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Criminal case opened over GLONASS program fraud

June 17, 2013, 17:12 UTC+3

A check found that the acts of completed works indicated a more expensive technology

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MOSCOW, June 17 (Itar-Tass) - A criminal case was opened over a 107-million-rouble fraud during the implementation of the GLONASS program, spokesman for the Investigative Committee /SK/ Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Monday.

The case was opened against first deputy director general of the central search institute of machine building George Kovkov, head of the institute's construction department Alexander Chernov and director general of Special Construction Department # 5 under the Spetsstroi Federal Agency for Special Construction Alexander Belov.

The investigator said the federal aerospace agency in 2010 approved the cost estimates for remodelling and upgrading building 100-1 of the TsNIIMash Central Research Institute of Machine Building in the town of Korolyov, and obtained a permit for construction works. Federal budget funding reached 1.05 billion roubles, the SK representative said.

The contractor was 5th department of the SpetsStroi agency for special construction, which erected solid concrete structures using large-form shuttering technology. The works cost 39,451,573 roubles.

A check found that the acts of completed works indicated a more expensive technology. "Berlov arranged the endorsement of the acts of fictitious works to erect solid structures indicating the use of slip-forms, claiming overall cost of works at 147,238,332 roubles, while knowing that this technology had not been used.

He showed these acts for coordination to Chernov, who was head of the contractor firm's department for capital construction, who in turn, submitted them to Kovkov for signing. Kovkov, exploiting his office position, and acting on behalf of the customer, endorsed the acts, Markin said.

Under these documents, funds of TsNIIMash Institute of Machine Building were transferred to department for special construction # 5 under the Spetsstroi agency for special construction, and then the money was used at discretion.

As a result, the federal budget in the person of the federal aerospace agency was caused 107,786,759 roubles of damage, which is an especially large amount, the SK spokesman said.

At present, investigation is underway to ascertain all the circumstances of the crime.

The latest money theft case is not the only case over embezzlement of GLONASS program funds. As of now, the Interior Ministry is investigating thefts through the Russian Space Systems /RKS/ and affiliated companies. RKS director Yuri Urlichich had to resign as the scandal in question peaked last year. On May 13, 2013, the Interior Ministry opened a criminal case over grand fraud /theft of 85 million roubles/ under Article 159, Part 4 of the penal code.

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