Economic crimes: types and punishment. Article 199 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Any illegal action that entails material damage to organizations and individuals/legal entities may be regarded as a crime against economic security. Such criminal acts occur in various areas, including business, agriculture and the national economy.

Depending on the severity of the economic crime, appropriate punishment is imposed - from fines to imprisonment for a certain period. The main articles of the Criminal Code on such violations are displayed in Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with comments. You can get detailed advice regarding your personal situation from the lawyers of our company by asking a question by phone or using the form on the website.

Crimes in the field of economic security

Commercial activities aimed at obtaining financial benefits through abuse of power and various frauds with securities and banknotes are an encroachment on economic security. Any crime in the economic sphere is recognized as intentional, which provides for appropriate punishment.

Depending on the type of business activity, economic crimes can be divided into categories:

  • violation of standards for conducting commercial/entrepreneurial activities - illegal banking transactions, legalization of illegally obtained money and others;
  • violation of the interests of lenders and illegal transactions in this area - illegal loans, non-payment of the balance of debt;
  • monopolization, violation of the rules of free competition - disclosure of bank secrecy;
  • fraud in currency/securities through forgery of documents and banknotes;
  • tax and customs disputes – non-payment of dues;
  • crimes against the interests of consumers and the public - the use and production of labels in violation of legal norms.

Where to go if you have committed an economic crime? In 2022, such offenses will be dealt with by the Department for Economic Security - UEB.


Anonymous requests are not accepted, and when filing a complaint against criminals, you must provide personal/contact information.

Do you have any questions?
To get the most detailed advice on your issue, you just need to follow any of the suggested options:

  • Request a consultation using the form
    on our website
  • Or just call the number: 8 800 350-83-74

Common types of economic crimes

Illegal acts in the field of economics are described in Chapter 22 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation; they can be conditionally divided into 6 groups, which include the most frequently used articles:

  • Entrepreneurial activity (illegal entrepreneurship, obstructing officials from doing business, illegal production of goods or their sale);
  • Lending (applying for a loan by providing false information, evading payment of fees);
  • Bankruptcy (deliberate bringing to bankruptcy, unlawful actions of the debtor, creditors or insolvency administrator)
  • Monopoly or unfair competition (restriction of competitiveness, forced transactions, unreasonable use of trademarks);
  • Trade secret (illegal acquisition, disclosure, provision to competitors);
  • Cash, securities (illegal issue, illegal circulation, counterfeit);
  • Customs control (smuggling, non-payment of duties, customs duties, taxes).

Gravity of economic crimes

The amount of punishment for economic offenses largely depends on the correct qualification of the offense. The main criterion for separation is the severity of the crime. The general principles are based on the standards of Art. 15 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Minor crimes

For such offenses, the penalty can be no more than 3 years in prison with the possibility of serving a sentence in the form of restriction of freedom (probation) and a peaceful resolution of the issue through reconciliation of the parties. This category also includes crimes of medium gravity, for which preventive measures of up to 3 years in prison are prescribed.

Economic crimes of medium gravity

Like previous acts, economic crimes of moderate gravity can be committed without malicious intent or through negligence. Despite this, the punishment ranges from 3 to 5 years in prison, depending on proven intent.


For this category of criminal acts, serving the sentence is determined in a general regime colony or settlement, which depends on the circumstances of the crime and the personality characteristics of the perpetrator.

In a particularly large size

By encroaching on public safety under articles against the economic order, the guilty person is liable to the fullest extent of the law. In this case, the subjective side of the deed is expressed exclusively in a deliberate form, which excludes leniency and discounts for negligence/ignorance.

The term of conviction for grave and especially grave economic crimes is 10 and 15 years (maximum), respectively.

Detailed analysis of economic crimes

At today's meeting, the Plenum of the RF Armed Forces considered the draft resolution “On judicial practice in cases of fraud, embezzlement and embezzlement,” which consists of 35 points regulating the application of criminal law in the field of economic crimes. After discussing the document, it was decided to send it for revision.

The need to adopt this draft resolution is due to the fact that the current resolution was adopted 10 years ago. As indicated in the document, it was prepared with the aim of ensuring uniform application by courts of the rules of criminal law on liability for fraud, misappropriation and embezzlement, as well as in connection with issues that have arisen in the courts.

Lawyer of the Moscow AP Valery Sarkisov, commenting on the draft document to AG, noted that since the adoption of the previous Resolution of the Plenum of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation No. 51 of December 27, 2007 “On judicial practice in cases of fraud, misappropriation and embezzlement,” criminal legislation has changed , new forms and types of fraud arose, theft using electronic means of payment became widespread, questions arose related to the qualification of acts, as well as the distinction between fraud and related offenses, which required clarification from the highest judicial body.

