Russia: Senior Real Estate Official Flees Corruption Scandal

Published: 01 October 2013


Sergei Sapelnikov, former deputy head of Russia's Federal Service for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography (Rosreetr), has reportedly fled Russia due to a corruption scandal according to RIA Novosti.

Sapelnikov, who was in charge of information technology, surveying, and cartography at the regulatory body, was fired from his position on Sept. 26 according to a statement from the agency released on Monday.  Media reports indicate that weeks before he was removed from his post, Sapelnikov fled to Ukraine or the United States over fear of prosecution for graft.

Rosreetr regulates infrastructure and real estate dealings in Russia, maintaining the nation's real estate registry.  The Moscow Times cited Sapelnikov as responsible for creating the national real estate registry which he allegedly mismanaged.

"More than 60 percent of the information concerning real estate either was never entered into the registry or was entered incorrectly," said Valery Goreglyad, deputy chairman of the Audit Chamber.

Investigations into corruption at Rosreetr have been ongoing for months.  The Federal Security Service and Russia's Audit Chamber revealed "financial irregularities" amounting to US$735 million.  Officials suspect that millions may have been misappropriated under Sapelnikov's supervision.