Russian Military Court Sentences Former Top Security Agent To Prison For Massive Fraud

Cars drive past the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters on Lubyanka Square in Moscow. (file photo)  

A Moscow military court on April 22 sentenced a former senior officer in the Federal Security Service (FSB) to seven years in prison after he and two others were caught with tens of millions of dollars worth of cash in 2019.

Kirill Cherkalin, a former lieutenant colonel in the security service’s so-called banking department, was arrested in April 2019, along with two other FSB officers, Dmitry Frolov and Andrei Vasilyev, on charges of bribe-taking and fraud.

The case gained prominence after investigators said they had found 12 billion rubles ($157 million) in cash hidden in the trio’s properties at the time. Investigators also found 3.2 billion rubles cash ($42 million) in the apartment of Cherkalin’s parents.

In addition to the prison time, which was cut to five years due to time served in pretrial detention, the court ordered Cherkalin to pay 318 million rubles ($4.2 million) each to two victims of the fraud.

He was also stripped of his rank and military awards.

Cherkalin admitted to the crime and cut a deal with investigators.

Prosecutors had asked the military court to sentence him to 11 years in prison.

The case echoed the arrest of a Moscow police officer Dmitry Zakharchenko who was apprehended in September 2016 after investigators found $120 million in various currencies at his Moscow apartment.

Zakharchenko was found guilty of bribe-taking and obstruction of justice and sentenced to 13 years in prison in June 2019.

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