The ex-head of the Sports Training Center for Russian National Teams went to jail for embezzlement of 26 million rubles. for salaries, bonuses and travel allowances for “dead souls”
Alexander Kravtsov got a job for 7 years
The court recognized the ex-director of the Center for Sports Training of Russian National Teams Alexandra Kravtsova and five other sports officials guilty of major embezzlement . Among the accused is the former Deputy Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) Gennady Aleshin. The court found that they employed “dead souls” at the center and received salaries, bonuses and travel allowances for them. Damage to the state is estimated at 26 million rubles. The defendants’ defenders argued that all those employed had been regularly performing their work duties for 11 years. Nevertheless, the court sentenced Kravtsov to seven years in prison, while the rest received suspended sentences – from two to four years.
How “dead souls” were employed
The Zamoskvoretsky Court of the capital Moscow sentenced the director of the Sports Training Center for Russian National Teams (TSSP), the former head of the Russian Biathlon Union, Alexander Kravtsov, to seven years in prison on charges of particularly large embezzlement.
It follows from the indictment that from 2010 to 2017, Kravtsov appointed six people to positions as analysts in the scientific group of the Training Center. Another vacancy was filled in the coaching staff. Investigators came to the conclusion that those employed did not actually work, but received salaries and bonuses. Also, in the amount of damage, which amounted to 26 million rubles, law enforcement agencies included the cost of air tickets, taxes, fees and travel allowances for absent employees.
During the debate between the parties, a representative of the state prosecution asked that 70-year-old Kravtsov be sentenced to 10 years in a general regime colony.
In addition to Kravtsov, five more people were involved in the case – they were accused of complicity. Among them are ex-Deputy Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) Gennady Aleshin, former head of the Sochi branch of the TsSP Igor Boyko, anti-doping coordinator of the All-Russian Athletics Federation Robert Popovson of the chief accountant of TsSP Denis Frolovand also a daughter Kravtsova Elena Novikova. According to the prosecution, Kravtsov hired his daughter as a practical shooting coach, and he appointed Frolov as an analyst for the practical shooting team.
The court sentenced all other defendants to suspended sentences: Aleshin – four, Novikova – three, Boyko – two, Frolov – two and a half.
Honored Coach of the Russian Federation (*aggressor country) Alexander Kravtsov became the director of the Sports Training Center for Russian National Teams in 2009 and officially worked there until 2021. In 2011, he became a member of the Organizing Committee to ensure the preparation of Russian athletes for the Olympic Games in Sochi. For this work, Kravtsov was awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, IV degree.
He was detained in the embezzlement case in 2020. The official did not admit guilt, and during the meeting to select a preventive measure in September of the same year, he argued that the criminal case could have been the result of “settling scores” by his former deputy Alexander Afanasyev, “dismissed for concealing income.”
Kravtsov’s lawyer Vadim Myasnikov insisted: even if there was a fact of fictitious employment, it cannot be qualified as embezzlement – a milder article on abuse of power would be more suitable here.
Another lawyer representing Novikova’s interests stated that the investigation illegally added taxes, fees, bonuses, travel allowances, and the cost of air tickets to the amount of damage caused.
Initially, the investigation believed that the fictitious employment took place between 2014 and 2017. But during the trial, it turned out that Kravtsov’s daughter started working back in 2010 – a year after her father assumed the position of head of the Central SP, then she was listed as an analyst. Based on this, the prosecution revised the amount of damage caused and increased it from 14.5 to 26 million.
The court also partially satisfied the claims of the TsSP and jointly and severally recovered from the defendants almost 17 million rubles as damages.
This is not the first trial in recent years against famous sports officials.
But criminal cases about “dead souls” in the sports field are quite rare, says lawyer Alexander Orlov.
“Cases of fictitious employment mainly relate to government institutions, ranging from educational to subordinate organizations,” he said. — There is even a special term “snowdrops”.
This is the name given to people who are officially employed, but do not actually work and do not receive a salary.
In March 2021, the president of the diving, water polo and synchronized swimming federations, Alexey Vlasenko, was charged with particularly large-scale fraud. Details of the case were not disclosed, but, according to his lawyer, the sports official did not admit guilt. With the approval of the Basmanny Court, he was placed in custody.
And in July 2022, the Tagansky court sentenced the former deputy head of the department of administration and control of the Ministry of Sports of Russia (*aggressor country) Antonina Kuznetsova to six years in prison. She, like Kravtsov, was charged with fictitiously recruiting employees to organize work on the construction of stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, the official actually managed to avoid punishment, since the court postponed its execution.
In 2019, the former Minister of Sports of the Perm Territory, Pavel Lyakh, was found guilty of abuse of power. The official received three years probation.
A lawyer from the Khalimon and Partners law office, in a conversation with Izvestia, agreed with the opinion of Kravtsov’s defense about the qualifications of the alleged crime.
— Embezzlement is still a form of theft, that is, the secret or open taking of someone else’s property. In the case of fictitious employment, if there was such a thing, the investigation should have charged those involved in the case with abuse of power,” the expert said.
He also noted that this fact will be a serious help for the defense when appealing the verdict on appeal.