Alexander Kuznetsov was detained back in February 2022 on charges of receiving a kickback from the purchase of tomographs, which were carried out by his department during the coronavirus pandemic. A few months later, in the pre-trial detention center, Kuznetsov confessed and entered into a pre-trial agreement with the investigation, under which he testified against the head of the Medservice-Region company, Elena Selishcheva, who is one of the main suppliers of medical equipment to hospitals in the Chelyabinsk region. On June 13, Selishcheva was detained at the airport while trying to get on a plane, she was supposed to fly on a business trip to Kamchatka. On June 15, the court placed the 57-year-old entrepreneur under arrest.
“She is accused of committing crimes under part 4 of article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fraud on an especially large scale) and part 4 of article 33, part 3 of article 285 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (incitement to abuse of power), the prosecutor’s office of the Chelyabinsk region told Novye Izvestia. region, - according to investigators, the defendant, when concluding state contracts for the supply of X-ray computed tomography scanners, stole budget funds in the amount of more than 85 million rubles. In addition, the defendant incited the Deputy Minister of Health of the region to conclude contracts and pay for equipment at a deliberately inflated cost.”
In addition to Selishcheva's company, three more legal entities appear in the case, which were the official suppliers of tomographs under state contracts for the Ministry of Health of the Chelyabinsk Region, UralMedReserve, Medproekt-Zauralye, and Region-Service. The companies are registered in Kurgan and Yekaterinburg and there is no connection with Selishcheva. But the investigative committee insists that these companies are affiliated with the accused and acted on her orders.
Novye Izvestia studied the purchases of the Ministry of Health of the Chelyabinsk Region during the pandemic, and indeed, there is a certain variation in the prices of tomographs that were purchased at that time.
So in 2020, the Region-Service company sold two SIGNA Voyager and MAGNETOM Aera devices to the authorities of the Chelyabinsk region for 85 million rubles each. At the same time, the company sold the MAGNETOM Aera device to the Ilizarov center, but already for 79 million. In the same year, the Ministry of Health of the Chelyabinsk Region signed a contract for the supply of an OPTIMA CT540 tomograph for 60 million, but the contract was terminated by agreement of the parties, and a little later the same model was bought for 47 million.
The Medproekt-Zauralye company sold the Discovery RT device to the region for 54 million rubles. And Ural Company LLC signed four contracts for the supply of the same model, but at different prices. So two Aquilion Lightning devices were sold for 49 million, and two for 43 million.
Elena Selishcheva is the main owner of the Medservice-Region company. This is the largest supplier of medical equipment for the Ministry of Health of the Chelyabinsk region. In 2020, the volume of government contracts with this organization exceeded 800 million rubles.
It is interesting that Selishcheva was already a defendant in a criminal case in 2009; she got into covert footage when transferring 1.3 million rubles to the former head of the public procurement department of the Main Directorate of Material Resources of the Chelyabinsk Region, Sergei Skrynnik. The money was intended for winning the auction. Skrynnik was then given seven years in a strict regime colony, and Selishcheva escaped punishment due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
In 2020, a new scandal broke out related to the company of Elena Selishcheva. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the purchase of five Finnish operating tables for the center of oncology and nuclear medicine. The equipment for 22.5 million rubles was never installed, as it did not have the necessary certificates. The supplier was the company "Medservice-Region".
Almost 10 years ago, the Chelyabinsk region was already shaken by a scandal related to kickbacks in the purchase of tomographs. In 2014, a criminal case was opened against Health Minister Vitaliy Teslenko and a number of his subordinates. The amount of kickbacks then amounted to 70 million rubles. The court appointed Teslenko 7 years in a colony and a fine of 300 million rubles, but gradually the amount of the fine was reduced to five million.