The evidence collected by the Main Directorate on Major Crimes Investigation of the Investigative Committee of Russia was found by the court to be sufficient to convict 13 perpetrators. Depending on their involvement, they were found guilty of committing offences under Articles 159, 174.1, 290 of the Criminal Code of Russia (swindling; legalization (laundering) of money acquired as a result of the committed offence; bribe-taking).
The investigation and the court established that Vyacheslav Gayzer, Alexander Zarubin, Vladimir Torlopov, Alexey Chernov, Valery Veselov, and eight more accused persons had committed a number of offences involving corruption. Their goal had been to take over highly cost-effective enterprises of the region or to take control over them for illicit enrichment. Thus, in 2010, they had arranged privatization of the State Unitary Enterprise “Zelenetskaya Poultry Farm”. Afterward, as a result of swindling initiated by the accused individuals, the shares of the enterprise had been taken over by a legal entity controlled by them. In order to legalize dividends from the enterprise of 1.5 billion rubles, they had made a number of deals with this money. Moreover, the accused had taken intentional actions aimed to steal money from Investment Projects Support Fund JSC.
From the beginning of 2007 to August 2010, by deceit and presenting a fake assessment report, the accused had executed a number of interconnected deals to sell 98 percent of the authorized capital of Syktyvkar Integrated Industrial Plant LLC to Investment Projects Support Fund JSC, 100 percent of which had belonged to the State represented by the Republic of Komi. Their illegal activities inflicted damage of over 64 million rubles to Investment Projects Support Fund JSC of the Republic of Komi.
The total amount of damage inflicted to the Republic by the illegal activities of the accused exceeds 3.8 billion rubles.
Additionally, the investigation established a number of facts of bribe-taking committed by the accomplices. Thus, in 2013-2014, they had received from an entrepreneur two 25-percent stakes worth 160 million rubles in the authorized capital of Autocenter LLC that owns the Avalon Hotel in Syktyvkar, as a bribe for general patronage. Subsequently, in order to legalize the bribe, the stakes had been resubmitted to Hotel-Service LLC controlled by Chernov and thus legalized.
A significant amount of investigative activities was carried out by the investigation in order to define all the circumstances in the most thorough, comprehensive, and impartial way. Over 300 witnesses were interrogated. In order to eliminate contradictions in the statements of witnesses and the accused persons, the investigators carried out face-to-face interrogations for them. Dozens of searches were performed, which revealed hard evidence of the illegal activities of the accomplices. The contents of financial and economic documents of the said legal entities were inspected and analyzed. Complex forensic examinations were arranged and carried out. The probe amounted to more than 500 volumes.
During the preliminary investigation, the Investigative Committee took measures to ensure compensation of damage to the affected party--upon the investigative motion, property of the perpetrators worth equally to the damage was evaluated and arrested.
The court sentenced Gayzer to 11 years of imprisonment in a strict regime colony and a fine of 160 million rubles, Chernov to 9 years of imprisonment in a strict regime colony and a fine of 160 million rubles, Torlopov to 6.5 years of imprisonment in a general regime colony and a fine of 500 thousand rubles, and Veselov to 6.5 years of imprisonment in a general regime colony and a fine of 500 thousand rubles. Other accomplices were sentenced to terms of imprisonment from five to eight years, some of the sentences were suspended.
At the moment, the probe into one of the perpetrators, Demyan Moskvin, is presented separately in court. Alexander Zarubin was announced on the international wanted list. Konstantin Ramadanov who signed a pre-trial immunity agreement was earlier sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment in a strict regime colony and a fine of 170 million rubles.
It needs to be stressed that the investigation also collected evidence of the accomplices committing the indicated offences acting as part of a criminal community. The evidence includes statements of witnesses and audio records of their conversations. One of them registered a discussion of the criminal plans during a meeting of the supposed leaders of the criminal community.