Sergey Sidash was really poured
Board of Judges of the Rostov Regional Court changed the verdict former Deputy Governor of the Rostov Region Sergei Sidash and his accomplices, replacing the conditional imprisonment with real terms.
Sergei Sidash sentenced to 4 years, founder of Dontranshydromekhanizatsiya (DonTHM) Valentin Levanov – by the age of 6, the CEO of this company Andrey Androsov – to 5 years of imprisonment in a penal colony. Additionally, the court deprived Sidash of the right to hold positions in the civil service for three years, and Levanov and Androsov – to engage in activities in the field of ensuring state and municipal needs. The last two were also fined 700,000 rubles each.
In addition, the court announced the satisfaction of the prosecutor’s claim to recover from Sidash, Levanov and Androsov the damage caused to the Rostov Region in the amount of 80 million rubles and another 117 million rubles jointly from Levanov and Androsov.
On June 5, Levanov and Androsov came to the building of the Rostov Regional Court with large bags of things, obviously preparing for an arrest. Sidash, on the contrary, entered the building with a small daddy.
During the meeting, the public prosecutor proposed “to exclude from the verdict an indication of the application of the provisions of Art. 73 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation”, i.e. application of conditional punishment. The prosecutor also asked the judges to satisfy the civil lawsuit against the defendants.
All three defendants reiterated that they do not consider themselves innocent. Sergei Sidash shifted the blame to the former Minister of Construction of the Rostov Region Nikolai Bezuglov. According to the defendant, he himself did not know that coarse sand was indicated in the construction documents, and only fine sand was available, and the minister informed him about this only in the spring of 2017. And then he, Sidash, decided not to change the auction documentation, but to pour in the available cheaper sand instead of coarse sand in order to meet the construction deadlines. He is even proud of the results of his labors.
Sergey Sidash was especially outraged that Bezuglov, who admitted guilt, and the director of the State Budgetary Institution of Regional Development “Rostovoblstroyzakazchik”, Sergey Mishchenko, had previously been given a two-year suspended sentence by the court, and he was given four.
– They gave two years to the main executor and two years to the head of the organization, which “monitored” everything. How did they give me four years for instigating? This is illogical! – convinced the judges of the ex-deputy governor.
The founder of DonTGM, Valentin Levanov, said that not only did his company not profit from the construction, but, on the contrary, it also suffered losses, since the general contractor Crocus did not pay the company extra.
“We did not receive 100 million rubles, which Crocus received from the Ministry of Construction and embezzled,” Levanov said.
An elderly businessman asked the court to take into account his poor health when sentencing.
Andrey Androsov, the general director of DonTHM, said that he did not see any criminal schemes in the activities of the organization he leads and also asked to be acquitted.
The representative of the government of the Rostov region, Darya Kasatskaya, told the judges that the government does not see any damage in the activities of the former deputy governor Serey Sidash and called for the defendants’ appeals to be satisfied, and the prosecutor’s submission to be denied.
The judges, with imperturbable faces, listened to the speeches of the prosecutor, the defendants, their lawyers and the representative of the government. As it turned out, the arguments of the defendants and their defenders did not seem convincing to the judges. After the break, returning from the deliberation room, the board announced the sentence: Sidash – four, Levanov – six, Androsov – five years in a penal colony. To exclude the article on conditional punishment, to satisfy the prosecutor’s claim for damages.
Sidash and Levanov met the verdict with sad faces, but stoically. Androsov burst into curses, first unaddressed, and then addressed to journalists who photographed the process of announcing the verdict.
Escorts entered the courtroom to escort the defendants into custody.
Recall that the trial in the regional court, which took place on June 5, was already the fourth in the case. On October 25, 2022, the first verdict was handed down in the Kirovsky District Court. The state prosecution demanded that Sidash be found guilty of incitement to abuse of office, and Levanov and Androsov of complicity in abuse of office and fraud.
Fraud and theft consisted in the fact that during the construction of approaches to the Rostov Arena, cheaper fine sand was used, and the budget paid for it as for coarse sand. The story has acquired the name of the “golden sand” case. The defendants denied their guilt, stating that the price of sand was not overpriced.
Also in court information was given that the amount of profit of the DonTHM company, in which 98% of the shares belong to the Levanov family, in 2017-2018 amounted to over 510 million rubles. About 156 million rubles were paid as dividends to the shareholders’ personal accounts. The witness, Vyacheslav Levanov, deputy general director of the firm, claimed that it was “retained earnings from previous periods.”
The prosecutor asked to sentence Sergei Sidash to 4 years, Valentin Levanov to 6 years, and Andrey Androsov to 5 years in a penal colony. However, the judge of the district court, having found all three guilty of crimes, then assigned them suspended sentences: Sidash – 4 years probation, and the leaders of “DonTHM” – 5 years probation. The issue of recovery of damages was referred to other courts.
This punishment was approved by the Rostov Regional Court on appeal, but on April 18 the cassation instance canceled the decision appeal and returned the case to the regional court.
The verdict of the court on June 5 almost exactly satisfied the demands of the state prosecution on the terms of punishment for the defendants.
The convicts will be credited with the terms they spent in a pre-trial detention center and under house arrest.
The detention of Sergei Sidash became known on May 19, 2019. During the search, the investigators found wads of money in rubles and foreign currency, a collection of expensive watches and his own portraits in various surroundings at his house. Sidash then spent two months under arrest, after which he was released under house arrest, which was later also canceled. Valentin Levanov was placed under house arrest, and Andrey Androsov spent about a year in jail and then was released pending trial.
“If the same thing happened today, I would do everything in exactly the same way so as not to let down either the Rostov region or our regional government,” Sergey Sidash emphasized.
“Naturally, we will appeal against the decision of the regional court on the real term in cassation,” Sergei Sidash’s lawyer, Alexander Polyansky, told Kommersant.