Theft on space research led to an earthly prison

The defendants of the case about embezzlement of 400 million rubles allocated for GLONASS-M got punishment.
The Moscow Ostankino court passed a verdict in the fraudulent embezzlement case of about 400 million rubles allocated for the production of a series of GLONASS-M space satellites. According to the investigation, budget funds were stolen thanks to contracts concluded between the rocket and space instrument manufacturing plant of JSC "Russian Space Systems" (RCC) and the supplier of ZAO "Mercury": part of the money allocated under contracts was deducted from the firm's former top managers.

Before the court appeared former top managers of JSC "Russian Space Systems" (RKS) Igor Krylov and Vitaly Tolmachev, as well as businessmen Alexander Polyakov and Alexei Diorditsa, alternately headed ZAO "Mercury". Following the results of the case, all of them were found guilty of particularly large fraud (Part 4, Article 159 of the Criminal Code). Igor Krylov, the only defendant who pleaded guilty in full, received six years of a general-regime colony, the rest, who admitted guilt partially, were sentenced to four years in prison each.

The criminal case against former top managers of the space-rocket enterprise and ex-leaders of Mercury was investigated by officers of the fourth Interior Ministry administration (in charge of closed and regime facilities and territories). The basis was operational materials obtained during a large-scale investigation, which policemen conducted against naked sites. The police were interested in the accounts of some firms that had signs of dummies. As a result, a scam was opened, to which, as the court established, the then top managers of the RCC were involved.

As it was said in the investigation materials, the budget funds were stolen thanks to the contracts that the missile company concluded with CJSC "Mercury" - allegedly for the production of detailed assembly units for the GLONASS-M spacecraft. On behalf of the plant, they were signed by Vitaly Tolmachev and Igor Krylov, on behalf of the CJSC - its managers Alexander Polyakov and Alexei Diorditsa. According to the investigation, part of the budget funds received by the customer were transferred to accounts of firms controlled by the top managers of the plant, after which the money was cashed and stolen. For several years in total, thus, almost 400 million rubles were stolen.

During the investigation, searches were conducted in the RCC and related commercial structures. As an interim measure, Igor Krylov's property was seized for several tens of millions of rubles. Other figurants, according to some sources, began to pay damages voluntarily.