Investigation of a probe into swindling against residents of besieged Leningrad finished

The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia finished investigation of a probe into 8 St. Petersburg residents - Alexey Fomin, Dmitry Chernov, Anastasia Koroleva, Elena Fomina, Tatyana Zotko, Tatyana Novikova, Natalya Baranova and Natalya Sirazhutinova. They are accused of committing 15 offenses under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of Russia (swindling) against 19 senior citizens.

A criminal case was initiated based on the results of a personal reception by the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation of a group of pensioners who suffered from the actions of these individuals.

According to the investigation, between 2014 and 2019, members of an organized group sought out elderly citizens who, on behalf of state agencies, were offered the opportunity to live for life in a St. Petersburg veterans' home in exchange for the transfer of the housing they owned and lived in allegedly to the state. The victims, who included Great Patriotic War veterans, labor veterans, and residents of besieged Leningrad, were tricked into transferring their real property rights to members of the organized group in exchange for their relocation to a social institution in exchange for the alienation of their living quarters. At the same time, this category of citizens, after following the established procedures, already had the right to be placed in this social institution, and there was no need to alienate the real estate properties belonging to them. 

The investigators collected enough evidence for the criminal case to be transferred for approval of an indictment and subsequent referral to court.

6 participants of the said organized group have been previously sentenced to different terms of imprisonment in 2020.

In addition, the investigators assisted the victims in challenging their rights to residential premises in civil proceedings, as a result of which a number of apartments were returned to their rightful owners. In order to secure the claims, the property of the defendants has been seized. Part of the damage caused to the victims was compensated by the defendants in the form of monetary compensation.