MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian military investigators have opened a criminal case against a former manager at scandal-plagued defense services company, who is suspected of organizing a real estate fraud that led to multimillion-ruble losses to the Baltic Fleet, officials said on Thursday.
Maxim Malakhovsky, former head of the Baltic Fleet’s commercial department, is suspected of abusing his position by leasing state-owned real estate for artificially-low rates, causing losses of some 10 million rubles ($30,400) in 2011, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
According to investigators, Malakhovsky allegedly shut down three sections of the Baltic Fleet's commercial department in the interests of "optimization." Those companies, which owned 33 fleet-owned Defense Ministry properties, leased them to three private companies at far below market rates. He leased the property to the new companies without the authorization of his department's parent company Voentorg, or its parent company Oboronservis company.
He then resigned from his job in the Defense Ministry company and was later "hired" by the firms he had set up.
Oboronservis has been at the center of a string of scandals since last November, involving managers who have allegedly embezzled state-owned real estate, including lucrative property in the Black Sea coast area and Moscow.
Malakhovsky faces up to four years if convicted.