Prosecutor seeks three years in jail for Defense property fraud suspect
MOSCOW, April 5 - RAPSI, Diana Gutsul. The prosecutor has asked the Tverskoy District Court to sentence to three years in prison Nikolai Lyubutov, who is suspected of committing large-scale fraud at the Defense Ministry's Oboronservice, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Friday.
Investigators believe that Lyubutov, the former sales director at the Expert Legal Support Center, and Dmitry Mityayev, the former head of the legal department at the MIRA company, agreed to assist businessman Mikhail Pashkin in acquiring an industrial property in Shchelkovo near Moscow for a 3 million ruble ($95,000) kickback.
Lyubutov said he could "speed up" a directive issued by Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and help Pashkin's firm to win the property in an online auction.
The defense sector has been rocked by corruption scandals in the past few months that led to Serdyukov's sacking in November.
Several people employed by the Oboronservice defense property services company were arrested last year on suspicion of fraud totaling over 13 billion rubles ($430 million) and involving the illegal sale of ministry property.
Earlier, the Russian Federal Defense Contracts Service said about 1,500 violations and infractions had been uncovered in state defense spending in 2012, involving over 16 billion rubles ($533 million).
Over 2 billion rubles ($63 million) were returned to the state coffers and over 3.5 billion rubles ($110 million) in damages were averted last year, the service said.