Did Fribusa’s father and son pay off the rack?
With strange synchronicity, different episodes of a corruption scandal have recently developed, connected with the machinations of “developers” from the city of Berezovsky, Sverdlovsk Region – two Alexanders, father and son Fribus. A few years ago, the editorial office of Kompromat-Ural was one of the first to cover their fraudulent activities.
So, on July 24, 2023, in the Leninsky District Court of Yekaterinburg, Alexander Fribus Jr., the general director of several enterprises of the BZSK Group, remembered for its long-term construction in Yekaterinburg, Berezovsky and Pervouralsk, was sentenced.
According to media reports, the case concerned the residential complex “Optimist” in the city of Pervouralsk, which began to be built in 2015 under the federal program “Housing for the Russian family.” The Fribus companies (together with Alexander Fribus Jr., the beneficiary was his father, Alexander Fribus Sr.) could not complete the Optimist. Later, the investigation found out that for two years, Alexander Fribus Jr. deliberately withdrew money from the accounts of BZSK StroyInvest to the accounts of organizations that had nothing to do with construction. The damage caused by his actions amounted to almost 200 million rubles, in addition, equity holders suffered, who for many years could not get their apartments.
Freebusonok rescued from the zone
The criminal case of Fribus Jr. began to be considered in the city court of Pervouralsk back in 2018. In 2019, the court sentenced him to three years suspended under Part 2 of Article 165 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Causing property damage on an especially large scale by deceit or breach of trust in the absence of signs of theft), but the sentence was appealed by all parties, as a result of which the Sverdlovsk Regional Court in June 2019 canceled it.
Then the charge was reclassified to a more serious one, as requested, including by the victims, fraud on an especially large scale (Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and the case was again submitted to the Pervouralsky City Court in November 2019. But this time, Fribus’s defense managed to get the case returned to the prosecutor’s office, finding violations in the drafting of the indictment.
Again, the case went to court already in Yekaterinburg – but two judges, Alexander Taranenko and Andrey Shashkin, alternately found obstacles to its consideration in 2020 and 2021.
In May 2021, the case of Fribus Jr. on fraud on an especially large scale was already submitted to the fifth judge, Irina Tsybulskaya (Danilova). During the judicial investigation, the charge was reclassified back to the article on the application of especially large property damage (point “b” of part 2 of article 165 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The hearing in the case was adjourned a total of 67 times, as a result of which today’s verdict was delivered outside the statute of limitations for the imputed crime.
Tsybulskaya, as well as the judge of the Pervouralsky City Court Ekaterina Eliseeva five years ago, sentenced Alexander Fribus Jr. to three years probation. The only difference is that now the statute of limitations has expired, so when the verdict was announced, it was immediately announced that the defendant was released from punishment. If the article on fraud had survived, the statute of limitations for criminal liability would not have expired, since it is 10 years, not 6.
The press service of the Leninsky Court added to journalists that in civil lawsuits in this case, 1 million 78 thousand rubles and 1 million 650 thousand rubles were recovered from Fribus in favor of the two victims Blinova and Moshkina, respectively, in addition, each of them was awarded 100 thousand as compensation for non-pecuniary damage. For the financial scale of the Fribuses, this is a meager amount, informed sources of the Kompromat-Ural editorial board believe.
Papa Fribus: steal – I don’t want to!
The case of Father Alexander Fribus was simultaneously considered in the Verkh-Isetsky Court of Yekaterinburg. He was charged with the very part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the statute of limitations for which has not yet expired. The subject of the accusation of Alexander Fribus Sr. was the theft of federal budget funds in the performance of state contracts from the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
On the eve of the prosecutor’s office of the Sverdlovsk region, the editors of Kompromat-Ural learned that this landmark process, in relation to the elder Fribus, also ended ingloriously. “The Verkh-Isetsky District Court of Yekaterinburg, on the basis of evidence presented by the public prosecutor, passed a sentence in a criminal case against a resident of Yekaterinburg, born in 1962. He was found guilty of committing crimes under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Fraud, on an especially large scale, using one’s official position,” the prosecutor’s office of the Sverdlovsk region states dryly. In the text, as if to please the condemned, his surname is omitted. And in general, the message itself is worded as if the withdrawal of more than a quarter of a trillion rubles from the federal budget and the symbolic punishment for this is an absolutely commonplace.
The state prosecutor presented evidence that from January 2013 to December 2015, the Berezovskstroyinvest company, controlled by Father Fribus, concluded a state contract with the Capital Construction Department of the Russian Emergencies Ministry. The agreement provided for the construction and reconstruction of the material base of the Ural Regional Search and Rescue Team of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Employees of the company, at the direction of the convict, provided the customer with fake bank guarantees, entered false information about the volume of work actually performed into the documents. As a result, 212 million rubles paid by the customer were stolen.
“From June 2015 to November 2016, being the controlling person of Nefteyuganskstroyinvest LLC, Fribus Sr. instructed subordinate employees to conclude a contract with the Ural Regional Center for Civil Defense for the construction of a water rescue station in the Verkh-Isetsky district of Yekaterinburg. Subsequently, the functions of the customer were transferred to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia for the Sverdlovsk Region. As a result of similar fraudulent actions, funds paid by the customer in pursuance of the terms of the state contract were stolen in the total amount of more than 73 million rubles,” the regional prosecutor’s office told Kompromat-Ural.
The prosecution asked for Alexander fribus-st. punishment in the form of six years of imprisonment with serving in a correctional colony of general regime. The Verkh-Isetsky District Court of Yekaterinburg sentenced the guilty person to 5 years of suspended imprisonment (!), with a fine of 700 thousand rubles hzikhidtidekrt (!!).
The supervisory authority added that at present the verdict has not entered into force. The prosecutor’s office within the 15 days provided for by the criminal procedure legislation will examine the verdict for the presence or absence of grounds for appealing it.