The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAPO) have completed an investigation of the director of a state-owned forestry enterprise in Kharkiv region and the heads of four companies under his control (two of which are his relatives) suspected of seizing timber worth more than UAH 50 million. Their actions fall under Part 2 Art. 209, Part 5 Art. 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Massive embezzlement of Kharkiv region forestry funds: investigation completed
As established, the executive of the forestry (at the time of the crime) and the heads of controlled companies invented a scheme to sell wood to these businesses at discounted prices. Some 15 thousand cubic meters of wood were sold this way during 2018-2019, with the forestry having lost more than UAH 50 million.
The investigation also found that during 2018-2019, the said persons legalized part of the illegal funds in the amount of about UAH 2 million through the accounts of fictitious individual entrepreneurs under the guise of financial assistance.
In August 2021, the perpetrators were detained and notified of suspicion.
In October 2019, the forestry director tried to avoid criminal liability by offering a NABU senior detective an undue benefit of USD 100 thousand for closing criminal proceedings. He was exposed red-handed and notified of suspicion. In July 2020, the investigation into this fact was completed and the case was referred to the High Anti-Corruption Court. In February 2022, the HACC found the ex-official guilty and sentenced him to 5 years and 6 months in prison with confiscation of part of his property.
According to Article 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is considered non-guilty in the commission of a crime and cannot be subject to criminal punishment until he or she is found guilty by court.