source said.
Ksenia Sokolova denies impractical expenses, stating that “this is a bogus story aimed against the image of the fund.” In a conversation with Meduza she said that “the fact of the initiating a criminal case has not been confirmed in any way.” According to her, the ICR is already conducting “the fifth pre-investigation check on the denunciation of one of the fund's employees;” before that, “four refusals to initiate a case were issued, since no violations, abuses and so on were found in the in the fund’s work.”
Znak.com wrote that the fund’s board of trustees also doubted that the Investigative Committee had indeed initiated a criminal case.
“I, as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Fund Spravedlivaya pomosch Doktora Lizy, do not have any information about whether any investigative actions are taking place with regards to the fund. Moreover, I do not have information that a criminal case has been initiated, because no official information is still available. I know for sure that there was a pre-investigation check. But if it is completed, and if completed, then what the result is, I do not know,” said the head of the Human Rights Council under the RF President, Mikhail Fedotov.
He also noted that he was “convinced that there were no thefts in the fund.”
“Golden staff” of Ksenia Sokolova
It is known that since August last year Sokolova has set herself a salary in the amount of 173 thousand rubles ($ 2550). This fact she never concealed.
“Since before the president of the Fair Aid has never received a salary, if you approach the matter literally, Sokolova's salary has grown 173,000 times. In the Fair Aid, Elizaveta Glinka, who was not the president, but the executive director, received 30 thousand rubles ($ 442). And the fund’s president, Alexander Parfenov, worked on a voluntary basis. After her death, first, Andrey Makeyev performed the duties of the director, then, from August 2017 to February 2018, Maxim Agranovich; after that, Sokolova once again appointed Makeyev to this post. By the way, Agranovich also sounded questions regarding the financial activities of the fund’s president and found it necessary to resign from the organization a little later than Avilova. Under president Sokolova, the director receives 90 thousand rubles ($ 1327). By the way, according to the law on NGOs, payment of wages to both the director and the president is a violation, a source close to the fund explained to the CrimeRussia.
However, Ksenia Sokolova seems to be okay with that. As well as with renting a new office in a historic mansion in the center of Moscow for 172.5 thousand rubles ($ 2500) a month, although Dr. Liza managed to work in a small basement on the Pyatnitskaya Street, by the metro Tretyakovskaya. The staff schedule of Sokolova's employed specialists, including the chief accountant with a salary of 70 thousand rubles ($ 1000), secretaries, fund managers, PR specialists, etc. has expanded. And payments for legal services in the Fair Aid is almost equal to its medical expenses: over the past year, they amounted to 940 thousand rubles ($ 14000), and this is without the costly private advocate consulting. For example, the services provided by lawyer Anna Agranovich cost the Fund 180 thousand rubles a month ($ 2650), and in July, she received a cash award of 356 thousand rubles ($ 5250).
REN TV previously published the copies of documents, looking at which one can grasp the difference between the staff schedules and tariffs under director Dr. Liza and president Ksenia Sokolova.
“After the arrival of Ksenia, she and the lawyer with an extra-high salary began to change the charter. The organization became a charity – IPCO, and the important key powers were not concentrated among the members of the organization and the executive director, but were given to the president and the board,” the source explained.
“Sokolova raised the salaries of a lot of employees too high, recruited new people, and, by the way, won, as a bonus, several loyal voices in the team. She began to hide these extra-high salaries in project costs, that is, withdraw this money from donations that were made for children, palliative patients, homeless people, etc. If she found a sponsor who transferred funds to the organization for statutory activities and knew clearly that they would go cover the high salaries, rent, a driver, a lawyer, there would be no questions. But when in fact the money is withdrawn from the projects related to treatment of children and sent to pay salaries to themselves and their close ones... Yes, Sokolova attracted one new sponsor last year. But he did not give money for the statutory activities, he gave only for the maintenance of the house of mercy,” the source explained.
Natalia Avilova demands the financial report
“Ksenia provided us with the “legendary” financial report in October 2017, and the scandal broke out at the end of December 2017. At first, I voiced all my questions on the board meeting – in vain. Then – at the general meeting, which had some effect, since the participants of the general meeting did not approve the financial report of 2017, and the budget for 2018, submitted at the same time, was also not approved. Along with a few of my colleagues, I asked for answers to specific questions about spending that was in our opinion inappropriate, about reports to sponsors, overstatement of salaries, charity events held by the president, the money from which do not end up in the organization’s budget. And yes, I was interested in the reports on those sponsors who in the first half of the year donated to the organization at my request, under my responsibility, knowing that for many years I had been Elizaveta Glinka’s fundraiser and press secretary and always gave transparent, crystal clear reports,” Natalia Avilova underlined in the commentary to the CrimeRussia.
