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MOSCOW, October 31 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Presnya district court sentenced former director of the Energomash group Alexander Stepanov to 4.5 years in prison, finding him guilty of attempted 12-billion-rouble fraud and exceeding his authority, the investigation department of the Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
Stepanov was director general of two Energomash companies: the GT-TETs Energo in Moscow and the Energomash corporation in Belgorod.
In 2006, GT-TETs Energo drew 17.5 billion roubles of loans from the Savings Bank to build low-power gas turbine stations. Energomash Corporation, affiliated with the accused, acted as the guarantor.
The investigators said Stepanov had stopped paying back the loans after some time and filed a statement of bankruptcy of his two companies with an arbitration tribunal. "The borrower and the guarantor thus were declared insolvent," the police said.
"To keep control over the insolvent GT-TETs Energo, Stepanov made a contract of provision of services with the Managing Company GT-TETs Energo, which was set up two weeks before the beginning of contractual relations. It was headed by a director whom Stepanov controlled.
Under the contract, all the functions to manage, maintain and operate the low power gas turbine thermal power plants had to be passed to the above managing company for remuneration. Four hundred million roubles were transferred from GT-TET Energo accounts as advance payment for the designated services.
The investigators believe Stepanov was in such a hurry to carry his plan through that he did not think it was necessary to provide the new legal entity with legal circulating funds, legal staff and a special license of the Rostekhnadzor agency for the right to operate fire hazardous facilities. All the GT-TETs Energo personnel were transferred to the managing company, i.e. to new workplaces, although de-facto, they continued to work at their old places.
The bankrupt GT-TETs Energo continued to function as before, and paid for the services it did not need. "Stepanov used his authority contrary to the company's interests to withdraw its liquid assets. The damage caused by his actions reached over 170 million roubles," the investigators said.
Sometime later, the Savings Bank, which was recognized the largest creditor of the Energomash Corporation, claimed half of the company property. The sum of debt to the Savings Bank amounted to 12.7 billion roubles at the time.
Stepanov attempted to illegally obtain the right to Energomash Corporation property worth some two billion roubles, which had to be alienated in favor of the creditors, including the Savings Bank. To this end, he faked the documents on Energomash Corporation bankruptcy and submitted them to the Arbitration Tribunal of the Belgorod region, alleging that the company had a far larger debt (to the tune of 16 billion roubles) to a foreign company. However, police and the Savings Bank's security service found out that the offshore creditor had been liquidated a year before filing its debt claim against Energomash Corporation.
The investigators believe Stepanov is involved in other crimes elated to theft of loans and illegal bankruptcies in the Energomash group.
Police put Stepanov on the federal wanted list in January 2010. He was detained on February 1, 2011. Moscow's Tverskoi court sanctioned his arrest on the following day.