MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian police have opened a criminal case against the head of a defense enterprise suspected of embezzling over 21 million rubles ($700,000), the latest in a series of frauds uncovered in the domestic defense industry, the Interior Ministry reported on Monday.
The police are investigating the head of the Temp scientific and production association, part of state-run hi-tech corporation Russian Technologies. Temp develops and produces automated control systems for aviation gas turbine engines in most domestic military and civil aircraft.
According to police information, the head of the enterprise signed repair and construction contracts with two firms in 2012 and gave instructions to pay them, although the contractors failed to carry out their obligations under the deals.
“Police searched the premises of the enterprise, including the suspect’s office, and seized documents, accounting records, electronic media and other items related to the criminal case,” the ministry said in a statement.
If convicted on charges of fraud, the suspect could face up to ten years in prison.
The investigation is the latest episode in a string of high-profile scandals involving the Defense Ministry. A fraud involving the Oboronservis defense property agency led to the sacking of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov late last year.