Retired FSB colonel accused of Galereya Vodoley mall illegal seizure makes plea deal

Retired FSB colonel accused of Galereya Vodoley mall illegal seizure makes plea deal
Galereya Vodoley mall

Rolan Gagoev, accused of swindling in respect of producer Yury Glotser’s family, has admitted his guilt and made a plea agreement with the Prosecutor's Office. His testimony gave the injured party hope to bring the fraud's paymasters to justice.

Upon request of the investigation, the court has released the defendant in the criminal case of the illegal seizure of Moscow mall Galereya Vodoley, owned by producer Yury Glotser’s family – Rolan Gagoev – from the pre-trial detention center to house arrest, Kommersant reports.

Jun 29, the retired FSB lieutenant-colonel, and currently a lawyer, made a plea agreement with the Prosecutor's Office of the Southern District of Moscow, after which the court requested to release Gagoev from the pre-trial detention center. Referring to an informed source, the publication notes that the house arrest is an indispensable condition for a deal on Gagoev’s part.

The defendant has already made a confession statement as part of the deal, exposing the members of a crime group. 

Law enforcers detained Rolan Gagoev together with his friend, lawyer Konstantin Skrypnik, a month ago. The investigation believes the two lawyers are members of a crime group, which has since 2016 attempted to seize the property owned by the family of famous producer Yury Glotser. As a result, Gagoev and Skrypnik have been charged with Attempt at Swindling on an Especially Large Scale (Art. 20 and part 4 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code).

According to the case file, two years ago, Konstantin Skrypnik came up with a plan for the illegal seizure of Galereya Vodoley mall worth $30 million, which is located on Orekhovy Boulevard in Moscow. To put it into practice, Skrypnik recruited his friends Rolan Gagoev, retired FSB Captain Andrey Chumanov, entrepreneur Gleb Privalov, and others.

To implement the plan, the accomplices prepared a fake power of attorney, allegedly issued by Director General of Yugra Ltd LLC, who officially owns the Vodoley mall, on September 1, 2014. According to the document, Privalov was entitled to dispose of the mall areas. Later, on the basis of this power of attorney, the defendants prepared other financial documents, according to which Skrypnik had allegedly bought a share of Galereya Vodoley, adding 165.6-million-ruble ($2.6 million) deposit to the Yugra's account, back in 2014. The fake documents indicated former security officer Chumanov as the guarantor. At the same time, a separate item in the papers said that all disputes arising between the parties should be considered by the Gudermes City Court of Chechnya. Thanks to this trick, in May 2016, Konstantin Skrypnik and Andrey Chumanov filed suits in Gudermes, demanding the payment of penalties of almost 2 billion rubles ($31.7 million) due to failure to comply with the contract terms from the owners of Vodoley. Recognizing the legality of the requirements, the Gudermes Court attached the Moscow mall. However, the perpetrators of illegal seizures were never able to gain full control over it.

In the summer of 2016, Yury Glotser’s representatives appealed to the Main Investigations Directorate of the MIA General Administration in Moscow, but as soon as it turned out that lawyers with a special subject status might be involved in the case, the case files were referred to the ICR Investigations Directorate of the Southern District of Moscow.

Nobody was arrested in the case of the attempt of Galereya Vodoley mall’s illegal seizure up until June 2018. The attempt to detain Gleb Privalov in Gudermes by investigators from Moscow ended in an attack on them by an unidentified person right outside the local court; as a result, he was charged in absentia. Former officer of the Volgograd region FSB Chumanov has been convicted in Volgograd in the case of another fraud. 

The situation may change once Gagoev makes a plea deal with the investigation, the publication says. The victims look forward to holding the illegal seizure’s paymasters accountable.

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