State Duma lawmakers propose toughening penalties for business fraud
MOSCOW, April 23 (RAPSI) - The State Duma lawmakers have drafted a bill that would increase the liability for business related fraud, Rafael Mardanshin, member of the lower house’s Committee on Civil, Criminal, Arbitrary and Procedural Legislation, said on Thursday at the Supreme Court’s conference on the problems in enforcing fraud, appropriation and embezzlement laws.”
Mardanshin said that the bill was prepared pursuant to a December 11, 2014 Constitutional Court ruling that said the punishment for business fraud was too lenient and did not correspond to the Constitution relative to other categories of fraud.
Mardanshin recalled that the introduction of an article to the Criminal Code on business fraud in 2012 was supposed to become “an obstacle for the unlawful conviction of business people.” The maximum terms were softened and the law defined major damages as exceeding 1.5 million rubles ($29,000) and especially large damages as exceeding 6 million rubles ($116,300).
The new draft excludes fraud against individuals from the Criminal Code article. According to the amendments, business fraud includes intentional default on commitments if it caused damage to individual business people, an organization or the state.
Additionally, in order to equalize liability with other categories of fraud, the maximum sentence is proposed to be increased from three to six years and from five to seven years for major fraud.
The bill was sent to the Supreme Court and the government for an official review.