Investigators press charges against Moscow theater director in embezzlement case
MOSCOW, August 22 (RAPSI) – The artistic director of the Gogol Center theater, Kirill Serebrennikov, has been charged with large-scale embezzlement, the Investigative Committee’s press office announced on Tuesday.
This morning the theater director was arrested by law enforcement officers. Investigators believe that Serebrennikov organized embezzlement of 68 million rubles ($1.1 million). He denied wrongdoing.
Earlier, ex-chief accountant of the Seventh Studio stage company Nina Maslyayeva, who stands charged with embezzling public funds allocated for promotion of art, has testified against Serebrennikov.
Maslyayeva said that Serebrennikov, Alexey Malobrodsky, ex- general producer of Seventh Studio, and former company’s head Yury Itin organized embezzlement of money allocated for a cultural event. Serebrennikov and Malobrodsky cashed the money with the assistance of Maslyayeva. The woman also said that she put falsified data in financial reports.
On May 23, police raided the Gogol Center as part of investigation into the case. Searches have also been conducted in premises of Serebrennikov. Later, he was questioned as a witness in the case.
According to investigators, unidentified persons from management of the Seventh Studio, a stage company created by Serebrennikov on the basis of his acting and directing course in the Moscow Art Theatre School, embezzled 200 million rubles (about $3.5 million) allocated by the government for development and popularization of art in Russia from 2011 to 2014.
Investigators claim that damage caused by Maslyayeva is estimated at about 1.3 million rubles (about $23,000). Malobrodsky is charged with embezzling 2.3 million rubles (about $38,700) allocated for organization of the “Platforma” project. The defendant pleaded not guilty, although he agreed to cooperate with investigators in the case.