Former RSC Energia CEO Vladimir Solntsev has been arrested on charges of misappropriating more than 1 billion rubles ($13 million) by inflating prices on the procurement of electronic components for an International Space Station science module. Tass reports:
Solntsev’s guilt is proven by the memos, signed by the former official, as well as by witnesses’ testimonies, the investigators say. According to one case actor, a former Energia manager, who testified against Solntsev, the former CEO is a head of a crime group. Solntsev denies guilt and says the criminal case is “Roscosmos’s crackdown on the old team.” Currently, Solntsev works as an advisor to the United Aircraft Corporation CEO.
Three more suspects, including Solntsev’s deputy, have absconded and are wanted, the court said. “Suspects Ignatkin [Solntsev’s deputy], Morozov and Stapovich have absconded; an arrest warrant was issued against them,” the judge said.
According to the case materials, Solntsev and his accomplices used a chain of affiliated companies for misappropriation. Besides Solntsev, Istok Science and Production Corporation (a Rostec subsidiary) CEO Alexander Borisov and former Energia managers Stepan and Alexander Prokhorov were apprehended earlier over suspicion of fraud.
A source in the law enforcement told TASS earlier that searches were conducted at a number of premises belonging to former Energia managers and an Istok senior official over a case of a major misappropriation during shipments.