Posted 10 марта 2023,, 10:21

Published 10 марта 2023,, 10:21

Modified 10 марта 2023,, 10:35

Updated 10 марта 2023,, 10:35

Sasha, we are sorry, we cashed everything out! How the "Pushkin Card" became a source of profit

Sasha, we are sorry, we cashed everything out! How the "Pushkin Card" became a source of profit

10 марта 2023, 10:21
Fraud with the card, which gives young Russians the opportunity to visit theaters and museums for free, gives a good profit to its owners themselves, and to numerous scammers

As Novye Izvestia has already reported, the country's law enforcement agencies have revealed large-scale fraud in the use of the so-called "Pushkin Cards". The head of Rosfinmonitoring, Yuri Chikhanchin, reported on the identification of a criminal group that spent 100 million rubles through Pushkin's cards on figureheads. Putin has already been told about this.

It's worth reminding that the "Pushkin Card", put into circulation in Russia in August 2021, is a program of cultural education for Russians aged 14 to 22 years, allowing free access to museums, theaters, cinemas, exhibitions, philharmonic halls and other cultural institutions at the expense of the federal budget.

In 2023, as in 2022, 16 billion rubles were allocated from the budget for the Pushkin Card project. The number of issued cards has already exceeded 8 million. The amount on each card is 5000 rubles, they are issued by the Post-Bank. According to the idea, the money not spent on tickets for the year burns out at the end of the year…

The experts of the channel "Provisional Government" told about the bizarre mechanisms used by the attackers: "But where has it been seen that such money was burned just like that? Therefore, there were craftsmen, including in the bank itself.

A solid full house with empty halls!

In the fall of 2021, immediately after the wide advertising campaign of Pushkin cards, a lot of illegal exchanges appeared on the network for buying cards 10-30% of the nominal value. Savvy young people from the hinterland, where there is still nowhere to go on the "Pushkin lists" except for the Museum of local lore, quickly cashed their virtual free cards. Well, the buyers successfully laundered the "theatrical" money.

There are many ways to do this. So, in 2022, in Samara, some villains created a fictitious theater, somehow registered it on the Pro portal.Culture.The Russian Federation and became a participant in the Pushkin Card project. The scammers paid for the rent of the halls, and their "performances" were sold out every time, and this at a ticket price of 3-5 thousand rubles. All tickets were paid for with purchased "Pushkin cards", the stolen amount was 15 million rubles. And this is only in Samara.

Interestingly, it is easiest to add your fictitious theater to the lists of the Ministry of Culture for approval by the Post-Bank through the system of the bank itself - you just need to add another entry in the corresponding electronic catalog. Each region has its own list of cultural sites, and no one checks them. And in the Post-bank with security, it seems, they do not stand on ceremony. And many employees have access to the Pushkin Card system," experts write.

By the way, even their real owners often cannot get into theaters and museums using the Pushkin Card (there are some problems with the limit).

But that's not all. "Full houses" with empty halls at performances happen already in real, not fake theaters. At first, the officials of the regional Ministry of Culture were touched out loud that the youth bought all the tickets for classical performances in the regional philharmonic. And then the county actors (in the same Samara) bewilderedly complained that there were more of them on stage during the performance than the audience in the hall. At the same time, all tickets were purchased and paid for with "Pushkin cards".

In this scheme, the main beneficiaries, according to the channel's experts, sit in regional administrations and regional Ministries of Culture. They can buy cards through front companies, and then cash them out by buying real tickets with the receipt of live money to the budget accounts of state theaters. Then withdraw money from the account of a state-owned enterprise is a matter of technique. In 2023, you can already buy tickets to cinemas using the Pushkin Card. Therefore, card cashing schemes will become even simpler and larger.

It turns out that everyone is involved in the "Pushkin embezzlement" - from officials who make up the lists of participants in the program, and bankers who distribute state money, to the administrations of cultural institutions and the viewers themselves who sell PIN codes of "Pushkin cards". Forgive us, Sasha, we cashed everything out.