Having found guilty of two dozen episodes of fraud, the Kuzminsky District Court of Moscow sentenced the popular blogger (had more than 3 million subscribers) Khizri Zapirov to four years in prison. A similar punishment was imposed on the blogger’s closest assistant, Eduard Lomidze, while his director, Natalya Karapetyan, received a little less – three years and six months in prison. All three turned out to be members of a criminal group that created an Internet pyramid on a variety of sports bets.
Raysud considered the case of the blogger Zapirov and his two accomplices for nine months. The process was held behind closed doors, and during the recent debate, the prosecutor considered the guilt of the defendants fully proven, asking Khizri Zapirov to be sentenced to five years and four months in prison. However, the sentence was lighter.
Having found the defendants guilty of fraud committed by an organized group (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), the court appointed the blogger and his closest assistant Eduard Lomidze four years in a general regime colony. The third defendant, Natalya Karapetyan, was sentenced to three years and six months and taken into custody in the courtroom. The woman during the trial, unlike the other defendants, was not in a pre-trial detention center, but under house arrest.
The criminal case, in which Khizri Zapirov, a native of Dagestan, became the main defendant, was initiated on October 27, 2020. Initially, it was carried out in relation to unidentified persons, and investigators from the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Alekseevsky district of Moscow were engaged in its investigation. However, then the case was transferred to the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the North-Eastern District of the capital, and the first defendants appeared in it.
On December 10, 2021 Khizri Zapirov was put on the wanted list, and on March 30, 2022 he was detained in New Moscow. The next day, he was charged with committing twenty crimes under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. On April 1, 2022, the Babushkinsky District Court arrested the blogger. His accomplices were also taken into custody.
As follows from the materials of the case, in 2020 Khizri Zapirov, Eduard Lomidze and Natalia Karapetyan created a criminal group to systematically steal money from citizens by fraudulent means.
Demonstrating a luxurious life and constant prosperity on social networks, the defendants advertised to Khizri Zapirov’s blog subscribers an allegedly successful investment system that makes it easy to increase capital by automatically distributing bets on sports events.
By creating several accounts that posted false positive reviews about the operation of the investment system, members of the group attracted new clients.
So, in June 2020, it follows from the case file, the defendants offered the subscriber to become a member of the system by paying an initial fee of 20 thousand rubles. and another 40 thousand rubles – to start investing. After the subscriber transferred the money, he was informed that his bets allegedly won and now the investment is 350 thousand rubles. When the subscriber wanted to receive the promised amount, the defendants first demanded to pay a certain percentage for its withdrawal in the amount of 52 thousand rubles, and after payment they refused to return the money. Other episodes were similar. The total damage in the case amounted to 547 thousand rubles.
The defense plans to appeal the verdict.