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The evidence gathered by the Main Directorate on Major Crimes Investigation of the Investigative Committee of Russia has been found by the court to be sufficient to sentence former Deputy Governor of Moscow Region Alexey Kuznetsov. He has been found guilty of committing offenses under Articles 159, 174.1, and 160 of the Criminal Code of Russia (swindling; legalization of amounts of money acquired by a person as the result of the committed offense; embezzlement).
The investigation and the court established that, by deceit and abuse of trust, participants of the organized group led by Alexey Kuznetsov and his First Deputy Valery Nosov had acquired the rights for other people’s property in the form of the right to claim debts for indicated services from Moscow Region municipalities, from Moscow Region public utilities municipal unitary enterprises, and legalized the acquired amounts of money. The accomplices had also committed embezzlement of funds during the purchase of Rosweb non-documentary ordinary shares belonging to Mosobltrustinvest OJSC. Apart from that, over 3.8 billion rubles had been embezzled from the Moscow Regional budget. The total damage inflicted by the offenses amounted to 14 billion rubles.
The money had been legalized through fake deals with various legal entities controlled by members of the organized group, with accounts in a bank controlled by Kuznetsov and his accomplices. For instance, the stolen money had been transferred to accounts of non-resident companies registered in the offshore zone of the Republic of Cyprus. It had been spent on elite real estate objects in Switzerland and France, high-value cars, and other assets. The indicated offenses had been committed in 2005-2008. Kuznetsov was extradited by relevant authorities of the French Republic, where he spent the recent years.
A number of Kuznetsov’s accomplices have already been brought to justice: Valery Nosov, Vladislav Telepnev, and Elena Kuznetsova. Janna Bullock and Dmitry Kotlyarenko were sentenced in absentia. The probes into them were processed separately. Bullock and Kotlyarenko were found guilty of swindling and legalization of money and other assets acquired by a person in an illegal way. They are hiding in the USA and the relevant officials of this country have reported on the impossibility of their extradition due to a lack of extradition treaty with Russia. Therefore, the trial was held in their absentia.
The real opportunity to bring Alexey Kuznetsov to justice is a natural result of the effective cooperation between the Investigative Committee of Russia and the relevant authorities of the French Republic. In 2013, when Kuznetsov had been hiding abroad, Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin had personally discussed issues of his criminal prosecution with the French law enforcement authorities. Thereafter, the French criminal police had promptly identified the location of the convict and arrested him. The extradition process to come after that can be literally called unprecedented. With due regard for the French legislation features, the process took several years. However, the uniqueness of this procedure comes from the fact that the direct cooperation between French relevant officials and representatives of the Russian investigation managed to dispel any doubts the extraditing party might have had about the legitimacy of criminal proceedings against Kuznetsov and circumstances of crimes he was involved in.
Thereafter, the High Court of Paris ruled to arrest hotels in Courchevel and other property belonging to the perpetrators. Moreover, as a result of cooperation with foreign relevant authorities, the investigation managed to gather enough evidence including this to establish what the money obtained by illegal activities had been spent on.
Due to their thorough work, investigators gathered and presented irrefutable evidence of Kuznetsov’s committing the offense; therefore, the court has sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment in a general regime penal colony.
During the systematic work for identification of all persons involved in the illegal activities of Kuznetsov’s organized group, investigators detained another accomplice, former head of IKMO OJSC Dmitry Demidov, who had been hiding from the investigation for 10 years. He is accused of swindling that inflicted damage of 1 billion rubles on a legal entity.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko