‘Chekhovskie’ gang siphoned off lands belonging to Ministry of Defense from Moscow region to U.S.
Expectedly, governmental officials were involved into the land fraud in the Chekhov district of the Moscow region. Pavlinov is in detention, Yudin is hastily resigning, while their accomplice Strekalov – according to information obtained by The CrimeRussia – lives a luxury life abroad.
Recently Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow has arrested ‘authoritative’ businessman Nikolai Pavlinov under parts 1, 2, and 3 of Article 210 (Creation of a Criminal Community (criminal organization) and Participation therein) and part 4 of Article 159 (Swindling committed by an organized group) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Shortly after that, the investigators have identified several other members of the organized criminal group. The following persons have been charged in the framework of this criminal case: Yulia Ivanova, the Deputy Head of the Federal Tax Service Inspectorate for the Town of Chekhov; businessman Danis Nizametdinov, Andrei Vasilenko, the military unit commander in Chekhov-3, and realtor Igor Rodchenkov.
The investigators have also got some questions to Sergei Yudin, the Head of the Chekhov District, – documents confirming his ownership of a land lot in Talezh village have been seized from the Cadastre Chamber of the Town of Chekhov. The documents are currently being reviewed to check the legitimacy of that deal.
Another key member of the group – Oleg Strekalov, the ‘right hand’ of Pavlinov – has been put on the federal wanted list. The Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (ICR) has charged him under the same Articles as Pavlinov.
The accomplices were ‘updating’ information on certain land lots through the Chekhov Branch of the Federal Cadastre Chamber of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr) Federal State Budgetary Institution. Information on the land lots was entered into the State Real Estate Cadastre on the basis of fake statements on land provision for usage forged using old forms. After the cadastral registration of a land lot and registration in the Chekhov Branch of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr), the criminals had received a new ownership certificate. Then the lot had been resold several times to dummy persons to create a good sales history and ultimately sold to the final buyer. So far, the investigators have uncovered five such episodes committed since the end of 2011 and until August 2016. As a result, the suspects have gained some 11 billion rubles ($190.1 million).
The members of the criminal community had performed such operations with non-delineated federal lands belonging to the Ministry of Defense, Federal Forestry Agency, and Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor) and located in Talezh, Volosovo, Yakshino, Chepelevo, and Venyukovo villages. Some of these lands had the status of strictly protected areas.
The current district head has likely appropriated one of such lots. All the suspects have longtime friendly ties.
People from the past
The CrimeRussia already wrote about Nikolai Pavlinov, known as ‘Pavlin’ (Peacock) and ‘KolYA’ (stress on the last syllable a la francaise) to his close associates. He is well-known since the 1990s – at that time, Pavlinov was considered an active member of ‘Chekhovskie’ criminal group closely linked with famous ‘Podolskie’ gang. Later, many members of this criminal syndicate became respectable persons and ascended to high positions in the business and governmental structures. For instance, Sergei Lalakin is currently an honorable citizen of Podolsk, businessman, philanthropist, and sports fan. Pavlinov also likes sports – he used to own Vityaz’ (Knight) Hockey Club playing in Kontinental Hockey League and a chain of boxing clubs of the same name where famous Russian boxers Aleksander Povetkin and Denis Lebedev were trained. They have even attended a session of Babushkinsky District Court held to impose pretrial restrictions on Pavlinov. Another their friend, Boris Ivanyuzhenkov, also known as ‘Rotan’ (Chinese sleeper), was even appointed the Minister of Physical Culture, Sport, and Tourism of the Russian Federation in 1999 and elected a Deputy of the 6th Convocation of the State Duma in 2011.
Gennady Nedoseka, known in Chekhov as Gena Bolshoi (Gena the Big), was also considered a person close to ‘Podolskie’ gang.
The Regional Administration for Combating Organized Crime for the Moscow Region of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the Russian Federation knew him as the leader of an organized criminal group and criminal ‘authority’ controlling in the 1990s the mining of non-metallic minerals in the Serpukhov and Chekhov districts, central market of Chekhov, and a number of commercial structures in the Chekhov district.
In 2000, Nedoseka managed to expand his powers legitimately by becoming the Head of the Chekhov District. Some local residents still speak well of him for establishing order. According to the town forum, upon entering the office, he has purged local markets from the ethnic crime in the first place and hunted all drug lords from the town. Then he started promoting sports by building Olympiisky (Olympic) Ice Palace, one of the largest in the region, and opening a boxing club, swimming pools, and other sports facilities.
In November 2004, Nedoseka died – he was burned in his own armored Hummer. According to sources of Vedomosti newspaper in law enforcement structures, the Head of the Administration of the Chekhov District was killed, and the murder was related to his professional activities. Nedoseka had plenty of enemies ‘from the past’ as well. In 1996, somebody has wasted the main competitor of the ‘brigade’ of ‘Gena Bolshoi’ – a gang under the leadership of brothers Korchagin. During the meeting of the conflicting parties in Grot coffee bar, ten rival gang members were seized by people in camouflage and driven to the forest. Only three of them have returned back – battered and scared to death; the rest of the mobsters were found four years later beneath a one-meter-thick layer of concrete in a garage not far from the town. The investigation failed to prove the complicity of Nedoseka (then-Head of the Chekhov District) in the massacre due to lack of evidence.
However, later the death of Nedoseka has been attributed to a car accident: while returning home after a sleepless night, Gennady Mikhailovich has allegedly lost control; the car hit the ditch and burst into flames from a metal bar that has pierced the gas tank. The Hummer manufacturer was very surprised by such a version: the modern cars are equipped with gas tanks made of impact-resistant plastic, which makes an accidental ignition virtually impossible. Still, the investigation has picked the version most convenient for it.
