As it became known to Kommersant, the Prosecutor General’s Office approved the indictment in the criminal case of especially large-scale fraud against businessman Armen Kobalyan. According to investigators, he, being a subcontractor in the reconstruction of the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Korolev, near Moscow, participated as part of an organized group in the theft of more than 300 million rubles. Roskosmos funds. A couple of months ago, in this case, the general director of Delta Stroy, Alexander Osipov, and the executive director of SU-24, Kazbek Tebiev, were sentenced to seven years in prison. Their defense insists that the customer was provided with a valid bank guarantee, for which the advance payment was fully returned; the work, according to the conclusion of the experts, was carried out, and the reason for the delay in construction was problems with the project documentation.
According to Kommersant’s information, the criminal case of Armen Kobalyan, one of the leaders of the SU-24 construction company, somewhat “lags behind” the main investigation, as it was separated into a separate proceeding. The decision to bring him on as an accused of especially large-scale fraud (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) was issued by investigators of the Main Directorate for the Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation back in February 2017.
It was about the alleged embezzlement of hundreds of millions of budget rubles during the construction and technical re-equipment of the buildings of the legendary MCC in Korolev. However, then it was not possible to find the person involved – he was first put on the federal and then the international wanted list. Only in November 2021, he was detained and placed in a pre-trial detention center.
At that time, in the Khoroshevsky Court of Moscow, a trial was already underway in the case of his alleged accomplices – the general director of the Delta Stroy company, Alexander Osipov, and another head of SU-24, the subcontractor of Delta Stroy, Kazbek Tebiev. The third defendant was the chief accountant of the latter company, Lyubov Petrenko. At the same time, if the first two were charged with both fraud and the legalization of proceeds from crime (part 4 of article 174.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), then the elderly woman was charged only with “laundering”. However, in May last year, 70-year-old Lyubov Petrenko died without experiencing complications from COVID-19.
According to the investigation, Armen Kobalyan, “being the head of a subcontractor, as part of an organized group, together with the heads of other legal entities, stole more than 300 million rubles by fraud. budget funds”.
“Getting the opportunity to dispose of the stolen funds, Kobalyan made financial transactions to legalize part of the money obtained by criminal means in the amount of at least 115 million rubles,” a source in law enforcement agencies explained to Kommersant, noting that the materials had already been sent by the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Presnensky District Court of Moscow for consideration on the merits.
It is worth noting that Alexander Osipov and Kazbek Tebiev heard a guilty verdict in February this year. During the debate of the parties, the state prosecution asked to sentence everyone to eight years and six months of general regime with satisfaction of the civil claim of Roskosmos as the injured party for 790 million rubles – the entire amount transferred by TsNIIMash JSC for the restructuring of the MCC buildings.
As a result, both defendants were found guilty on all counts and sentenced to seven years in prison, and the case against Lyubov Petrenko was dismissed due to her death. The convoy handcuffed the men under house arrest in the courtroom. They were sent to the capital’s pre-trial detention center-3, better known as “Presnenskaya forwarding”, from where they were transferred to Velikiye Luki, although the verdict did not enter into force. Businessmen and their lawyers demanded a full acquittal during the process and have already appealed the verdict.
Recall that Alexander Osipov and Kazbek Tebiev were detained in December 2016 as part of a large-scale investigation of theft during the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome and other construction projects in the space industry. Both of them were in custody for about two years, but then, when the then Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin refused to approve the indictment for the first time, they were released. Meanwhile, Lyubov Petrenko and the beneficiary of the construction company Maxim Kuznetsov, who could not be caught, were added to the number of defendants, and he is still on the international wanted list.
At the same time, Vladimir Shamailov, the head of FSUE Spetsstroytekhnologii, subordinate to the construction customer of Spetsstroy of Russia, was initially one of the first defendants. As Kommersant told, before that he managed to serve in a number of ministries and departments, including the FMS and the Ministry of Emergencies. Then he was convicted for a number of abuses, but in the MCC case, the man, already seriously ill by that time, ended up being only a witness.
The defense of Alexander Osipov and Kazbek Tebiev is sure that the Khoroshevsky court, when making its decision, did not take into account a number of important points. Lawyers do not agree that the disruption of the work plan was due to the fault of Delta Stroy. “We drew the attention of the court to the results of the forensic examination, the data of Glavgosekspertiza, the extensive correspondence between TsNIIMash and Spetsstroytekhnologiya on problems with project documentation,” said Dmitry Danilov, one of the representatives of the convicts.
According to him, the delays were due to the lack of a positive conclusion of the state expertise of the project documentation from the customer, which contained “numerous and significant shortcomings.” In addition, according to Mr. Danilov, the contract with Delta Stroy was terminated unilaterally for far-fetched reasons six months before its expiration.
His colleague Vyacheslav Feoktistov specifically noted that under the allegedly stolen advance payment from Spetsstroytekhnologii in 304 million rubles. a bank guarantee was provided in a timely manner, according to which he was fully returned. The pledge of the guarantee was the personal property of Maxim Kuznetsov – a cottage near Moscow with a plot and all buildings worth, according to expert estimates, up to 390 million rubles. However, according to the defense, the entire amount of the bank guarantee has not yet reached Roskosmos.
Defenders believe that the assertion of the investigation that Delta Stroy only created the appearance of work at the MCC, without having the capacity to carry it out, does not stand up to criticism. “The court was presented with data that the company managed to successfully complete 274 government contracts for more than 5.2 billion rubles in just 4 years. and that the LLC had its own funds,” Mr. Feoktistov added. According to him, only during the work on the MCC, more than 1.3 billion rubles were received on the accounts of Delta Stroy. from other projects.
“Among the work performed is the reconstruction of the capital’s Sokolniki Park (540 million rubles), the repair of the buildings of the Sechenov Medical Academy (170 million rubles) and the Kaliningrad Museum of the World Ocean (266 million rubles),” added Mr. Feoktistov, who expressed hope that these data will be taken into account by the Moscow City Court.