MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – The director general of Russia's Severnaya Verf shipyard is suspected of embezzling 38 million rubles ($1.1 million) in budgetary funds, investigators said Friday.
Alexander Ushakov transferred the money to a local law firm in 2012, seeking legal assistance in a dispute with Russian tax authorities. However, the services were not in fact provided, the St. Petersburg investigative committee said.
Investigators searched Severnaya Verf’s offices in November as part of a 2011 probe against the shipbuilder’s former management, who were accused of causing billion-ruble damages to the state by breaching the terms of a defense procurement contract.
The shipbuilder, formerly led by Andrei Fomichev, transferred 5.9 billion rubles of budgetary funds allocated for warship construction to Mezhprombank, which became bankrupt in autumn 2010.
The financial problems led to a delay in commissioning the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, Kommersant business daily reported.
Ushakov was appointed director general of the St Petersburg-based shipyard in April 2012.
Severnaya Verf, which fulfills 75 percent of state orders for new warships, blamed the delay on a lack of budget funding and last-minute changes to the construction documentation.
The company is part of the state-owned United Industrial Corporation, headquartered in Moscow, which boosted its stake in the shipbuilder to 96.7 percent in 2012.