The banking caravan has served its time. A verdict was passed in the criminal case of fictitious investors | November 21, 2023

Source: AP 2023

Almost all the defendants, who had been under real arrest and some under house arrest during the investigation and trial, were awaiting the announcement of the verdict, already being under a ban on certain actions. And only two defendants – Sergei Konkin and Sergei Gribakin, for whom the prosecutor during the debate asked for the longest sentences – six years each (the rest from five to five and a half years), awaited their fate in custody.

However, the result turned out to be the same for everyone. Judge Albina Timakova of the Tagansky Court of Moscow, having found all the defendants guilty of attempted especially large-scale fraud (Part 3 of Article 30, Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation), sentenced them to sentences ranging from one year and eight months to four years and four months imprisonment.

And since they had already served these terms, some in pre-trial detention, some under house arrest, immediately after the verdict was announced, all the defendants were released to their homes.

Until the verdict comes into force, all of them, by court decision, including Konkin and Gribakin, who were in custody, will be under recognizance not to leave.

It is obvious that the convicted are unlikely to appeal the decision. The prosecutor’s office, according to Kommersant, can file an appeal after studying the reasoning of the court decision.

As Kommersant has already told, entrepreneurs Denis Grishkin, Viktor Gorin, Sergei Zagortsev, Dmitry Naumov, Dmitry Podmostov, Vitaly Solomatin, Ekaterina Alekseeva, Sergei Gribakin, Tatyana Soboleva, Alexei Savelyev, Marina Domoratskaya and Sergei Konkin, according to investigators, intended to steal DIA has more than half a billion rubles. They expected to receive them after the license was revoked from the Trade City Bank (TCB), where accomplices attracted by the organizers opened several hundred fictitious deposits.

The defendants and their accomplices took control of TGB in February-March 2017, when it became obvious that the bank’s license was about to be revoked. Despite the fact that at this time the regulator had already introduced a ban on attracting funds from individuals into deposits at the credit institution, members of the organized group opened two new additional TGB offices in Moscow specifically for this purpose.

On March 8 and 9, 2017, that is, four days before the collapse of the bank (more than 7.2 billion rubles remained owed to depositors), accomplices gathered by the organizers almost throughout the country, who in financial circles are called a “caravan”, registered in it 530 fictitious deposits totaling more than 627 million rubles.

Moreover, the size of each of them did not exceed 1.4 million rubles, that is, the maximum amount of guaranteed insurance compensation paid by the DIA. All participants in the “caravan” were promised a reward in the amount of 5 thousand to 50 thousand rubles.

Frauds with deposits were revealed by the temporary administration. In the bank dossier received from the former top management of TGB, there was no information on deposits worth 627 million rubles, allegedly opened in TGB a few days before the revocation of his license, as well as the money itself in the bank’s cash desk. As a result, the DIA refused payments to all 530 fictitious investors who came under suspicion, and the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) opened a criminal case.

At the same time, his first defendant, Sergei Federyakin, who, according to the Investigative Committee, was involved in preparing documentation for fictitious deposits, also avoided imprisonment. He fully admitted his guilt, entered into a pre-trial cooperation agreement with the Prosecutor General’s Office, and in August last year the Tagansky court sentenced him to three years probation.

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Oleg Rubnikovich.

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