HomeTourismFraudsters stole 200 million allocated for the Pushkin Card program

Fraudsters stole 200 million allocated for the Pushkin Card program

An organized group of three people stole 205 million rubles allocated by the state under the Pushkin Card program. The investigation into the relevant criminal case has been completed, the hearing has begun in Moscow, reports portal sledcom.ru.

E. Gurbanov, I. Safonov and V. Yakubov are accused of fraud on an especially large scale. Two years ago, they registered several companies with the appropriate OKVED to participate in the state program and rented premises for fake events.

The investigative committee said that the accused found students with money in the Pushkin Card account, and also selected people who could issue a plastic card indicating false personal information. Youth card holders purchased tickets to events organized by a criminal group without planning to attend them. Moreover, according to the investigation, the number of tickets purchased was several times greater than the capacity of the halls rented by the scammers.

An organized group provided false reports to the Ministry of Culture about holding events where tickets were paid for with Pushkin cards. “To conceal the crimes, the appearance of extras was ensured,” says a press release from the Investigative Committee. Spectators who attended the concerts did not know about the theft being committed, while their total number was significantly less than according to the documents.

The accused were taken into custody, with their property worth about 110 million rubles. arrest has been made.

Trials of fraudsters who carried out fictitious events and cashed out money allocated for the state program began to take place at the end of 2022. In March 2023, the head of Rosfinmonitoring mentioned fraud with youth cards, reporting to Putin about the theft of funds from the tourist cashback program. In April, a criminal case for abuse of official powers related to Pushkin Cards was opened against former Deputy Minister of Culture Olga Yarilova.

For regional travel agencies, scandals with youth plastics are a serious signal. As previously reported by TourDom.ru, many domestic tourism companies accepted it to pay for a whole range of services for school groups: transportation, hotel accommodation and meals. That is, they actually sold tours, while according to the rules of the state program, the Pushkin Card can only be used to buy tickets to museums and theaters.

Source: Tourdom

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