Sergei Sopchuk's gold was taken away

The deputy's gold mining was confiscated.
As it became known to Kommersant, the bailiffs have begun to turn into state revenue shares in Terney Zoloto LLC, which is developing a large gold deposit in the Primorsky Territory. Earlier, the court at the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office admitted that the owners of the LLC, including State Duma deputy Sergei Sopchuk, concealed their participation in this asset from the regulatory authorities, and ordered to take it away. The defense appealed against the confiscation, but achieved only a separate collection from the defendants of the state duty, which they had previously been obliged to pay in solidarity.

Appealing against the decision of the Zamoskvoretsky District Court, which, as Kommersant reported, in December last year confiscated shares in the deputy's undeclared asset, the defense of Sergei Sopchuk pointed to a violation of his rights in the first court instance. It was noted, for example, that the Prosecutor General's Office could not control information about the expenses and incomes of the people's choice, since he has a certain immunity, and the claim itself was supposedly to be considered not by the district court of Moscow, but immediately by the Supreme Court. The question of the lack of proof of the deputy's participation in the gold business was also raised. At the same time, the defenders referred to the fact that most of the shares of the enterprise are officially owned not by the people's choice, but by his sister Larisa Stukova. The representatives of the defendants were not satisfied with the fact that, satisfying the prosecutor's claim, the court of first instance decided to collect from them a solidarity fee of 60 thousand rubles.

The appellate instance of the Moscow City Court, checking the court decision after the complainants, found no violations either in the organization of the prosecutor's check in relation to the State Duma deputy, or in the jurisdiction of this claim. Separately, it was noted, for example, that violations on his part in declaring assets were discovered not only by supervision, but also by the Office of the President of the Russian Federation on Anti-Corruption Issues, as well as the State Duma itself. The latter, however, reacted to the deputy's abuses after the court confiscated his shares in Terney Zolot.

During the prosecutor's check, it turned out that the first to invest in gold mining was Mr. Sopchuk's business partner, former State Duma deputy Vasily Usoltsev. Then a colleague followed suit.

Mr. Sopchuk, established supervision, and the court over him, both personally and through the enterprises controlled by him, with which loan agreements were concluded, from 2011 to 2020 invested in Terney Zoloto LLC, which has licenses for the development of the Salut deposits and "Primorskoe", more than 4.1 billion rubles, and Mr. Usoltsev - 138.4 million rubles. At the same time, none of them could confirm the official income for such expenses, the supervision said. Having become the main owner of the LLC (99.73%), Mr. Sopchuk "formally" transferred the shares to his sister Stukova, continuing to actually control the financial and economic activities of the enterprise and make all the most important decisions related to it.

During the annual declaration of property, Mr. Sopchuk did not provide complete and reliable information about the sources of his income, its size and legality, and also concealed the property relations that had arisen between him and Terney Zolot. In turn, Mrs. Stukova, in principle, could not deal with the affairs of society, since she worked in a branch of the territorial fund of compulsory medical insurance of the Primorsky Territory.

The reserves of gold and silver explored with the money of the deputies in the Terneisky district of the Primorsky Territory were estimated at 38.539 billion rubles, however, having extracted some of them, the project investors did not even recoup their investments. Now, according to the decision of the Moscow City Court, the shares of the defendants Sopchuk, Stukova and Usoltsev, as well as several companies owned by the deputy, will go to the Federal Property Management Agency, which must organize further mining or put the asset up for auction.

The defense only succeeded in ensuring that the state duty from Messrs. Sopchuk and Usoltsev would be collected not jointly, but separately.

Note that after the scandal, Sergei Sopchuk did not dare to participate in the next elections to the State Duma, and soon after the expiration of his powers may be involved in a number of criminal cases. For example, he may be charged with obstruction of the preliminary investigation. During the search in the case of Mr. Usoltsev (he was charged with non-payment of taxes and participation in illegal entrepreneurial activity), people's deputy Sopchuk literally took away the documents on Terney Zolot from the investigation team, which he then took away in an unknown direction. However, the investigators of the ICR later found the so-called analysis of investments (records of shadow investments by Messrs. Sopchuk and Usoltsev, thanks to which their participation in the gold business was established). The volume of investments was confirmed by the testimony of witnesses, as well as the conclusions of Rosfinmonitoring, involved in the study of the shadow business.

Representatives of Sergei Sopchuk refrained from official comments, and unofficially made it clear that they do not agree with the conclusions of the Prosecutor General's Office and the courts.