Deputy gold led to a criminal case – Picture of the day – Kommersant

In Primorye, a criminal case has been initiated against ex-State Duma deputy Sergei Sopchuk. He is charged with illegal entrepreneurship and legalization of funds acquired by criminal means. In particular, the investigation believes that Mr. Sopchuk, despite the status of a deputy, was the actual owner and head of the Terney Zoloto gold mining enterprise. Earlier, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court satisfied the claim of the Prosecutor General’s Office and confiscated Sergei Sopchuk’s shares in Terney Zoloto LLC. According to a Kommersant source in law enforcement agencies, the ex-deputy, apparently, expected such a development of events and disappeared from the investigation abroad.

On Friday, it became known that the former State Duma deputy Sergei Sopchuk became a defendant in a criminal case initiated by the Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) in Primorye. According to the website, which is close to the security officials, the ex-deputy is charged with legalization of money acquired by criminal means (part 4 of article 174.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and illegal entrepreneurship (article 289 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

According to the investigation, in the period from 1997 to 2021, occupying various leading posts in the parliament and administration of Primorye, as well as being a State Duma deputy, Sergei Sopchuk illegally took part in the activities of a number of commercial structures – LLC Poltava Terminal, LLC River Port Administration “Nizhne-Leninskoye” ”and others. Also, the politician was the actual owner and head of LLC“ Terney Zoloto ”, which develops a large gold deposit in the Primorsky Territory.

In addition, Mr. Sopchuk is blamed for the fact that he received income from the Mayak recreation complex, built in the suburbs of Vladivostok, which he owned through proxies.

The ICR in Primorye did not comment on the initiation of a criminal case against Sergei Sopchuk. A source in the region’s law enforcement agencies told Kommersant that the ex-deputy had indeed come under criminal prosecution. “It was not possible to detain him. He is hiding abroad, “the source told Kommersant. The court in Vladivostok has already ruled on the absentee arrest of the ex-deputy for his international search. Mr. Sopchuk’s mobile phone was disconnected today.

Recall that in December last year, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow satisfied the claim of the Prosecutor General’s Office and recovered the share of the ex-deputy in LLC Terney Zoloto as state revenue. Mr. Sopchuk, established supervision, and the court over him, both personally and through the enterprises controlled by him, with which loan agreements were concluded, from 2011 to 2020 invested in Terney Zoloto LLC, which has licenses for the development of the Salut deposits and Primorskoye, more than 4.1 billion rubles, and his business partner Vasily Usoltsev – 138.4 million rubles.

At the same time, none of them could confirm the official income for such expenses, the supervision said. Having become the main owner of the LLC (99.73%), Mr. Sopchuk “formally” transferred the shares to his sister Stukova, continuing to actually control the financial and economic activities of the enterprise and make all the most important decisions related to it.

During the annual declaration of property, Mr. Sopchuk did not provide complete and reliable information about the sources of his income, its size and legality, and also concealed the property relations that had arisen between him and Terney Zolot. In turn, Mrs. Stukova, in principle, could not deal with the affairs of society, since she worked in the branch of the territorial fund of compulsory medical insurance of the Primorsky Territory.

The reserves of gold and silver explored with the money of the deputies in the Terneisky district of the Primorsky Territory were estimated at 38.539 billion rubles, however, having extracted some of them, the project investors did not even recoup their investments.

In September, Kommersant learned that the bailiffs had begun to turn over shares in Terney Zoloto LLC into state revenue.

Sergei Sopchuk is a well-known politician in Primorye. He was repeatedly elected as a deputy of the regional legislative assembly, and in 2002-2006 he served as its chairman. In 2007-2008 he worked as the first vice-governor of Primorye. In January 2008, an attempt was made on his life. An unknown person shot at the official and wounded him in the arm. The crime remained unsolved. In 2016, Sergei Sopchuk was elected to the State Duma in the 62nd single-mandate constituency (Vladivostok). He was a member of the United Russia faction. In 2017, he was appointed head of the United Russia Interregional Coordination Council for Primorye, Sakhalin and Yakutia.

Sergei Sopchuk’s relationship with the Prosecutor General’s Office deteriorated early last year. The reason was an incident that happened on March 6 during the consideration of a civil suit by the Prosecutor General’s Office against ex-mayor Igor Pushkarev in the Sovetsky District Court of Vladivostok for the collection of over 1.4 billion rubles in state revenue. Then the plaintiff’s representative Sergei Bochkarev said that State Duma deputy Sergei Sopchuk “blackmailed the Prosecutor General’s Office”, sending appeals to her, showing “concern about the fate of Igor Sergeevich and the assets that he possesses.”

During a break in the meeting, the wife of Sergei Sopchuk Ron, a judge of the Soviet District Court, appeared in the hall, and she tried to present Mr. Bochkarev with a bouquet of flowers. “The woman asked if she could see the prosecutor Bochkarev. The court staff present in the hall, recognizing their colleague, were confused and kept silent. However, the prosecutor’s shoulder straps spoke for themselves, and, approaching him, judge Sopchuk introduced herself and tried to present flowers to Sergei Bochkarev with the words “I came to congratulate you on International Women’s Day” without any aggressive actions. When, on the instructions of the prosecutor, Judge Sopchuk was taken out of the hall, she only asked why he didn’t want to accept flowers from her, ”the incident was described on his social network page by an eyewitness to the incident, Primorsky journalist Alexander Salkov.

Rona Sopchuk briefly explained her act to reporters by saying that she simply wanted to give Prosecutor Bochkarev a bouquet of flowers.

The judge’s spouse, State Duma deputy Sergei Sopchuk, dismissed the claims of the Prosecutor General’s Office on March 6 on his social network page. “It is regrettable when the work of a deputy with the received appeals is perceived as“ pulling back ”. Yes, I “showed concern” about the fate of the Primorsky enterprises and their collectives connected with the criminal case against Igor Sergeevich Pushkarev. And in this he was not alone. Trade unions, for example, also used the words “concern”. And in particular, the head of the FNPR Mikhail Shmakov also appealed to the General Prosecutor’s Office. Applications from representatives of enterprises with a staff of five thousand were also received by other authorities, and there were public statements on this matter. Working with appeals is the duty of a deputy, ”wrote Mr. Sopchuk.

As a result of the investigation of the incident in June last year, the qualification board of judges of the Primorsky Territory downgraded the judge of the Sovetsky District Court of Vladivostok, Rona Sopchuk, in the qualification class, after which her application for honorary resignation was granted.

Sergei Sopchuk did not run for the State Duma deputies again in the elections in September this year.

Alexey Chernyshev, Vladivostok; Nikolay Sergeev



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