The FSB of Russia sent to the Director General of the State Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky the idea of eliminating the circumstances that contributed to the commission of the crime. This was done during the investigation of the criminal case of fraudulent theft of 30 million rubles. from budgetary funds allocated for the preparation for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the museum. The special service offered Mr. Piotrovsky to check the design documentation and fulfill the terms of the contracts for the most significant objects. The head of the Hermitage has already signed the corresponding order.
The investigative service of the FSB of Russia worked out its recommendations on the basis of the investigation of the high-profile criminal case of Mikhail Novikov, the former deputy general director of the Hermitage, and Alexander Kochenov, ex-manager of Baltstroy, which is now being considered by the Kuibyshev district court of St. Petersburg. Both are charged under part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud in a particularly large amount, committed by a group of persons on a preliminary conspiracy).
The judicial process, at the request of the prosecutor's office, is held in a partially closed mode: the supervisory authority requested this because of the need to examine the defendants' medical documents during the trial (these data constitute a secret protected by law). However, the indictment was made public.
According to investigators, in December 2012, Mikhail Novikov, who in 2010 occupied the post of Deputy Director General for Construction, signed a contract with ZAO Baltstroy worth about 1.2 billion rubles. for restoration and adaptation for modern use - as a laboratory-custodial and administrative building - the building of the Reserve House of the Winter Palace. Under the terms of the contract, the contractor received an advance 30% of the value of the contract (more than 350 million rubles.), Which he was transferred by order of Mikhail Novikov in late 2012. According to the case file, Novikov suggested that Alexander Kochenov commit embezzlement of part of the budget allocated for this contract. In the period from April to December 2015, the defendants, according to the case, prepared payment documents, which were inflated with data on the amount of work on injecting walls and basement vaults (restoration of operational properties and ensuring watertightness). As estimated by the investigative service of the Russian FSB, thus, 30.6 million rubles were stolen, and this money was subsequently cashed and divided between the defendants: Mikhail Novikov received 30 million rubles, and Alexander Kochenov - 600 thousand rubles.
At the trial, both defendants pleaded guilty and claimed damages caused by their actions. At the same time, the representative of the Hermitage, Natalia Shatikhina, announced the withdrawal of a claim previously filed by the museum against Novikov and Kochenov.
According to Kommersant's information, in its submission to the museum in January this year, the FSB invited Mikhail Piotrovsky to check the project documentation and fulfill the terms of contracts for the most significant facilities. The special service believes that museum workers should exclude a "formal approach to verifying the completeness, reliability and validity of documents submitted by contractors for payment of work performed," and take measures to prepare quality technical tasks that would eliminate the possibility of duplicating work and artificially inflating their costs. In addition, the FSB invited the leadership of the Hermitage to develop effective mechanisms for checking the quality and cost of the work required for payment and the reliability of the documents for recording work in construction, which are the basis for the production of their payment.
The Hermitage was also asked to take measures to eliminate unofficial contacts of the museum's employees with representatives of commercial organizations that act as executors of state contracts, and to develop and approve job descriptions of the Hermitage's employees, which clearly establish their rights, duties and responsibilities.
According to Kommersant's information, at the end of February of this year the general director of the Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky issued an order in which all the recommendations of the FSB were taken into account, the head of the museum retained control over the execution of this order.