Sergei Yudin, the ex-Head of the Administration of the Chekhov District (he has resigned on September 18), used to be a deputy of Nedoseka in the early 2000s; after his death, he became an aide to Ivanyuzhenkov, then-Deputy of the State Duma. In 2013, Yudin returned to the Chekhov district as its head. With his background and connections, he has easily fitted in with the system created by the shadow rulers of the district – Pavlinov and Strekalov. According to other sources, they have appointed Yudin to that post.
Two friends, Pavlinov and Strekalov, were living well in their region. They never trespassed to the federal level – but never let outsiders to enter ‘their territory’ as well. They had jointly owned a number of companies specializing in real estate management and sales, agriculture, sports, etc. (Tekhnopark Management Company Limited Liability Company, City Park Management Company Limited Liability Company, Viktori Limited Liability Company, Khodaevo Limited Liability Company, and Vityaz’ Professional Hockey Club Noncommercial Partnership). ‘KolYA’ never liked the publicity and transferred ‘hard-earned’ assets to his son Aleksander Pavlinov acting as the official founder of all the father’s companies. In some cases, assets were transferred to loyal assistant Igor Krylovsky, including the Pavlinov’s mansion – in 1999, it had officially belonged to Krylovsky, while in 2016 – to Pavlinov junior.
Strekalov had never forgotten about his relatives as well – in different periods, his sister Elena Nefedova had owned fifteen companies specializing in real estate, agriculture, cargo transportation, mineral production and processing, fuel sales, etc. Even the elderly mother of Strekalov had participated in the family business – up until 2016, Galina Aleksandrovna had a small shop and was a cofounder of local religious organization “Orthodox Parish of the Georgian Church of Yakshino Village of the Chekhov District of the Moscow Region of the Diocese of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church” (in fact, the only church in that village is named “The Church of the Georgian Icon of the Mother of God”).
Pavlinov’s estate near Telezh village
In 2009, Metropolitan Yuvenaly, Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, has attended the consecration of this church and awarded Pavlinov and Strekalov, sponsors of the church restoration, Orders of Saint and Blessed Prince Daniel of Moscow III Grade. It can be said that Strekalov had restored that church for himself – it is located several meters from his estate. The Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God in Telezh is located not far from the Pavlinov’s home built on the territory of former Lopasnya Resort. His Grace has also attended its consecration in 2014 and awarded Pavlinov and Strekalov for their input into the restoration.
Strekalov’s estate near Yakshino village
To be able to spend money, it is necessary to know how to earn it. Pavlinov, taking his experience, was responsible for the enforcement component of operations committed by the gang, while Strekalov, according to operative information, had developed land fraud schemes. The structure created by the accomplices was like a state within a state – in addition to the criminal support, it featured a solid administrative resource, plenty of commercial organizations covering up its operations, media support (Strekalov used to own Chekhov Vid – a local media holding consisting of a TV channel, newspaper, and Internet portal), care about the oncoming generation (sport schools), own hockey team and famous boxers for entertainment, and own churches for the soul.
Good bye Russia!
Everything was fine but, according to Oper Slil (Detective Leaked) Telegram Channel, at some point, Strekalov, a native of the town of Khmelnik in the Vinnitsa region, Ukraine, had started siphoning off his assets to Ukraine. Strekalov has been actively developing his business in Ukraine where he has old ties with Vladimir Groysman, Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Arsen Avakov, Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs. The Russian enforcement authorities have promptly reacted but managed to do only a half of the job: Pavlinov has been arrested, while Strekalov fled abroad. He began selling out his assets back in the middle of 2016. In the late 2016–early 2017, all the four lots near the pond constituting a single ensemble of the Strekalov’s estate have been sold to some Dmitry Bautin; according to the Consolidated State Register of Taxpayers he was the General Director of many companies belonging to Strekalov. In other words, Bautin might be just a nominal owner.
According to the media, Strekalov was hiding in Monaco. Then it became known that the person put on the federal wanted list in Russia had recently visited his daughter in the U.S.
Strekalov does not like publicity, he can’t be found on social networks and even on group photos of his friends and relatives. However, his daughter Maria residing in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia was so happy to see the father that posted his photo on her Facebook page with the caption: “Welcome home daddy”. Isn’t it nice to be ‘at home’ in America while the Russian law enforcement authorities are searching for you?
Photo from the Facebook page of Strekalov’s daughter Maria
Apparently, Strekalov had considered the possibility to relocate to the U.S. a long time ago. Maria resides there at least since 2010; she got married there; and her children were born in America. She lives in a huge two-storey mansion with a swimming pool located in quiet and comfortable Sandy Springs neighborhood. Officially, the home belongs to her husband Pavel Semenov. The young successful businessman probably could earn enough money to purchase a home himself – or, alternatively, the family could take out a mortgage. But we decided to look for the name of Oleg Strekalov in American databases and – what a coincidence! – found his home not far from the residence of his daughter and grandchildren. This home is just as good as his mansion in the Moscow region – in March 2017, it was offered for sale at $2.475 million.
This price might seem too high for an ordinary American – but not for a Russian ‘businessman’. Even if Strekalov has siphoned off only one third of the sum embezzled in the Moscow region, he may purchase 25 such homes.
It is unknown whether the partners had discussed the current scenario from the very beginning or one of them has ditched the other one. In any event, while Pavlinov is languishing in a cold Russian prison, Strekalov enjoys freedom and sunny weather – the temperature in Atlanta this week is +20 to +25.
Recently, the FSB officers visited the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg. The operatives of the Department M came to the police officers accompanied by the investigator and the search warrant. They were looking for evidence on the fact of falsification of a criminal case. However, a similar situation for the Primorsky Regional Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is more likely to be a regular show: the staff of the administration and its superiors have appeared in high-profile criminal cases as defendants far too often.