Defense Minister Official Detained in Billion Ruble Fraud Case

May 17, 2013
The gates of the Russian Defense Ministry [Photo: Izvestia/Vladimir Suvorov]

A new figure has appeared in the scandalous criminal case of the gang of crooks who stole 150 apartments from the Defense Ministry. Stanislav Balyukin, an official in the Defense Ministry, was detained in Moscow. He is considered to be one of the key participants in a fraud case which cost the state damages of one billion rubles. According to the investigation, Balyukin authenticated documents in court to transfer apartments to third parties, although he knew they were fake.

Law-enforcement officers told Izvestia that Stanislav Balyukin, an adviser for the Defense Ministry’s Department of Claims and Forensic Legal Work, was detained on 14 May at military headquarters on Znamenka Street. Investigators are now deciding whether to hold him in pre-trial detention.

According to the investigation, Balyukin was a member of the gang of crooks associated with former warrant officer Valery Danielyan, who used various schemes to defraud the Defense Ministry of 150 apartments valued at more than a billion rubles. As a result of the gang’s actions, most of the apartments in which military personnel were supposed to live went to people who had no relationship to the armed forces.

Investigators believe that Balyukin was assigned a key role in the schemes. Since he worked in a high-profile department and appeared as the official face of the Defense Ministry, he was able to legalize false documents in court, thereby enabling the apartments to be removed from the ministry’s balance sheet. According to the investigation, although he knew that the fraudsters were presenting fake authorizations for the right to obtain public housing, Balyukin endorsed them anyway.

In March 2013, operatives of the Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate of Economic Security and Anti-Corruption and the FSB’s Department of Military Counterintelligence uncovered the gang of fraudsters. They detained Danielyan, the former warrant officer and adjutant of the former commander of the infantry forces, Alexander Postnikov-Streltsov, his wife Kristina Ivanova, Igor Ganichev, Svetlana Savina and Igor Lisov. A criminal case was opened against them under the criminal code article for fraud. They were all arrested at the petition of the investigation at Tverskoi District Court of Moscow.

According to the investigation, the crooks forged false authorizations from the directives of the chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Housing Directorate, using fake identities to obtain the right to public housing. The gang members then forged public housing leases with the district housing units. Using these documents, the fraudsters declared their rights to privatization of the apartments in court and obtained authentic property deeds. The apartments were sold at market prices to people who suspected nothing. The fake “military” people whose information was used in the capers were then paid a percentage of the deal.  The Interior Ministry Main Directorate Chief Investigative Department has opened 14 criminal cases on the basis of these facts.