The Smolninsky Court of St. Petersburg terminated the criminal case against the ex-head of the city Vodokanal Evgeny Tselikov due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Initially, he was accused of fraud, and then of abuse of office, but in the end the case was reclassified under the negligence article. The prosecutor’s office believes that under Tselikov, the State Unitary Enterprise seriously overpaid for electricity for three years, which caused damage to the enterprise in the amount of more than 1 billion rubles. The former leader himself denies all accusations against him. At the same time, Evgeny Tselikov remains a defendant in two more cases – on embezzlement and theft, the amount for each of them exceeds 200 million rubles.
Today, the joint press service of the city courts reported that at a meeting of the Smolninsky District Court in the case of the former director of Vodokanal of Petersburg, Yevgeny Tselikov, it was decided to reclassify the defendant’s actions as negligence (part 1.1 of article 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) instead of abuse of power, which entailed grave consequences (part 3 of article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), and then completely stop the case due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Note that this is not the first replacement of the article – initially a criminal case was opened on charges of fraud on an especially large scale (part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
According to investigators, out of personal interest, the CEO did not cancel the contract with Razvitie i Investments LLC (RII) and agreed to pay the supplier for electricity at an inflated price.
The case began in 2019. The materials of the investigation say that from June 2016 to May 2019, funds were transferred from the settlement accounts of the enterprise in an amount exceeding the maximum unregulated prices. The amount of payments for these three years amounted to 1.7 billion rubles. The investigation claims that Yevgeny Tselikov and the head of the RII Alexei Maleev, as well as unidentified persons, ensured the signing of invoices and acts of acceptance and transmission of electricity, which contained deliberately false information about prices.
In 2011, Vodokanal and RII concluded an agreement for the supply of energy. Evgeny Tselikov himself has been working in this structure since the mid-1990s, but he was made the head only in 2016. Previously, he was Deputy General Director – Felix Karmazinov, who held this post for 30 years. The then governor of St. Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko, personally congratulated him on his appointment and presented him with an official certificate. However, in March 2019, against the backdrop of financial violations of the enterprise, which were revealed by the Chamber of Control and Accounts (CAC), the current head of the city, Alexander Beglov, dismissed Yevgeny Tselikov. His place was taken by Alexander Danilov.
The dismissal occurred after Maxim Shaskolsky, vice-governor for energy, instructed the subordinate energy committee to re-examine the report of the PCB on the inspection of Vodokanal and sort out the situation. At the same time, the first criminal case was opened against Yevgeny Tselikov, as it turned out later, two more for hundreds of millions of rubles would follow. The investigation insisted on taking the suspect into custody, but Yevgeny Tselikov’s defense convinced the court to choose a measure of restraint in the form of house arrest. He will sit in his apartment while awaiting trial until the summer of 2022, then he will still be placed in a pre-trial detention center on charges of fraud for 210 million rubles. at the conclusion of a contract between the State Unitary Enterprise and Nostrum Construction Company LLC for more than 755 million rubles, according to which Article 159 will again be “returned” to Yevgeny Tselikov.
In addition, later, another criminal case will surface against the ex-head of Vodokanal on embezzlement and embezzlement of more than 200 million rubles. (part 4 of article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), as well as on abuse of office (part 3 of article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
The investigation claims that in 2017-2018 Yevgeny Tselikov illegally put resolutions under the advance payment of one of the main contractors of Vodokanal, CJSC Project Agency (PA). In addition to Yevgeny Tselikov, three more former top managers of the state-owned enterprise were charged. According to the TFR, Vodokanal carried out work during the construction of the stadium on Krestovsky, for which the PA was involved. The case file states that the State Unitary Enterprise changed the terms of contracts not related to the stadium and advanced the company for 240 million rubles, but these funds were spent for other purposes.