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Russian Authors’ Society is under enforcement fire again

This time it is much more seriously. Not only business activity of accredited collecting society is in the field of interests of Russian law enforcement authorities, but also top management of organisation get their attention. Now not only Russian ministry of internal affairs but also Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) try to find out all aspects of very old issue.

This morning employees of Russian Authors’ Society (RAO) have had non-working day thanks to investigation initiated by law enforcement authorities. They executed search for certain documents (video). RAO works in behalf of authors, creators, they are mostly harmless people. But search has been executed by armed people. Only chiefs of different departments have been required to stay, all other stuff went home. Nobody knew what happened. Certain documents relevant to the subject of search have been seized. Advisor of Sergey Fedotov, CEO of RAO, refused to provide comments or explanations. RBC’s source reported, that investigation concerns all RAO’s top-managers.

RAO officially confirmed the fact of investigative search in CMO’s premises, but underlined that RAO conducts its activity strictly under current law. Sergey Fedotov personally received “special guests” today. Enforcement authorities have visited his house together with himself. They were also armed. It seems CMO top-management is very dangerous. After that Fedotov leaved his house and went to other address in the officer’s car. Vera Fedotova, mother of Sergey Fedotov, also received “special guests” as well as director of department on work with right holders Svetlana Temeshova.

Afternoon it has been revealed what happened. Official representative of Russian ministry of internal affairs Irina Volk stated that criminal proceedings have been instituted. The corpus delicti is fraud in big scale (about half of billion Russian roubles) committed during illegal sale of property. Enforcement authorities identified fraud scheme of illegal sale to third parties of property belonging to RAO. The damage is about 500 million roubles. According to Volk’s statement Sergey Fedotov, his mother and Temeshova are suspected and the search conducting by law enforcement authorities is aimed to establish the subjects (participants) of illegal fraud schemes and, what is more important, to find out whether there is more episodes of their illegal activity.

But the Fedotov’s lawyer stated, there is no any suspected in this case. But the other source has reported that Fedotov does not have any status in this case, so far. More likely he will not testify, he could explain some details relevant to case. Russian ministry of culture (MinCult) stated that this incident is not ground and reason to withdraw state accreditation for public performance rights in musical works.