Russian Authorities to Shut Down Allegedly Corrupt Film Foundation

Actor Alexei Guskov's organization is alleged to have operated as a bank.

MOSCOW -- Russian authorities intend to close down a non-governmental cinema foundation launched by actor Alexei Guskov, accusing it of operating as a bank instead of declared activities.

Russia’s ministry of justice has filed a petition to a Moscow court, demanding that the foundation for support of auteur cinema, co-funded by Guskov back in 2007, be liquidated, the Russian daily Izvestiya reported.

The ministry claimed that the foundation, the other co-founder of which was Elmurod Rasulmukhamedov, former general director of a lottery company, violated its charter by deriving revenues only from the lottery business, which were later loaned at an interest to other parties.

Based on a recent audit by the Russian Audit Chamber, between 2009 and 2012, the foundation collected more than 131 million rubles ($4 million), of which the lion’s share was disbursed in loans to organizations having nothing to do with the foundation’s declared field of activity.

Incidentally, one of the foundation’s trustee board’s members, Ivan Solovov, has been serving a prison term for fraud since 2009.

From the foundations budget, 19 million rubles ($588,000) were transferred to Guskov’s production company Studio F.A.F. allegedly for the production of the feature film Sevastopol, but filming never started.