The difference between fraud and other forms of theft The first paragraph of the document deals with fraud. The court pointed out its difference from other forms of theft, which lies in the method of committing the crime. As the lawyer explained, this provision repeats the existing one almost word for word, but what is new is the clarification that if deception is not a method, but only a means to facilitate the commission of theft, then the act should be classified as theft or robbery.

The document separately defines that the method of theft in fraud in the field of computer information is interference in the functioning of means of storing, processing or transmitting computer information or information and communication networks. This provision is new and, according to Valery Sarkisov, has important practical significance when deciding on the qualification of acts under Art. 159.6 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. This article, introduced in 2012, has not received the necessary distribution necessary due to the development of theft in the computer sphere.

Silence as a method of theft The document explains that deception as a method of theft or acquisition of rights to someone else's property may consist of silence about true facts. Managing partner of Zabeida and Partners, Alexander Zabeida, believes that such an explanation is applicable to crimes committed in complicity, since silence is a type of inaction, and theft, which is the seizure of property, by its nature cannot be such.

Intention as a qualifying characteristic According to Valery Sarkisov, the Plenum of the RF Armed Forces in the document under consideration outlines the basic principle of distinguishing between failure to fulfill contractual obligations as a civil offense and fraud. “The determining fact is proposed to be the presence or absence of intent aimed at theft, which is not new for law enforcement practice,” he noted. However, the expert pointed out innovations that relate to determining the qualifications of fraud: it is necessary that the intent arose before receiving the property or rights to it. In addition, the Supreme Court lists facts that may indicate the presence of intent: a person’s deliberate lack of real opportunity to fulfill an obligation in accordance with the terms of the contract, the use by a person of forged documents when concluding a contract, including identification documents, statutory documents, letters of guarantee , certificates, concealment of information about the existence of debts and pledges of property, disposal of received property for personal purposes contrary to the terms of the contract, etc. It is noted that the listed facts in themselves do not indicate the guilt of a person; in each case, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, it is necessary to establish the presence of persons with deliberate intent to fail to fulfill their obligations.

The moment of the end of the fraud Regarding the issue of the moment of the end of the fraud, Mikhail Kiriyenko, a partner at Kovalev, Ryazantsev and Partners, noted that the first version of the wording presented in the project practically reproduces the previously existing one and looks like this: in these cases, the crime should be considered completed from the moment the stolen persons are enrolled funds to an account (to a bank account, electronic money operator, mobile radiotelephone operator, etc.) controlled directly or indirectly by the person who committed the act, or by the person in whose favor this act was committed. The expert pointed out that the evaluative formulation ““indirect” control of the account” raises concerns, since it leaves the possibility of limitless expansion of such cases by the law enforcement officer.

But the second formulation, notes Mikhail Kiriyenko, is a categorically unacceptable explanation. In particular, it is proposed to determine the moment of the end of fraud in relation to funds in non-cash form by the moment of “withdrawal of funds from the bank account of their owner (for funds accounted for without opening a bank account - from the moment the balance of electronic funds is reduced), as a result of which the owner non-cash funds caused damage." This approach, according to the expert, contradicts the concept of theft, since seizure itself does not make it possible to use and dispose of someone else’s property. “One gets the feeling that this is an option for emergency services. If this approach remains, it will be a change in the criminal law norm through the interpretation of the RF Armed Forces, which is both unreasonable and increases the punitive component of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,” the expert explained.

Fraud in the field of money circulation Analyzing the document, Alexander Zabeida noted that, most likely, the electronic money specified in the draft resolution refers to cryptocurrencies. Since the legal nature of this type of property currently has no legal definition, cryptocurrency is difficult to classify as electronic money. According to the lawyer, from a criminal point of view it can be attributed rather to another type of property or the right to such property. As for non-cash payments, the moment the crime ends is determined by the place where the fraudster received the funds, when he has a real opportunity to dispose of them, i.e. from the moment of crediting to the bank account. With cryptocurrency, Alexander Zabeida points out, it’s more complicated: the crypto wallet has no territorial reference. “It represents part of the encrypted key. This key provides the ability to manage cryptocurrency, information about which is available in the distributed registry, and therefore any information about a transaction, for example, transferring cryptocurrency to another wallet, appears simultaneously on all computers that embed data about the transaction in the block chain, the expert explained. “There are many places where the crime was committed in this case.”

At the same time, Valery Sarkisov pointed out that the draft does not contain the position of the Plenum of the RF Armed Forces regarding how exactly actions in relation to non-cash funds should be qualified. Pointing out that they are thefts, the Court does not say anything about which article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation they should be classified under, despite the fact that practice has developed a relatively uniform approach to resolving this issue.

