Collective Farm Chief Accountant’s Ups and Downs

Collective Farm Chief Accountant’s Ups and Downs

The Rossiya collective farm has unwittingly become a permanent character of the Stavropol Territory crime news column. It used to be a prosperous business but since Alexander Grinev and his associates illegally took the executive posts, the “new administration” has been successfully leading Rossiya to bankruptcy.

How Svetlana Podstavkina, chief accountant of the Rossiya collective farm, ended up in a pre-trial detention center because of document fraud and murky schemes

A lot of articles have been written about Grinev who is currently serving a sentence for stealing peas. So, we should also tell about his “comrades-in-arms” hoping that law enforcers, the judicial system, and the Criminal Code will repay them “according to their deeds.” All of them contributed to lawless practices at the Rossiya collective farm. Moreover, the former chief accountant Svetlana Podstavkina has already been jailed.

“Family Contract”

Svetlana Podstavkina is a cousin of the self-proclaimed chairman Grinev. In a nutshell, the Rossiya collective farm practiced nepotism. Podstavkina was head of the cooks' team before she took over the accounting department,.

Those who worked with her described her as “a very angry and rude person” who “behaves indecently” and “uses foul language.” The situation aggravated when Alexander Grinev, as a foreman of the 11th group of workers, began to promote her. Svetlana Podstavkina became chief accountant and showed her “full potential.”

“The entire accounting department recalls it all with disgust. The foremen loathed to go to the chief accountant's office. People forced themselves to talk to her,” said the Rossiya collective farm’s workers.

Even the foremen who got used to swearing say that the words and expressions used by chief accountant Podstavkina “made them sick.”

According to collective farmers, Podstavkina considered it normal to insult and humiliate people who came to her office and to throw a hole-punch or something heavy that came to hand at the visitor.

The methods Podstavkina used to manage her department have to be described separately.

Podstavkina demanded unquestioning obedience from everyone, regardless of whether it was legal or illegal. If anyone had a different viewpoint, he immediately experienced the full brunt of the chief’s anger.

There are known facts when rank-and-file employees were threatened with dismissal. They were told that everything would be reported directly to the management. By that time Grinev had already been promoted to deputy director of the collective farm. As part of the “coup d'état” he made an attempt to take the lead but the law stopped Alexander Grinev, and he is now in pre-trial detention.

Svetlana Podstavkina's favorite tool was the revision committee whose task was not to put things in order, but, as practice shows, to dig up or invent as much dirt as possible on anyone who disagreed. Needless to say, the committee was inefficient in handling financial affairs of the collective farm.

In addition, Podstavkina loved to apply the “divide-and-rule” algorithm.

“She is very confrontational, constantly provoking people, pushing them against each other. Even if a subordinate's error could be corrected on the spot, she would blow up a big scandal over it. Sometimes she financially punished her subordinates for insignificant inaccuracies,” one of her colleagues said giving a comprehensive description of Podstavkina.

Finally, it was the chief accountant who initiated the introduction of the “electronic surveillance” system. Psychologists use special terms for this but the popular saying about such people is “guilty mind is never at ease.” By order of the new chief accountant, cameras with microphones were installed in all the rooms which she could monitor from her office. Apparently Svetlana Podstavkina could trust anyone because she knew something about herself.

Criminal financial accounting

After that, Svetlana Podstavkina showed wonders of higher mathematics and economics. No academician would solve the logarithms that were written in the collective farm accounting department under her leadership. It is more likely that the investigators will be able to figure it out and qualify all these acts under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Here is an example. The official salary of the chief accountant is 100,000 ($1,340.7) rubles. Podstavkina bought the following property during her several years of work as chief accountant:

- several Mercedes for her children;

- a Toyota Prado for her husband;

- real estate in Krasnodar and Moscow;

- a new house and much more.

Her life seemed like a fairy tale. Accordingly, there is a logical question: How could a chief accountant with such an income afford these expensive purchases?

However, the answer to that question will now be given by the investigation. The law-enforcement agencies suspect her involvement in illegal sales of the collective farm's products, grain fraud schemes, false accounting, and document fraud. Svetlana Podstavkina also used some extremely crude methods. It is known that greed and power can make people with lapsed morals bold or cloud their judgment. As evidenced by the collective farmers, employees of the accounting department were repeatedly forced to take out loans worth 2 to 3 million rubles ($26,814 - 40,221) per person. Of course, nobody knew how that money was spent, and now investigators are finding out where the borrowed 25 million rubles ($335,175) are.

We hope that whatever is related to the recreation center located on the collective farm pond (by the way, in the water protection zone.) will make a separate episode in the criminal case. The collective farm's money was used to build a huge “palace” and pay its utility bills, in violation of every conceivable rule. Alexander Grinev regularly invited the “right” people to this recreation center for negotiations. Of course, every ruble was under the supervision of Svetlana Podstavkina's accounting deparment. Another close relative, Mikhail Tsikalov, was put in charge of the recreation centre to keep it under family control,

Don't wait for me, Mom

However, sooner or later secrets become widely known.

Last September Podstavkina was detained and sent to the detention center with Alexander Grinev. The latter had already been detained as a suspect in the harvest theft case.

Stavropol's Leninsky District Court said that Svetlana Podstavkina “destroyed accounting documents on harvesting crops including peas, and made new ones containing falsified information.” The court ruled to keep her under arrest as «she “could pressure witnesses and help accomplices to work out a single version of events or flee the country.”

Along with Podstavkina other “associates” who had helped “Grinev&Co” were sent to jail.

For example, Sergei Zelenin, head of Brigade 11 and the oil-extracting factory who is now in pre-trial detention by court order. Most likely, the same fate awaits other members of “Grinev's gang”: Alexei and Alexander Podstavkin, Andrei Barilchenko, Alexander Gavrilov, who tried to be elected as chairman of the collective farm in October, Alexei Kazakov, Mikhail Aseev, against whom a criminal case was filed over “arbitrariness.” He disappeared in late October after failing to ship grain to a state company under a lawful contract.

Let's get back to Podstavkina and her chances of getting away with it. As is quite typical for such people, Svetlana Podstavkina, having climbed the career ladder, spoiled relations with literally everyone. As is often the case with unwise people, Podstavkina firmly believed that she would “live happily ever after” but the law deservedly put the new «bigshot» in detention.

Today no one will say a single word in defense of Podstavkina: neither the former subordinates who suffered from her, nor the collective farmers, nor the “Grinev's colleagues,” who understand that they only have one option to save themselves which is to blame Podstavkina for everything. After all, she was responsible for the collective farm's money, used financial schemes and “managed” Grinev and company’s off-the-books funds.

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