Head of Russian Film Production Company Detained

Denis Alexeyev is being accused of misappropriating nearly $1 million of government cash slated for film production.

MOSCOW – Denis Alexeyev, a Russian film director and co-owner of the film production company Triada-Film, has been detained in Moscow amidst accusations of misappropriating state funds slated for film production.

Alexeyev was detained late June 24 as part of a criminal investigation of an alleged misappropriation by Triada of nearly $1 million, released by the ministry of culture for the production of a feature titled Mister X, the online publication Gazeta.ru reported.

According to the report, Alexeyev was taken to the city’s investigative department, where he complained of health problems and was then escorted to a Moscow hospital. He refused to be treated, but while he was inside, a group of unidentified people gathered in front of the building and aggressively demanded that Alexeyev be released, the police said.

He was still taken back to the investigative department. The city police didn’t say if charges had been brought against him. If charges of “grand misappropriation” are brought against Alexeyev, he could face a prison sentence of up to five years.

Originally, investigators discovered the misappropriation of one million rubles ($31,700), but they later said that, although they couldn’t give a precise figure, the total amount of funds allegedly misappropriated by Triada is about 30 million rubles ($917,000).

Triada’s case comes as Russia’s first criminal probe into misappropriation of state funds in the film industry. It was opened last month, shortly after President Vladimir Putin called for tighter control over government funding at a meeting with filmmakers.

Triada, co-owned by stuntman Alexander Inshakov and lawyer Alexander Treshchev, is a relatively small player in the Russian film industry and doesn’t belong to the “big 10” production companies, which are entitled to the lion’s share of state cash for the film sector.