The lawyer explained that the formation of rules for determining the place where the theft of non-cash funds ends and, accordingly, the jurisdiction of such acts is extremely necessary. In this regard, the draft proposes to approve one of two options: at the location of the guilty person or at the location of the banking institution. In this case, if it is impossible to determine the place of termination, the place where the crime was detected (the place where the crime was reported) is considered. The expert noted that in practice both methods are used, but the second option is more common. The lawyer pointed out that in any case, the Court's clarification on this issue would be of great practical importance.

Fraud, as a result of which a citizen is deprived of the right to housing “The Plenum of the RF Armed Forces puts an end to practical disputes regarding the qualification of fraud, as a result of which a citizen is deprived of the right to housing,” says Valery Sarkisov. It is proposed not to take into account whether the housing to which the victim has lost the right is the only one, whether it is used for living or not. The Court also states that those acts that result in the citizen being deprived not of the right, but of the opportunity to acquire such a right, are not subject to classification as fraud in depriving a citizen of the right to use residential premises.

Questions of qualification The document lists the signs, the presence of which can qualify the act under Parts 5–7 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation as fraud associated with intentional failure to fulfill contractual obligations in the business sphere. Separately, it is indicated that it is necessary to establish in each case the presence of direct intent that arose before the receipt of property or rights to it.

The draft resolution also specifies the basis by which the elements of fraud should be distinguished from the elements of crimes provided for in Art. 172.2 and 200.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. To do this, it is necessary to find out whether the person actually carried out investment, entrepreneurial or other legal activities. If there is no such activity, the act should be classified as fraud without additional qualification under other articles.

The draft document for the first time pays attention to the issues of qualification of certain types of fraud according to those that emerged after the adoption of the previous Resolution of the RF Armed Forces No. 51 Art. 159.1, 159.2, 159.3, 159.5 and 159.6 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Valery Sarkisov noted that the issue of ensuring uniformity in the practice of applying these provisions has been long overdue, therefore certainty in their interpretation is especially significant.

Mikhail Kiriyenko noted that the draft resolution partially clarifies previously existing provisions. Thus, attention is drawn to the definition of “continuation” of fraud when establishing the value of the subject of the crime. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation indicated: “In the event of several thefts of someone else’s property, the total value of which amounts to a large or especially large amount, the act is qualified taking into account the corresponding criterion, if these thefts were committed in the same way and under circumstances indicating an intent to commit theft on a large or especially large scale.” size." This approach, according to the expert, reflects the importance of subjective imputation and assessment of the direction of intent, which is often ignored.

Lawyer and partner of ZKS Law Firm Alexey Kasatkin explained that the draft resolution of the Plenum of the RF Armed Forces is relevant and meets the needs of existing law enforcement practice. The need for its adoption arose after the inclusion in 2012 of special rules on fraud in certain areas in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, as well as qualifying criteria enshrined in parts 5–7 of Art. 159. He also noted that the new clarifications were largely devoted to them.

Responsibility for economic crimes

Depending on what article the defendant is charged with, punishment for economic violations may be of the following nature:

  • a fine of 2, 10 or more times the amount of damage;
  • correctional/forced labor;
  • removal from a position;
  • restriction/imprisonment for up to 15 years.


In 2022 Art. 76.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation has undergone some changes, which allows for exemption from criminal liability under a number of articles against economic security upon compensation of a specified amount of damage.

Limitation periods

The investigation of a crime, as well as prosecution, can be terminated if the statute of limitations for the crime has expired. Standards have been established for this item, depending on the degree of complexity of the offense:

  • 2 years – crimes of economic security of minimal gravity;
  • 6 years – average level of danger of the crime;
  • serious crime – 10 years;
  • especially serious – 15 years.

For economic crimes of international scope, as well as offenses against society, statutes of limitations do not apply.

Suspension of the statute of limitations is allowed under Art. 202 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

How can a lawyer help?

An economic crimes lawyer will weigh all the nuances of your situation and develop the right strategy for the purpose of ending criminal prosecution or minimizing punishment. He will become a competent intermediary between the client and law enforcement agencies, eliminating the possibility of annoying mistakes on your part and abuse of power on the part of prosecutors.

The lawyer will determine the legality of the claims presented, preventing illegal encroachment on trade secrets and violation of your rights. The participation of a lawyer at the inspection stage will increase the chances of a positive outcome without starting a criminal case.

Who can be accused of an economic crime?

As a rule, entrepreneurs and managers of various companies are accused of such crimes and fraud. However, the widespread belief that economic crime is the exclusive domain of entrepreneurs is not entirely true. The fact is that anyone can break the law by conducting prohibited activities, money laundering, or disclosing trade secrets. And all this also falls under the category of crimes in the economic sphere.

Article 6.1. Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation. Reasonable time for legal proceedings and reasonable time for execution of a court order

( 1 rating, average 5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]