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The Hermitage Capital Fund exposed one more misappropriation from the Russian budget

September 09, 2011, 12:10 UTC+3
The Hermitage Capital Fund affirms that it exposed a misappropriation of another one billion roubles
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MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— The Hermitage Capital Fund affirms that it exposed a misappropriation of another one billion roubles from the Russian budget involving the former chief of the 28th Moscow taxation inspection Olga Stepanova.

The Hermitage Capital investment fund, a lawyer of which Sergei Magnitsky died at the Moscow detention center, suggests the fund exposed a misappropriation of another one billion roubles from the budget involving  the former chief of the 28th Moscow taxation inspection Olga Stepanova. Hermitage lawyers earlier reported about two frauds with the illegal tax returns involving Stepanova at the cost of 8.4 billion roubles. According to them, the former tax inspector gained personally about 40 million dollars in these criminal schemes and purchased the real estate in Russia and abroad. However, the law enforcement agencies did not react to this case.

The lawyers of the Hermitage Fund have filed already the third lawsuit against Stepanova in the Investigation Committee, Izvestia writes. According to Magnitsky’s colleagues, at the end of 2007 and in the beginning of 2008 she signed the documents about the illegal return of previously paid profit taxes of the TekhProm Company from the budget at the cost of one billion roubles. The lawyers believe that Stepanova misappropriated some part of this sum.

Magnitsky’s colleagues do not have special hopes about the reaction to their new exposures, the newspaper notes. “One of our previous lawsuits was attached to a certain criminal case №34 4212, under which the detectives pledged to make a detailed investigation, but no case has been opened yet,” a lawyer said.

Magnitsky’s colleagues believe that the funds were transferred under the widespread profit tax return scheme: an investment company was found as a victim, which has struck major deals recently and has paid major profit taxes to the budget from the deals. Then the constituent documents were counterfeit and the swindlers took control over the company. Several fly-by-night companies were formed to make debt claims to the victimized company through the arbitration court right at the sum of previously paid profit taxes. At the trial the company controlled by the fraudsters recognized completely the debts and the court has made an appropriate verdict for the company and filed a specified tax declaration in the tax inspection without declaring the profits. If there is no profit, the budget is to return the previously paid taxes to the company.

The fund has already posted the documents in the Internet that Stepanova’s family, which declared the official annual income of about 38,000 dollars, bought the assets and the real estate in Russia and abroad at the cost of 39 million dollars. She purchased the land in the Moscow regional town of Arkhangelskoye at the cost of about 12 million dollars and a villa at the cost of eight million dollars situated at the same place, a villa in Montenegro, a villa and two flats in the elite districts in the United Arab Emirates and offshore companies.

Stepanova resigned from the taxation service in the autumn of 2010 and now works as an councilor of the chief of the Federal Agency for the Supplies of Weapons, Special Military Hardware and Special Military Equipment, the Vedomosti writes. The Russian state-run weapons supplying company failed to get in touch with Stepanova on Thursday and refused from any comments. A tax official stated that the agency learnt about Hermitage’s lawsuit from the media.

A total sum of criminal schemes with tax return, in which Stepanova was involved, according to Hermitage, the fund estimates at 9.4 billion roubles, the newspaper reports. The previous accusations are linked with the illegal profit tax return.

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