Corruption Fighters Jailed for Bribes

Policemen take bribes, employees of anti-corruption NGOs give bribes − sometimes both are punished

In Russia, the fight against corruption has long been fashionable: the state demonstratively fights economic crimes, civil activists, opposition and pro-Kremlin NGOs, investigative journalists and bloggers also fight against it. It seems that the love for other people's money is contagious − otherwise how would you explain that the fighters themselves often end up behind bars? We remembered the opponents of bribery who were convicted of bribery or embezzlement of state money.

Dmitry Zakharchenko, former head of a division of the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement

Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, a defendant of one of the most resonant criminal cases lately, served as acting head of the “T” Department of the Main Directorate for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. The directorate, in which Zakharchenko worked, was engaged in corruption violations in the spheres of the fuel and energy complex and chemistry. Soon after the arrest of the Colonel, who was accused of taking bribes, abuse of official authority and obstruction of justice, the directorate was liquidated.

Looking into Zakharchenko's case, it's easy to get confused: security forces seized a lot of money from the Colonel several times, came up with and dropped new charges, initiated cases against his relatives. During the searches at Zakharchenko’s, they have found out more than 9 billion rubles. Later, charges of abuse of office were dropped, however, there were four episodes of bribery, which the anti-corruption fighter allegedly received for patronage and warnings about the upcoming searches.

Denis Sugrobov, former head of the Main Directorate of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Lieutenant-General Denis Sugrobov, one of the youngest generals in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was the head of the MIA’s Main Directorate of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement, the same agency in which Dmitry Zakharchenko worked. The Directorate is a structural subdivision of the Russian MIA responsible for counteracting economic and corruption crimes, money laundering, criminal associations. Sugrobov, while working for the MIA, took part in the investigation of the Oboronservis cases, thefts during the construction of facilities for the Sochi Olympics, and thefts at OJSC Rosagroleasing.

Sugrobov and eleven of his subordinates were accused of organizing a criminal community, abuse of power, forging evidence and provoking bribery. According to the investigation’s version, with which the court agreed, Sugrobov and other staff of the central directorate falsified evidence of criminal activities of officials (for example, a member of the Federation Council, the head of the administration of Smolensk, an official of Rosreestr, etc.), provoking them to receive bribes. Sugrobov did not participate in criminal operations, carrying out general management of the group. Sugrobov himself denied the guilt, claiming that his persecution was organized by members of the special services.

On April 27, 2017, the Moscow City Court sentenced Denis Sugrobov to 22 years imprisonment in a strict regime colony. On December 19, the Supreme Court mitigated the verdict, shortening the term of serving a sentence of up to 12 years.

Sergei Zherebtsov, former deputy head of the Department for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the Transbaikal MIA Directorate in Transport

In April 2017 in Chita, the deputy head of the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department of the Transbaikal MIA Directorate in Transport, Sergei Zherebtsov, who was responsible for fighting crime in transport, was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment and a fine of 4.9 million rubles. Zherebtsov was found guilty of taking a bribe worth more than 2.4 million rubles from businessmen who illegally sell alcohol.

Anzor Apshev, founder of the Anti-corruption Committee of the Samara Region

On January 10, 2018, the Kirovsky Court of Samara sentenced businessman and founder of the regional public organization Anticorruption Committee of the Samara Region Anzor Apshev received probation term. He was found guilty of giving a bribe in a large amount. 700 thousand rubles were intended for the head of the Department for Combating Illegal Migration of the Department of Migration Control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Samara Region. For this money, the officer of the Department promised Apshev “a general connivance in the service”, as well as non-bringing to administrative responsibility for violations in the field of migration. Apshev was detained at the transfer of the first part of the bribe. The founder of the anti-corruption organization was sentenced to four years of probation and a fine of 3.3 million rubles.

Anticorruption Committee of the Samara Region began its work in February 2017; the head of the organization was former prosecutor of the Komsomol District of Togliatti Anatoly Stolnikov. The founders of the organization stated that the main activities of the committee would be “gathering information about the facts of corruption, its analysis and transfer to law enforcement bodies, as well as public monitoring of the progress of the investigation of corruption cases.”

