The parliamentarian acted as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by the Prosecutor General's Office, Kommersant points out. The department found that he was engaged in illegal business activities, occupying positions in the civil service. He also resisted the investigation, hiding information from the presidential administration.
It's worth reminding that Sopchuk was the speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Primorsky Territory, and then the first vice-governor of the region. In 2016, he moved to the State Duma and joined the United Russia party.
The entire investigation was based on the testimony of his partner, State Duma deputy and ex-vice-governor of the Primorsky Territory Vasily Usoltsev. It should be noted that he also had no right to engage in entrepreneurship.
Investigators found out that in the period from 2011 to 2020, the former Primorsky vice-governor Sopchuk personally, as well as through the companies controlled by him, invested over a billion rubles in Ternei Zoloto LLC. Terney Zoloto develops gold and silver deposits Salyut and Primorskoe. Sopchuk received 100% of the shares in the organization and transferred them to his sister Lyudmila Stukova.
The Prosecutor General's Office is confident that this is a fictitious transaction, while Sopchuk continued his participation in the company's activities, directed it and illegally supplied it with funds. This was confirmed by the fact that Stukova could not deal with the affairs of a gold miner, she worked for 25 years in the Ussuri branch of the territorial OMS fund.
The money invested by Sopchuk and Usoltsev allowed the company to get gold-bearing areas into development and conduct geological exploration. As a result, more than 38.5 billion rubles were discovered in gold and silver reserves.
The prosecutor's office accused both of hiding their assets and control, secret management and enrichment through exploitation while in power.
The judge ruled that Sopchuk violated anti-corruption laws, submitted incomplete declarations of income and property, and also obstructed the investigation. The court recognized the demand of the Prosecutor General's Office as legal and recovered the shares of Sopchuk or Usoltsev in favor of the state. Some defendants appealed against the decision, but the consideration of cases and appeal has not yet been scheduled.
In the opinion of Sopchuk's defense, the testimony on which the accusation was based was not objective, and the deputy himself cannot act as a defendant, since he is not the owner of the company.