Four Vostochny embezzlement case defendants sentenced to prison
MOSCOW, Februuary 21 (RAPSI, Nikolay Merkulov) – The Simonovsky District Court of Moscow on Wednesday sentenced four defendants in a criminal case over embezzlement of 1.3 billion rubles ($23 million) during Vostochny Cosmodrome construction to prison terms ranging from 4.5 to 8 years, the court’s press service told RAPSI.
Former CEO of Volga-Vyatka construction company (VVCC) Yevgeniya Degtyareva was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison; her father Sergey Degtyarev, who is believed to be the real owner of the company, received an 8-year prison term; ex-VVCC managers Alexander Bazankov and Murat Matuyev were given 6 and 5.5 years in prison respectively.
Additionally, Degtyareva, Bazankov and Matuyev were fined 1 million rubles (about $17,700) each, and Sergey Degtyarev was fined 1.5 million rubles (about $26,500).
All the defendants were found guilty of embezzlement last week.
In January, a prosecutor demanded 8 years in prison for Degtyareva, 10 years in prison for her father, and 7 years in prison for Bazankov and Matuyev each. Moreover, the prosecutor asked the court to impose fines ranging from 1 to 1.5 million rubles on the defendants.
Investigators claim that in 2014, managers of Volga-Vyatka construction company (VVCC), a subcontractor for construction of roads to Vostochny Cosmodrome, received 300 million rubles ($5.3 million) as a down payment and expend the money for purposes other than that intended. Moreover, they channeled the public money to affiliated firms and individuals at a charge. According to the indictment, the total damage caused by the defendants is estimated at over 1.3 billion rubles.
The construction of the space center, due to become Russia's main launch site, began in 2012. The first launch vehicle operation was carried out on April 28, 2016.
Dozens of cases over embezzlement during the construction of Vostochny Cosmodrome have been launched in several Russian regions.