Rollback is a specific type of bribe that is widespread in Russia, but also takes place in other countries. It consists in the fact that the responsible representative of the customer receives a certain percentage of the order amount from the contractor or from the supplier for choosing this particular supplier or contractor.
Rollback, like a bribe, is common not only in Russia. Abroad, such bribery technologies are called Kickback, and the civilized version is usually called lobbying. In Hollywood, in many cases, successful and lucrative blockbusters are recognized as unprofitable in accounting so as not to pay royalties to those who agreed to work for a percentage of profits, rather than a percentage of fees.
In the USSR, there was a case when the organization actually hired two bulldozers and dug a canal in three days. And in the documents she indicated that the canal had been dug by workers with shovels for six months.
Rollback, like any bribery, is criminally punishable and damages fair competition between entrepreneurs, makes it difficult to do business in the country and, ultimately, undermines the economy of the state. Customers spend unreasonably high amounts on the supply of goods or the performance of services, while buying lower quality goods and services. Kickbacks on state orders are a direct theft of the state budget.
Bribery of officials and responsible persons for the end consumer leads to the fact that prices rise unreasonably or the quality of goods and services undergoing kickbacks decreases. A striking example is the construction of roads: roads in Russia are much worse than European ones, but the cost of their construction and repair is the same. There is an opinion that the crisis of 2008-2010 in Russia occurred due to the widespread spread of kickbacks.
However, in the context of widespread kickbacks, often giving a bribe to the “right person” is the only way to sell a product or speed up business processes.
According to the memoirs of deputies in the 90s, the amount of kickbacks in road construction reached 80% of the contract amount. In Russia, bribes are taken for 10,000 billion rubles a year, while the state budget is 15,000 billion rubles.
How to implement rollback
The main method of concealing kickbacks is shell firms. A firm is opened that provides intangible services, for example, legal advice. Money is transferred to the account of this company for the services not provided. Then the firm is closed. In order to “launder” the rollback, another firm is opened that provides any services to non-existent retail clients. This company "earns" money from non-existent clients, which is then transferred to the accounts of foreign banks.
At the same time, the regulatory authorities or the management of the enterprise often do not check prices or do not calculate estimates. Or they themselves receive kickbacks. Even in cases where law enforcement agencies suspect an official of a bribe, the complex scheme of receiving kickbacks makes the investigation as difficult as possible.