For what violations can the head of the company be held criminally liable?
Any type of entrepreneurial activity is associated with certain risks. In particular, many risks are associated with the threat of criminal liability incurred by the head of the company. What actions can it take?
1. The implementation of illegal business activities.
This crime consists in the fact that the guilty person engages in entrepreneurial activity without state registration of a legal entity or individual entrepreneur or acts without a license when its receipt is mandatory (for example, production of medicines, transportation by inland water transport and others). It should be noted that liability will only occur if the income from such activities has been extracted in the amount of more than 2,250,000 rubles, or if citizens have suffered the same amount of damage (for example, the damage may result from the sale of illegally produced drugs). This crime is provided for in article 170.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The maximum penalty for its commission is compulsory work for a period of up to three hundred and sixty hours.
It should be noted that if the income exceeds 9,000,000 rubles (especially large amount), then the responsibility will be even more stringent – correctional labor for up to one year. Additionally, the court may impose a ban in the form of a ban on holding certain posts or performing certain activities for up to three years.
We illustrate with a specific example. The company “Water World” carried out activities on passenger transport by water on the river. She did not receive a license for this, despite the requirements of the legislation on licensing. As a result, for two years of work, she received an income of 3,000,000 rubles. The head was held accountable for this crime and was punished in the form of compulsory work for up to two hundred and forty hours.
2. Illegal obtaining a loan.
This crime is enshrined in article 176 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. It consists in the fact that the head of the company or individual entrepreneur in order to get a loan, submits to the bank knowingly false information about his activities and his financial situation. Punishment for these actions will follow only if the bank suffers damage in the amount of more than 2,250,000 rubles. If the damage is less than this amount, the head will not be held criminally liable. The maximum penalty for such actions is imprisonment for up to five years.
Thus, when obtaining a loan, the head of the company must provide information that is fully true. Then the described risk passes it.
3. Illegal use of someone else’s trademark (means goods), service mark (means services), appellation of origin (for example, mineral water “Narzan”, Abrau-Durso, honey “Altai” and the like).
This crime is provided for in article 180 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. By use is meant the application of these signs on goods, advertising materials, equipment, etc., when these signs are subsequently seen by customers. Responsibility also arises for the use of their own designations, which are overly similar to others (obvious plagiarism). The head of the company can be held liable only if such actions were performed repeatedly (more than once), or if they caused damage in the amount of more than 250,000 rubles. The maximum criminal penalty is imprisonment of up to two years. Also, the guilty person may be simultaneously assigned an additional punishment – a fine of up to 80,000 rubles (or in the amount of wages for six months).
Accordingly, in their activities, entrepreneurs should ensure that their designations are not too much like the existing ones.
So, one company placed the designation “Autumn shades” on its products. At the end of the year of its head, the court brought to criminal liability, since another company that used the exact same designation suffered damage in the amount of 300,000 rubles. The court sentenced the director to imprisonment for one year.
4. Intentional bankruptcy (Article 196 of the Criminal Code).
This crime is that the head of the company creates such conditions for her when she acquires signs of bankruptcy, that is, she is no longer able to pay accounts payable. This can be expressed, for example, in the fact that a company sells all its property “for a penny” or buys it for an unreasonably high cost. Responsibility for this only occurs if more than 2,250,000 rubles are caused as a result of these actions (usually the damage is caused to creditors).