One of “Novoogarevo Case” Defendants to go at Large With Clear Conscience

One of “Novoogarevo Case” Defendants to go at Large With Clear Conscience

Photo: http://ria.ru

Dmitry Torchinsky, a defendant in the notorious “Novoogarevo case” of embezzlement of funds for the reconstruction of the Russian president's residence in Novo-Ogarevo, may be released from prison one of these days, write Telegram channels.

Rent-Seeking Team

Dmitry Torchinsky, the former founder and ex-CEO of Stroykomplekt received a five-year term under two articles of the Criminal Code in autumn 2020. Taking into account the time spent in pre-trial detention and under house arrest, he risks being released in the near future. In October 2020, the Moscow City Court found Torchinsky guilty under two articles of the Criminal Code: part 3 of Article 210 (participation in an organized criminal association using one's official position) and part 4 of Article 160 (embezzlement or misappropriation of property as part of a criminal association on an especially large scale). As a result, Torchinsky got five-year term in a minimum security penal colony, restriction of freedom for 13 months and a fine of 350,000 rubles ($6,841.45) in the high-profile “Novoogarevo case,” in which defendants were found guilty of “embezzling” billions allocated for the presidential residence in Novo-Ogarevo, an estate near the village of Usovo, Odintsovsky district of Moscow region, 10 kilometers from the Moscow ring road.

It all started way back in 2012 when Novo-Ogarevo received the status of presidential residence in 2012. In December 2012, the Federal Protective Service (FSO) signed a contract with the departmental Federal State Unitary Enterprise Atex to construct a number of buildings at the presidential residence in Novo-Ogarevo: a reception house, a hotel with a gym, a commandant's office, a hangar for park equipment, a garage, a checkpoint, a boiler room, a fence around the estate, and a total of 5.7 billion rubles ($111.42 mln.) The Federal Protective Service paid an advance of 2.6 billion rubles ($50.82 mln) to Atex and Stroifasad.

After the deadline for completion of the work was postponed several times, in March 2017, a case was initiated under Part 4, Article 159 of the Criminal Code (fraud on a large scale) based on the materials of the Federal Security Service.

At the first stage, according to the Investigative Committee, the damage caused was 225 million rubles ($4.4 mln.)

After the investigation, the amount of damage increased significantly, amounting to 1.3 billion rubles ($25.41 mln,) to fraud (Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code) were also added charges of criminal association (Article 210 of the Criminal Code) and embezzlement of property on an especially large scale (Article 160 of the Criminal Code).

No Sense of Decency

As a result, the court agreed with the version of the Investigative Committee, according to which Torchinsky, as part of a criminal association, withdrew money through fictitious companies and then embezzled the stolen funds, after which they liquidated the fly-by-night companies. Simply put, the contractors just stole the money allocated for the residence of the head of state in Novo-Ogarevo.

Torchinsky was involved in the case as one of the defendants as the head of Stroykomplekt, controlled by the Baltstroy construction company. On the whole, as the court recognized, Torchinsky acted along with Andrei Kaminov, CEO of Atex, Dmitry Sergeev, Head of the Baltstroy construction company, Stanislav Kuhner, Head of Stroyfasad, and several other smaller merchants.

During 2017, employees of the central office of the Federal Security Service and the Investigative Committee took all the defendants in the case of embezzlement during the reconstruction of Novo-Ogarevo into custody. The cases of Stanislav Kuhner and Dmitry Torchinsky were separated into separate proceedings, after they entered into a pre-trial agreement with the investigation.

In particular, it was thanks to Torchinsky's testimony that the Investigative Committee brought charges against FSO Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Golokhvostov. While under investigation, Torchinsky testified that he and other defendants paid bribes to Golokhvostov so that, as the construction supervisor, he would turn a blind eye to schedule delays and other violations at Novo-Ogarevo. As a result, in May 2022, the court found Golokhvostov guilty of taking bribes totaling 20.7 million rubles ($404,622.9) and sentenced him to 11 years in a strict regime colony and a fine of 40.5 million rubles ($791,653.5.) Golokhvostov's defense is now preparing an appeal, as he did not agree with the verdict.

Out of Jail With Clear Conscience

In 2020, Stanislav Kuhner was also found guilty by the Moscow City Court and was sentenced to eight years in prison and a fine of 1.5 million rubles ($29,320.5.) As for Torchinsky, given the deal with the investigation, his “top secret” case was heard behind closed doors. As mentioned above, in the fall of 2020, he was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in prison, restriction of freedom for a period of 1 year and 1 month and a fine of 350,000 rubles. Torchinsky was included in the term of his sentence both in the detention center and under house arrest at his place of residence at 88 Mosfilmovskaya Street in Moscow.

Considering that Torchinsky was taken into custody in 2017, he actually spent only a few months in the Lgovsk penal colony of the Federal Criminal Investigation Committee-3 in the Kursk region and is already preparing to be released. Dmitry Sergeev, another of the defendants in the “Novoogarevo case” and former co-founder of Stroykomplekt and co-owner of Baltstroy, was released in July 2021, after his prison term was reduced from 7 to 5 years.

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