SFS drops criminal case against "Agrokhim 2001" management after 2 years
Subject of complaint: Cherkasy Oblast Office of SFS (Cherkasy SFS)
Complaint in brief: On June 30, 2017, a fertilizer distributor “Agrokhim 2001” turned to the BOC with a complaint about actions taken by the Cherkasy SFS. The Complainant had been unsuccessfully trying for over 18 months to have a criminal case against the company’s management closed.
In June 2015, the Cherkasy SFS initiated criminal proceedings over alleged non-payment of taxes by the director of the company for 2013-2014. The distributor challenged the results of the tax audit in the court. The court ruled in the company’s favor and declared the tax decision null and void. Nevertheless, the Cherkasy SFS continued to pressure the company and insisted that the investigation continue.
Since there was an open criminal case against the firm, the company lost several customers and was forced to downsize its business. The Complainant even changed its registration address to Kyiv in order to report to a different tax office.
Actions taken: The BOC investigator thoroughly investigated the circumstances of the case and then sent a request to the Prosecutor General's Office requesting to audit the continuation of the pre-trial investigation, since the decisions of the Cherkasy SFS had been declared null and void by the court. The PGO then delegated the case to the Cherkasy Prosecutor’s office. However, the CPO sent a form letter saying that there were no grounds for closing the criminal case.
The BOC investigator continued efforts to get the case dropped. In early September, the investigator brought the issue up at a meeting with the SFS expert group. Based on the results, the SFS Investigation Department ordered the Cherkasy SFS to carry out an additional review as to the expediency of continuing the investigation.
Result achieved: At the end of October, after carrying out the review, the Cherkasy SFS dropped the criminal case against the distributor’s management. With the assistance of the Council, a case that had dragged on for more than two years was finally closed.