Alexander Batagov, former head of the Department for Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the Russian MIA for Izobilnensky District of the Stavropol Territory

Former chief of the Anti-Corruption Department of the MIA for in Stavropol Alexander Batagov was caught red handed. Batagov prepared the bribe for the head of the private security company Patriot Plus. In exchange for 400 thousand rubles Batagov promised not to initiate a criminal case on embezzlement of budget funds in the implementation of the federal regional program on the employment of the population. In March 2017, the court sentenced Batagov to four and a half years in a penal colony and a fine of 1.2 million rubles.

Ivan Balantsov, former head of the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the Municipal Department of the MIA Zarechny

In December, the district court of the city of Zarechny in the Sverdlovsk Region sentenced the former head of the Economic Security of Municipal Department of Zarechny, Major Ivan Balantsov, to eight years' imprisonment. Balantsev was charged with taking a bribe of 600 thousand rubles, without which the Major allegedly refused to conduct a check on the statement of the manager of TransCapitalBank about theft of funds. The manager complained to the FSB department for extortion, and as a result of Balantsov was brought to justice.

The policeman himself has another version of the events: through his wife, Balantzov conveyed to the media. As Balantsov said, “from the very first days of work in the Region, I realized that for many years the fight against corruption in the Zarechny and Beloyarsky Districts was just on paper.” He managed to identify the criminal scheme, which involved the administration of the city, and even managed to initiate a criminal case, which provoked the conflict. The investigation’s version on refusing to conduct a check Balantsov calls a feign, insisting that the statement of the manager was issued in the hindsight and there was no issue with the check.

Vladimir Boborykin, former security officer of the Department of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the MIA Directorate in the Admiralteisky District of St. Petersburg

Vladimir Boborykin, an operative of the Department of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enfrocement of the MIA in the Admiralty District received five years in a colony. As established by the Nevsky District Court, Boborykin suggested one of the suspects to agree on the termination of a criminal case. The operative first estimated his services at 4 million rubles, but later reduced the amount to 2.5 million. The suspect complained to the FSB, after which a special operation was carried out and Boborykin was detained red-handed.

Maxim Kofman, former head of the Department of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Enforcement of the MIA for the Municipal Department Krasnoyarskoye

The former head of the relevant department of the city of Krasnoyarsk, Maxim Kofman, acted on a much smaller scale. For warnings about future inspections in the sphere of gambling, the corruption fighter asked only 45 thousand rubles. In April 2014, Kofman was sentenced to a year in a penal colony and a fine of 1.8 million rubles. The case was heard according to a special procedure – Kofman concluded a pre-trial cooperation agreement.

Vyacheslav Stepnov, former Chairman of the all-Russian public organization Center for Combating Corruption in State Authorities

Vyacheslav Stepnov, former chairman of the regional branch of the public organization Center for Combating Corruption in State Authorities, was tried for commercial bribery. In 2014, the court found Stepnov guilty in transferring 2.5 million rubles, from May 2012 to February 2013, as a bribe to one of the leaders of the Russian Railways branch – the East Siberian Directorate of Traffic Management. For this, Stepnov, who owns two transport companies, got access to scarce freight rail cars.

Center for Combating Corruption in State Authorities was established in 2006; now, the organization has more than thirty regional offices. Among the goals of the NGO is “assistance to the President of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation in implementing a large-scale and consistent policy in the field of combating the spread of corruption in public authorities” and “facilitating the formation of public control over compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation on state and municipal service.”

Evgeny Kornienko, former officer in charge of the Anti-corruption Department of the Operational-Search Unit for Economic Security of the MIA Directorate for the Orenburg Region

Orenburg corruption fighter Evgeny Kornienko received a bribe of 1 million rubles from an employee of the local Directorate of the FSSP. The officer found out about the FSSP officer’s fake diploma and started extorting money from him. In early 2011, the Orenburg Regional Court sentenced Kornienko to five years in prison. A member of the regional Prosecutor's Office, Vladimir Komin, stated that “for the entire existence of the Regional Court, this is the first verdict against an official who received such a large bribe.”    

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