Executive Director of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences (Shaninka) Kristina Kryuchkova made a deal with the investigation. Interfax writes about this with reference to sources close to the investigation. Kryuchkova allegedly testified against all five defendants in the case of former Deputy Minister of Education Marina Rakova, including the rector of Shaninka, Sergei Zuev.
Interfax writes that Kryuchkova also spoke about a scheme that was allegedly used to cash out the stolen money. After testifying, she was transferred from the pre-trial detention center to house arrest.
Rector Zuev’s lawyer Ruslan Kozhura did not confirm or deny this information to Meduza (included in the register of foreign media agents), but, according to him, Zuev and Kryuchkova had no confrontations.
At the end of September, a criminal case was opened on the embezzlement of budget funds from the Ministry of Education in the amount of 50 million rubles. Six people are suspected of participating in the criminal scheme: former Deputy Minister of Education Marina Rakova, her common-law husband Artur Stetsenko, employees of Sberbank Yevgeny Zak and Maxim Inkin, rector of Shaninka Sergei Zuev and executive director Kristina Kryuchkova. Previously, none of them admitted their guilt.
- According to the investigation, in 2018, Rakova, Zak and Zuev entered into false labor contracts between the RANEPA and twelve employees of the Ministry of Education. They were fictitiously employed as researchers at the Institute of Social Sciences. The press center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs claims that these people did not do any work, but received a salary. Thus, the damage was more than 20 million rubles.
- Investigators also believe that already in 2019, Rakova lobbied for the allocation of budget funds to the Fund for New Forms of Education Development, which belongs to the Ministry of Education. With this money, the fund allegedly ordered works from a subcontractor – Shaninki, which, according to the investigation, were paid for, but were not completed.
- The university insists that the work has been completed.
- The Bell edition found out that the criminal case was opened after the conflict between Rakova and the Prosveshchenie publishing house, which supplies textbooks and equipment to Russian schools on multi-million dollar government contracts. Sources of the publication claim that “even before leaving the ministry, Rakova made powerful enemies for herself.”
- Zuev’s arrest caused a great public outcry – his colleagues and other scientists claimed that they knew the rector as a professional and decent person. Initially, Zuev was sent under house arrest, but later, despite undergoing heart surgery, he was sent to a pre-trial detention center.
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