On this day, they took in a «charity» money laundry

On this day, they took in a «charity» money laundry

Fraudulent charity, acquisition, and laundering. Cashed out pecuniary means returned to leadership of the company "Yukos-Moskva". The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on February 7, 2005.

On this day, on February 7, 2005, from the Tula Region details of the criminal case were reported that had been initiated in 2004 against Alexey Kurtsin, acting office manager of the company “Yukos-Moskva”, on the charge of embezzlement and legalizing Yukos money.

At the beginning of 2004, the Committee of Finance Monitoring, during a usual inspection of bank operations to the tune of more than $20 thousand, sent to the Office of the Prosecutor General information about transferring from Yukos accounts 40 million rubles to the account of the Tula non-profit organization “Dom” and 28 million rubles to the non-profit organization "Restoration of the ecology of the Tula Region". The Office of the Prosecutor General, in its turn, assigned the Prosecution of the Tula Region to find out the destination of these means.

The inspection showed that the organizers of this scheme were "moving" these means between accounts of various organizations and then cashed them out and transferred to Moscow – to the company "Yukos-Moskva". The trick was that these millions of rubles were registered on the line of “charity” and were transferred to the accounts of the mentioned organizations. But soon they were brought back to “Yukos-Moskva” – not to its cash register, but to its managers.

Among leaders of "non-commercial" organizations and private firms, through which had come the "charity" millions, were mentioned the same persons. So was disclosed the "charity laundry" of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's oil empire. The investigation could bring to light a large-scale scheme of "cashing out" which Yukos, under the guise of “charity”, had unfolded in different parts of Russia.

(See also the article “On this day crashed the “charity” laundry of Yukos”. Acquisition and laundering. Yukos money was transferred to accounts of shell civic organizations and then cashed out).

On February 7, 2005, it became known about the apprehensions on the Tula episode which had been carried out earlier by investigators of the Prosecutor Office with the support of members of the Russian Special Police Force (SOBR). Searches and apprehensions were carried out at several addresses. Special attention was given to the search of Igor Goncharov, director of one of the firms exposed in the scheme. According to the investigation, he was connected to money laundering which belonged to the company "Yukos-Moskva”.


As reported by the Tula newspaper “Molodoy Kommunar”, citizen Goncharov is a very active and noticeable person in the region. He is "the founder, director and chief accountant of various commercial organizations. In the mid-1990s he sponsored carrying out in Tula concerts of famous performers of classical music. He was active in politics too, was an assistant of a deputy of the Tula regional Duma from the Communist party (KPRF). In 2001 he was himself a candidate to the Tula Duma, but could not get a necessary number of voters", said the newspaper. He was known in police departments as well.

“From the beginning of the 1990s, Goncharov has been on the radar of Tula's law enforcement agencies. He was suspected of taking part in bank affairs connected with cashing out money, they tried to put him to justice in connection with the case on barter deals with the use of false payment orders. However, for the lack of evidence, the persecution was stopped.

Operatives, "working on" Goncharov's case at that time, say he was saved, among other reasons, by a peculiar signature on documents – he put the letter G that looked more like a cross, and then said somebody had forged his signature".


And citizen Kurtsin behaved not less interesting. “At first, the Prosecution Office of Tula saw in Goncharov’s actions elements of fraud. But for initiating a case under Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, a claim of a victim is needed. The regional Prosecutor Office in October last (2004) year, sent a letter to Alexey Kurtsin, the office manager of the company "Yukos-Moskva", in which it informed about the facts of improper use of the charitable help of the company. However, in the official response to the Prosecution of Tula, "Yukos" refused to avow itself a victim leaving the decision on the fraud case at the discretion of the investigation”.

Alexey Kurtsin was apprehended in November 2004, and, with the approval of the Basmanny Court of Moscow, he was taken to custody. According to the investigation, from January to July 2004, the money of the company, with Kurtsin’s permission, was being transferred to accounts of non-commercial organizations in Moscow, Tula, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Ivanovo, Kaluga, Rostov-on-Don, Vladimir, Izhevsk, and Neftekamsk. On the whole, according to the investigation, 342 million rubles were laundered and legalized. The indictment against a group of persons was brought under Article 160, paragraph 4, Article 174, paragraph 4, Article 174-1, paragraph 4, of the Criminal Code of Russia – appropriation or embezzlement, and laundering, correspondingly. 13 criminal episodes were established by courts in this case.

Among other, in the group of nine defendants, was also citizen Goncharov. He was mentioned in the case as the head of a whole chain of shell firms, responsible for cashing out of Yukos money in Tula and, in other regions. As the result of the proceedings, he was sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment in a colony with a strict regime and the penalty to the tune of 1 million rubles.

In 2012, after the correction of the legislation towards mitigation, the verdicts on this case were revised. Goncharov’s prison term was reduced by three months, but he was indignant about that, as the term for Kurtsin, the main defendant of the case, not only was reduced by 3 years but he also was released on parole.


“Perhaps, Mikhail Trushin, the vice president of the company “Yukos-Moskva”, was the only person who was not brought to account within the framework of the criminal case on “fraudulent charity”. In November 2004, he escaped from Russia. He was put on a wanted list on the case of embezzlement of 22 million of “charity” rubles from the means of the Foundation of Disabled Persons in Udmurtia. And in 2005, he received a “political asylum” in Great Britain”, noted the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, an offshore fiction was disclosed”. The court adjudged Vassily Shakhnovsky guilty of tax evasion. One offshore company for five wheeler-dealers. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on February 6, 2004.

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