The Saint Petersburg Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia continues the investigation into offences under Part 3 of Article 30, Part 4 of Article 159 (attempted swindling), Part 4 of Article 159 (swindling) of the Criminal Code of Russia upon 12 episodes of the illegal activities. At the moment, depending on their involvement, the accomplices’ actions have been additionally qualified as offences under Parts 1, 2, 3 of Article 210 of the Criminal Code of Russia (organization of and participation in a criminal community (entity)).
As a result of investigative actions and search operations, officers of the regional directorates of the Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Internal Affairs have detained five men and six women between the ages of 22 and 48 on suspicion of committing these crimes. The issue of bringing charges against them is under consideration; eight persons have been sentenced to pre-trial detention in the form of recognizance not to leave and proper conduct and three are to be placed in custody.
It was established during the preliminary investigation that for a long period of time the suspects and other unidentified persons had established, under the single leadership and the disguise of medical institutions, a range of allegedly healthcare facilities, including AngelMed center (Angelmed-Lesnaya LLC), Royal Clinic center (Cosmetics Center LLC), Verba center (Verba LLC), and Iuventa center (Hermes LLC), in Saint Petersburg. In order to attract potential victims, the participants of the criminal groups had placed advertisements of the indicated centers in mass media and on the Internet and created a special call-center.
To implement their criminal intents, the organizers and participants of the criminal groups had developed a general plan of committing offences against an unidentified range of persons, mostly including senior people, that consisted of deception and misleading the latter into thinking of having various illnesses, including serious ones that could lead to grave consequences up to the death. Consequently, they had persuaded the citizens in the necessity of urgent expensive medical treatment. In case of an inability to pay for the treatment, potential victims had been forced to sign credit contracts with banks.
The victims had believed the workers of the indicated centers to be professional medical specialists with the relevant education and experience in medical care and treatment of serious diseases. People had been persuaded that refusal from immediate medical treatment in the indicated medical centers would negatively affect their health and future lifestyle; as a result, they had agreed to sign credit contracts. The money under the contracts had been transferred to accounts controlled by the organizers and participants of the criminal groups and spent by the indicated persons.
By now, investigators established 12 episodes of swindling committed by the participants of this criminal group, as a result of which the perpetrators obtained over 1.5 million rubles from the deceived citizens.
As part of the investigation, on September 25, 2019, investigators of the Saint Petersburg Investigation Directorate, together with employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, carried out about 40 searches of the places of residence of the suspects in St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as in the above-mentioned medical centers, in the course of which objects and documents of interest for the investigation were found and confiscated.
The investigation is conducting a set of investigative activities aimed to establish all circumstances of the incidents--in particular, to identify other persons involved in committing the offences--and to establish other similar episodes of criminal activities.