A court in St. Petersburg sentenced the former director of the department of property management and investment policy of the Ministry of Culture, Boris Mazo, to eight and a half years in a general regime colony in the case of the theft of 900 million rubles of budget funds during the reconstruction of the Hermitage buildings. This was reported by the joint press service of the St. Petersburg courts.
He was charged with fraud committed by an organized group or on an especially large scale (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code).
Boris Mazo must also pay a fine of 600 thousand rubles. He did not admit guilt and paid 500 thousand rubles, the report says.
According to investigators, in 2015, former deputy head of the Ministry of Culture Grigory Pirumov and Boris Mazo created a criminal community to steal budget funds allocated for the reconstruction of Hermitage buildings. Together with other members of the criminal group, they stole more than 900 million rubles and managed to launder 800 million rubles.
In 2017, Mazo and Pirumov were sentenced to real prison terms in another case – the theft of more than 160 million rubles when concluding contracts for the restoration of cultural objects (the case of restorers). Mazo was then released from custody, as he had served his assigned sentence in a pre-trial detention center.
A criminal case against Mazo was also opened in Spain, where he was suspected of money laundering, in particular of purchasing a mansion in Marbella for 4 million euros with funds that could have been obtained illegally. The money to buy the house was transferred from a bank account in Switzerland.
In November 2019, Mazo was detained in Austria. At the same time, his ex-wife and son (both Russian citizens), as well as a lawyer from a law firm in Marbella, were detained in Spain. Lawyers reported in 2019 that Mazo asked for political asylum in Austria, but the court decided to extradite him to Russia.