Roman Temkin charged with fraud, Alexander Sabadash sentenced to six years in prison

Former senator and businessman Alexander Sabadash has been sentenced to six years in prison in an attempted fraud case.

Gagarin Court in Moscow sentenced the former senator and “vodka king” Alexander Sabadash to six years in prison in an attempted fraud case, according to Interfax.

As previously reported, today the court announced that Alexander Sabadash had been proven guilty in a case of attempted fraud concerning a VAT refund of 1.8 billion rubles.

According to investigators, Alexander Sabadash’s company Vyborg Cellulose brought in the company Es-ContractStroi LLC to build a pellet production plant in Vyborg for 12 billion rubles. The general director of the latter company was former Lenenergo top manager Roman Temkin.

After that, Alexander Sabadash’s company submitted falsified documents to the Moscow Federal Tax Inspectorate which confirmed that all that work had been completed. That was done in order to receive 1.8 billion rubles from the federal budget as a refund of value added tax.

But investigators are saying that in actuality, the real cost of the work was not 12 billion, but 5 billion rubles. Moreover, the work was not performed by the subcontractors in whose name the invoices were submitted, but rather by other individuals, including migrants, who worked without the necessary documents.

Alexander Sabadash was arrested last May. This means that the businessman will still need to spend a little more than five years in prison.

In March 2014, Roman Temkin was charged with attempted large-scale fraud (Part 3, Art. 30 and Part 4, Art. 159 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code), and on April 30 of last year Moscow’s Basmanny Court arrested him in absentia. There is unconfirmed information that he is now in France.

Alexander Sabadash gained fame in the early 1990s, when he organized imports of Royal liquors and Absolut vodka into Russia. After he purchased St. Petersburg’s biggest liquor and vodka factory, LIVIZ CJSC, he became known in St. Petersburg as the Vodka King. That is also when he bought the Vyborg Cellulose and Paper Plant. In 2001 he headed the company Russian Diesel. The businessman has now left all those companies.

From 2003 to 2006, Alexander Sabadash was a senator from the Nenets Autonomous District.

An international search has been announced for Lenenergo ex-deputy head Roman Temkin. Law enforcement is searching for the fraudster in connection with an attempt to embezzle 1.87 billion rubles from the federal budget under the guise of a VAT refund. Alexander Sabadash, a famous businessman and former senator, was previously arrested as part of the same case.

Law enforcement agencies first grew interested in Temkin in 2011, when the company for which he served as director, ES-ContractStroi, tried to obtain 1.87 billion rubles from the federal budget in the form of a VAT refund. In documents submitted to the tax service, the organization reported it had spent 12 billion rubles on construction at the Vyborg pellet production plant. Production was supposed to have been launched at Vyborg Cellulose (headed by Alexander Sabadash), but, as the investigation revealed, it was never begun. The investigation also established that only a fraction of the money indicated in the documents submitted to the tax inspectorate had actually been spent on construction and equipment installation.

In 2011, investigators searched the Moscow administration of the tax inspectorate, to which the ES- ContractStroi documents had been submitted, and they detained the company’s general director Roman Temkin in St.

Petersburg. However, the investigation was soon halted, and the claims against the general director, whom media reports had been calling a confidant of the famous entrepreneur and ex-senator Alexander Sabadash, were dropped.

The situation changed in 2014, when the Chief Investigative Administration of the Russian Investigative Committee took up the investigation of the VAT refund embezzlement scheme. That agency’s officials returned to the episode with ES-ContractStroi. Over the past three years, Temkin had managed to become Lenenergo’s deputy head for economics and finance.

In March 2014, Roman Temkin was charged with attempted large-scale fraud. After that he crossed the border and went into hiding. On April 30, Moscow’s Basmanny Court arrested him in absentia.