Elvira Makarova is former Minister of Natural Resources in Murmansk Oblast. Photo: gov-murman.ru

Three years on the installment plan

Former Murmansk Minister of Natural Resources and Environment has been handed a 3 year stay in the penal colony.
March 06, 2019

Elvira Makarova, has been convicted of abuse of power and sentenced to prison. She is guilty of abusing the powers of her office for her part attempting to legalize the building of a 4.9 hectare recreational dacha retreat on protected Kildinsky lake forest lands starting in 2009. 

According to the details of the case, Makarova illegally leased the forest land to the Rodnichok dacha partnership LLC, of which she was also a founding member. Makarov’s group had created several management and service companies for the purposes of laundering funds from three  vacation supply companies. Knowing that it was prohibited to build private houses on protected forest land, she organized a fictitious forest development project and forbade her subordinates from inspecting the documents. The total amount financial damage amounted to 37,656,000 rubles (about €560,000).

When the scam was discovered, Makarova immediately attempted to reign her post, an act that also came under an investigation and implicated regional governor Maria Kovtun.  Eventually, the governor issued a decree releasing Makarova from the duties of her position. The dismissal included a lifetime ban from public service.

Makarova pleaded not guilty in the case but was found guilty of a particularly large fraud  (Part 4, Article 159 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced to four years in a minimum security prison, a fine of 500,000 rubles (€7,400) and a three-year ban from engaging in any commercial activities in the housing or community services sector.  Makarova was given credit for time served from when she was in custody from September 28, 2015 to April 28, 2016. Thus, Makarova is supposed to remain behind bars for 3 years and 5 months.

However, because the former minister is a single mother, she will probably avoid the actual colony stay as the court has postponed the actual jail punishment until Makarova’s child reaches 14 years of age. By that time, the statute of limitations on the crime will have run out as well as Makarova’s ban on working in the real estate business.

 

Translated by Adam Goodman

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This story is originally posted by Blogger51 and translated and re-published as part of Eyes on Barents, a collaborative partnership between news organizations and bloggers in the Barents region

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