MOSCOW, May 7 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court has sentenced ex-chief financial executive of Stroyinvestengineering Su-848 company Irina Pomeshchikova to 3 years in prison for embezzling over 1 billion rubles ($16 million) allocated for the construction of Kalashnikov assault rifles manufacturing plants in Venezuela, the court’s spokesperson Yekaterina Krasnova has told RAPSI.

Pomeshchikova has pleaded guilty, according to Krasnova.

In February 2017, the court sentenced ex-federal senator for the Belgorod Region Sergey Popelnyukhov to 7 years in prison as part of this case. Moreover, the court collected 1.14 billion rubles from Popelnyukhov in favor of Rosoboronexport arms trade company.

According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, Popelnyukhov embezzled 1.1 billion rubles which his company Stroyinvestengineering Su-848 had received from Venezuela for building plants for production of Kalashnikov assault rifles and auxiliary ammunition. The deal was made as a part of contract with Rosoboronexport arms trade company.

Pomeshchikova has reportedly conspired with Popelnyukhov and other unidentified persons to steal the money.

Constructors involved in the construction of industrial facilities reported long-time delays of salary payments. This situation attracted attention of the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) department responsible for security at industrial objects. Deadlines for putting facilities into use were postponed repeatedly until the end of 2015.

The defendant's defense earlier claimed that plants were not built because of inflation in Venezuela.