ST. PETERSBURG, October 12 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) — Entrepreneur Andrey Yeresko was found guilty of legalizing helicopter components and parts stolen from a military unit in the amount of more than 20 million rubles ($280,000) and sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, the United Press Service of St. Petersburg Courts told RAPSI.

The defendant is a businessman and headed the St. Petersburg Gymnastics Federation, follows from the case materials.

This criminal case was heard by the Kuibyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg. Together with Yeresko, the head of Tekhkomservis company, Marina Karabanova, CEO of Petrokon company, was found guilty of committing the same crime. She was sentenced to 3.5 years of probation. 

It was also ruled to recover from the both defendants in total 22 million rubles ($307,000 at the current exchange rate) as compensation of pecuniary damage, the statement reads.

Yeresko was punished for the totality of crimes committed, since earlier he had been found to be an accomplice of a former senior police officer Alexander Koloskov in the theft of helicopter components.

At this hearing  Yeresko and Karabanova were found guilty of legalizing stolen helicopter components and fraud related to illegal export VAT refunds.

As follows from the materials of the case, Tekhkomservice and Petrokon companies were engaged in the purchase and sale of aircraft. Yeresko illegally acquired, without actual deduction of VAT, various used aircraft components, carried out repairs thereof and sold these components to foreign contractors.

The illegal activities of the defendants were suppressed by the military counterintelligence officers of the Russian Federal Security Service.