OREANDA-NEWSThe military investigative department for the Solnechnogorsk garrison opened a criminal case on the creation of a financial pyramid in relation to Andrei Nikolenko, a lieutenant colonel of the reserve and the former head of the military unit 74455 of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia (MIA). This is reported by the Russian media with reference to the materials of the case, the authenticity of which was confirmed by two sources. According to these documents, Mr. Nikolenko and his wife Tatyana committed more than ten crimes under art. 159 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation (fraud). 17 persons were recognized as victims in this case.

According to investigators, in 2013–2015, spouses offered their friends to make money on supplies of Apple equipment to Russia from the USA. To do this, they had to give a certain amount in exchange for a promissory note. It clarifies that in one of the episodes we are talking about 17 million rubles. The victims claim that Tatyana Nikolenko promised them a profit of 10% of the amount of investments. They should have received these funds within two months. Ms. Nikolenko assured that she was related to purchases of the iPhone and MacBook for Gazprom, as she allegedly works in this concern. Also in the conversations, according to the victims, a relative from the USA was mentioned who works for Apple.

According to media reports, wholesale purchases were allegedly carried out through the Antey company, owned by Tatyana Nikolenko. The investigation found that the company did not conduct any real activity, and the funds of the new investors were used to pay for the “profits”. “Confidence in the success of the enterprise to investors gave Nikolenko’s lifestyle, who retired from military service, purchased an expensive car and real estate,” the material says. In addition, participants in the financial pyramid could purchase Apple equipment at a discount of 20-30 thousand rubles.

The Russian Intelligence Unit 74455, headed by Mr. Nikolenko, was featured in the report of US Special Prosecutor Robert Muller on Russia's possible interference in the American elections. In 2016, this division of the MIA allegedly engaged in the publication of compromising materials on the Democratic Party, using special sites.