Natalia Avilova confirmed to the CrimeRussia that she is not interested in the development of this scandalous topic. At the same time, she stressed that it is possible to resolve the current situation only by publishing the financial report.
“The scandal regarding the activities of the Fair Aid, of course, harms the entire NGO sector. But all this would not have happened if Ksenia Sokolova published the financial report and worked as openly and transparently as Dr. Liza. Also, she has not presented a single version of the Elizaveta Glinka’s hospital project, although, as she said, there were about a dozen of them. My claims to her regarding the impractical expenses are reasonable, I was responsible for the work and was a member of the organization’s board, that is, one of the managers. When I raised issues of transparency and accountability, I was asked to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, and in December I was suspended from work. But this is absurd – a classified financial report in a charity! Now, Ksenia Sokolova’s lawyers have probably chosen a certain tactic of protection – switching attention from the facts and documents to the dimension of personal animus and a race for power. But, I suppose that they do not plan to justify the expenses of the Fair Aid in the period of Ksenia’s presidency. If the financial report were published six months ago, and the economic flaws were not concealed but corrected, it is for sure that the organization would have managed to avoid the crisis,” said Natalia Avilova.
When asked why after the death of Elizaveta Glinka, it was Ksenia Sokolova who was chose to be the Fair Aid’s president, Natalia Avilova explained that in fact Sokolova was asked to perform the representative functions of the organization's president on a voluntary basis to promote the fund in public space and to search for sponsors for a period of six months. And she agreed.
Natalia Avilova also noted that during the investigation she is not ready to provide the media with documents that confirm financial abuses in the fund.
“Only after the checks of the Investigative Committee, when either the investigation or Sokolova herself will clarify the financial situation in the organization in 2017. Before this, the discussion needs to be turned down, because almost none of its participants have reliable information, and the harm caused by rumors to this organization and other NGOs is significant,” she noted.
A new fund in memory of Elizaveta Glinka
By the way, since March this year, Natalia Avilova is the founder and director of the charitable foundation named after Elizaveta Glinka – Doktor Liza, which she created together with the husband of Elizaveta Glinka, Gleb Glinka, who headed the foundation’s council.
The president of the Doktor Liza charitable foundation is doctor Alexander Parfenov, who when Elizaveta Glinka was alive headed the Fair Aid fund.
At that, in the “corporation” of Ksenia Sokolova, which uses the brand of the deceased human rights activist, there are no doctors at all.
And, from all appearances, Ksenia Sokolova's priorities are somewhat different. It is worth emphasizing that in July of this year the board of trustees of Fair Aid of Dr. Liza recommended to dismiss Sokolova from her post. In July, the general assembly voted for her dismissal, a new president, Tatiana Konstantinova, and new governing bodies, in particular, the board were elected.
Natalia Avilova and Gleb Glinka continue the charitable practice of the deceased Elizaveta Glinka
“We agreed on a constructive solution: if we cannot fix everything here and quickly change the situation, it’s necessary to go and build a new thing, your own, and do it right! That is how our new foundation was born. Although, truth be told, Sokolova, who did not want to work like Dr. Liza, and continue her work, as she herself admitted many times, logically, had to leave and start something of her own. Not the old team,” said Natalia Avilova.
«Disadvantage» for 1,5 billion
It is worth emphasizing that the charity fund Dr. Liza, despite all the vicissitudes, copes with the work in terms of following the strategy of the deceased human rights activist. Patients, homeless people, hospices, delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid to the needy – this is what constitutes the everyday life of the organization.
Meanwhile, Ksenia Sokolova, during the breaks from her foreign trips, is nurses the idea of perpetuating the name of Dr. Liza by building a commercial clinic on the basis of the house of charity, located in one of the buildings of the abandoned hospital No. 6 on the Novaya Basmannaya Street, on the territory of the Demidov manor in the center of Moscow, where for many years Glinka worked. While alive, Dr. Liza dreamed of building a rehabilitation center for the poor here. The interesting part is that Sokolova plans to build the commercial clinic at the public expense.
The house of charity is planned to convert to a profitable clinic
Sources told us that the president of the fund turned to the Moscow government, which has the Basmanny hospital on its balance, with a request to repair the buildings of the architectural complex. In her project, on 26 pages, Ksenia Sokolova points out the likely amount of profit from 150 beds (of which 30 she plans to give to the poor). For 5 years it will amount to 1.5 billion rubles ($ 22,12 million).