Embezzlement Charges Filed Against Three Russian GLONASS Managers

Embezzlement Charges Filed Against Three Russian GLONASS Managers

A Russian investigative committee is charging three senior managers with embezzling $3.2 million from Russia’s GLONASS navigation satellite program, RIA Novosti reports tonight.

George Kovkov, Deputy Director General of TsNIMash, Alexander Chernov, chief of the Capital Projects Department, and Alexander Belov, Director General of one of the Federal Special Construction Agency’s departments, allegedly embezzled the money meant for building a control and support center to collect and process data from GLONASS, Russia’s equivalent of the Global Positioning System (GPS).  They face 10 years in prison if convicted.

A total of $31.6 million was allocated for building the control center, but construction was suspended in 2011 and the building was never completed, according to RIA Novosti.

Earlier this year, a current and former official of Synertech were arrested on suspicion of embezzlement of over $2.7 million of government funds for GLONASS.  In that case, the charge was that the then-current Chief Executive Officer of Synertech and his predecessor concluded research contracts with unqualified commercial organizations.  The charges are part of a Russian government investigation of fraud in handling GLONASS contracts.

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