On May 22nd, the Tverskoy Court in Moscow ruled on the arrest in absentia of Chingiz Agaronov, co-founder of the JSC R&D Company “Cascade.”
He is charged with giving bribes in large amounts to the leaders of the military acceptance committee controlling the installation work at the facilities of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN).
Scientists and specialists from Cascade were reportedly involved in creating telecommunication and control systems for the Air Force, Air Defense Force, Strategic Missile Forces, and the Space Forces. They also carried out work on the most important facilities of state authorities – the Kremlin, the Moscow White House, the State Duma, FSB, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and General Staff.
Agaronov has dual Russian and Israeli citizenship. The Cascade co-founder left Russia in 2016. The Moscow Central Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee in cooperation with the FSB are investigating the case.
According to SPARK, Agaronov is still in the board of directors of the Cascade and is co-owner of the company. Since July 2018, the board of directors has been headed by Stanislav Puginsky, head of practice at Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasyev and Co. At the same time, Agaronov was declared as wanted.
The Agaronov case was separated from the charges against Oleg Kochan, the former head of the 590th military mission of the Ministry of Defense and Dmitry Tyurin, the leading expert of the mission. They were sentenced for bribery back in 2016. An investigation was also conducted against Cascade’s accountant, Natalia Yevropeitseva.
The court found that Lieutenant-Colonel Tyurin served under a contract as deputy head of the 4185th military mission of the Defense Ministry between April 2008 and December 2009 and deputy head of the 2757th military mission of the Defense Ministry and the leading expert of the 590th military mission of the Defense Ministry starting from February 2010.
At the end of 2008, he was temporarily appointed acting head of the quality control and product acceptance team at the Kaskad Central Research and Production Association on Kochan’s order.
According to investigators, Tyurin, and through him Kochan, repeatedly received bribes from the accountant of Cascade “for committing actions included in the defendant’s official powers” to the benefit of the company. In the case of dozens of small payments worth more than 3 million rubles in total. In addition, Kochan received a bribe of 30 thousand rubles from the general director of another company, Promstroyproekt LLC, “for signing the contract for the supply of fiber-optic cable.”
Tyurin explained in his testimony that it was financial help in the form of small payments rather than bribes. Kochan said that material assistance was required due to lack of funds for the purchase of office equipment, furniture and renovation of premises.
According to even earlier reports, there was clearly something out of sorts with Cascade.
In 2008, an Compromat.ru article on the company looked at its past. In the mid-1990s, now exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky reportedly took an interest in the company.
According to some reports, up to $2 million were allocated for the purchase of a controlling stake.
It was at this time that “Cascade” “recognized” its future chairman of the board of directors and owner, Chingiz Agaronov. With his appointment is when the Cascade’s “rise” began.
After the transfer of the Central Scientific Industrial Association into the hands of Agaronov, most of the employees were dismissed, or transferred to enterprises with similar specifics. The new owner began to rent the vacated space to various commercial organizations, and to carry out government orders to attract outside firms, often without the necessary licenses and permits.
And Agaronov was allowed to leave the country and never return, a person with intricate knowledge of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces and the defense systems of the Kremlin and other facilities.
News regarding the Agaronov case followed a series of other corruption-linked scandais in Russian state-linked companies.
Just recently, Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin said that billions of rubles were funneled out of Russia’s federal Roscosmos space agency over the past five years in corruption schemes. Around the same time, Yury Yaskin a senior Roscosmos official fled Russia in the midst of audits on his structural subdivision.
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