Kazakh Tycoon Sentenced for Coup Attempt now on Trial for Tax Evasion

A Kazakh tycoon who was sen­tenced to 21 years in prison for attempt­ing a coup faced the judge again on Wednesday, this time for tax eva­sion, account­ing fraud, and bribery, Tengrinews reported.

Tokhtar Tuleshov, the ex-own­er of the Shymkent beer fac­to­ry, and eight oth­ers are accused by Prosecutor Zhasulan Adilbayuly of evad­ing tax­es and oth­er lia­bil­i­ties worth 1.2 bil­lion tenge (US$8.8 mil­lion) that Shymkentpivo had to pay between 2011–2015, accord­ing to Bnews.kz.

Among the accused are his for­mer employ­ees as well as pub­lic offi­cials who alleged­ly received bribes in return for let­ting him get away with the fraud.

According to charges, Tuleshov at some point took 4.3 bil­lion tenge (US$29.6 mil­lion) from the company’s funds and then ordered his employ­ees to fid­dle with the finan­cial state­ments in order to hide the amount from tax authorities.

The defen­dants appeared in front of the Yenbekshi District Court in Shymkent, a city in south­ern Kazakhstan.

Tuleshov’s legal defend­er Markhaba Jakupova said that her client denied most of the charges and reck­oned them ground­less, as quot­ed by 365info.kz on July 10.

Tuleshov was arrest­ed in January 2016 for illic­it pos­ses­sion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of drugs and financ­ing an orga­nized crime group.

The inves­ti­ga­tion by the Committee for National Security revealed that the busi­ness­man had sup­port­ed mass protests against land reform that took place in Kazakhstan in spring 2016 although he had been in deten­tion at that time.

In April and May thou­sands of peo­ple in dif­fer­ent cities across the coun­try took to the streets against amend­ments to the Land Code that would allow for­eign­ers to buy and lease farmland.

Nationwide riots were unprece­dent­ed for Kazakhstan, where pub­lic crit­i­cism of state poli­cies isn’t tol­er­at­ed. Dozens of pro­test­ers were detained and faced trials.
Tuleshov was found guilty for financ­ing the land protests in a bid to desta­bi­lize the sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try and seize power.

Last November he was sen­tenced to 21 years in prison for a coup attempt and orga­niz­ing a crime group, accord­ing to RFE/RL.

WRITTEN BY BERMET TALANT

Kazakh Tycoon Sentenced for Coup Attempt now on Trial for Tax Evasion