VIM Avia management accused of deliberate bankruptcy

VIM Avia management accused of deliberate bankruptcy

According to the investigation, the management and owners of the company intentionally concluded non-lucrative deals and withdrew assets abroad "in favor of affiliated organizations."

The Investigative Committee initiated criminal proceedings under Art. 196 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Deliberate Bankruptcy) against the general director and certain members of the management and owners of the airline VIM Avia, the press service of the Russian Federation reported.

The company's management is accused of entering into deliberately unfavorable deals in 2016 and 2017, which entailed "enormous financial outlays" and provoked bankruptcy of the company. In addition, according to the investigation, the leaders of VIM Avia withdrew assets abroad in favor of "affiliated organizations."

Some contracts of the airline with foreign partners did not specify the exact amount of the transaction. Because of this the amount of payments of VIM Avia "increased manifold," the investigation believes. As a result, the company had to take "multi-billion" loans to repay debts to customers.

Moreover, the management of the airline forced the accounting department to wrench reporting in order to hide the debts on loans. Instead of the loss profit was indicated in the reporting documents. For this purpose, the accounting department wrote incorrect data about the date of taking accounting costs. In addition, the investigation notes, reports included data on revenues from air transportation, which at that time had not yet occurred.

Punishment under the article Deliberate Bankruptcy provides for up to six years of imprisonment and a fine of up to 200 thousand rubles ($3.4 thousand), or a fine of up to 500 thousand rubles ($8.7 thousand) without imprisonment.

Earlier it transpired that VIM Avia in total owed about 10 billion rubles ($174.1m). 7 billion ($121.8m) of this amount are debts to banks, lessors, airports and fuel-filling complexes.

The company announced the termination of flights on September 26. Two days later, the general director of the company Alexander Kochnev and his chief accountant Ekaterina Panteleeva were detained. They were accused of swindling and embezzlement of the company passengers' funds and sent under house arrest. The owners of VIM Avia Rashid and Natalia Mursekaevs left Russia immediately after the announcement of the termination of flights.

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