The Moscow City Court, having considered the complaints of the defense, significantly changed the verdict passed to the former main co-owner of PJSC Rosgosstrakh (RGS) Sergei Khachaturov and General Director of Tekhnika i Avtomatika LLC Nadezhda Klepalskaya. The entrepreneurs were sentenced to eight and six years in prison by the Dorogomilovsky District Court for fraud, embezzlement and laundering. The court of appeal, having excluded a number of incriminated crimes, decided to release Mrs. Klepalskaya, considering her a suspended sentence, and Sergey Khachaturov reduced the sentence to four years, which allows him to soon seek parole.
In July, the Dorogomilovsky District Court found Sergei Khachaturov and Nadezhda Klepalskaya guilty of committing crimes under Art. 159, art. 160 and art. 174 of the Criminal Code (fraud, embezzlement and laundering of the stolen). At the same time, the general director of Tekhnika i Avtomatika LLC, who was under house arrest and sentenced to a six-year term, was taken into custody in the courtroom.
In addition, the court satisfied the claims against defendants Khachaturov and Klepalskaya from the victims - Otkrytie Bank and RGS-Aktivy - for 5.8 billion rubles, respectively. and about 2.3 billion rubles.
Sergei Khachaturov, according to the investigation conducted by the FSB, in 2017, on the eve of the change of ownership in the RGS, carried out the withdrawal of the shares of the closed-end mutual investment fund Real Estate Nevsky, which were on the balance sheet of the RGS-Assets company.
As the investigation was sure, at the direction of the owner of the company, the shares were exchanged for a promissory note from a little-known Cypriot firm with maturity on December 19, 2019. The issuing company, also owned by Mr. Khachaturov, filed a bankruptcy petition in Nicosia a few months after the deal. According to the investigation, the Cypriot company was created by the ex-owner of the RGS in order to be bankrupt and not fulfill obligations on its bill.
The episode of fraud concerns the transaction to withdraw from the balance sheet of the company RGS-Assets owned by him, a 3.6% stake in PJSC Rosgosstrakh worth about 6 billion rubles.
They were contributed to the authorized capital of the Technika i Avtomatika (T&A) company controlled by the defendant, whose general director and main owner was Nadezhda Klepalskaya. In return, RGS-Assets received 1.6% of T&A shares. At the end of August 2017, when at the request of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation there was a consolidation of RGS shares, this package was sold on the Moscow Exchange to Trust Bank. After the transaction and payment of taxes, Sergey Khachaturov invested 4.4 billion rubles he received. in interest-bearing bills of Alfa-Bank, receiving an income of 59 million rubles, and then in Eurobonds of Gazprom and VEB. The investigation interpreted these transactions as legalization of the kidnapped.
The defendants in the case did not admit their guilt.
Nadezhda Klepalskaya insisted in court that all the transactions that appear in the criminal case were made by her in accordance with Russian legislation and "brought their participants significant economic benefits."
The defense, both during the investigation and during the process, insisted that all the transactions referred to in the criminal case had been agreed with the former owner of Otkritie Bank when preparing an agreement on the transfer of the main block of shares to RGS. Meanwhile, the new management of Otkrytie, which initiated the criminal case, noted that the lawyers had nothing to do with the execution of the contract, and therefore cannot be a victim in the case.
While reviewing the decision of the court of first instance, the Moscow City Court reclassified the actions of the accused to less serious art. 165 (causing damage) of the Criminal Code, and since there was no theft in the case now, their criminal prosecution for laundering the stolen was also terminated.
As a result, the Moscow City Court decided to consider the term previously assigned to Nadezhda Klepalskaya conditional, releasing her in the courtroom. Sergei Khachaturov's sentence was reduced from eight to four years, which gives him the opportunity to soon go to court with a petition for parole.
“We are convinced of the complete innocence of our client. Despite the fact that the verdict was only partially canceled, we cannot but welcome the decision of the Moscow City Court. The accusations against our client in terms of money laundering were absurd and contradicted the established judicial practice on this issue. The court of first instance considered the absolutely transparent and understandable use of income received from the sale of own assets after all necessary taxes to be legalized. This decision was not sufficiently motivated.
We are glad that the court of appeal supported the arguments of the defense and neutralized a precedent that is dangerous for the business community, ”said lawyer Alexander Gofshtein.
“The conclusions of the court of first instance on the episode with the alleged legalization were absurd. The court ignored both the provisions of the law and the established practice on this issue. The resolution actually states that the transparent use of income is money laundering. It is good that the Moscow City Court has dealt with this episode and canceled the verdict of the first instance court in this part, ”added lawyer Maria Blagovolina.