Sochi Winter Olympic Games 2014: Russian construction insider says money used for payoffs, kickbacks

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are already shaping up to be the most unlikely, and perhaps the most controversial games ever. They're certainly the most expensive, CBS News' Mark Phillips said on "CBS This Morning."

The Sochi Olympics were meant to be the New Russia's coming out party, with President Vladimir Putin's Games showing Russia as politically stable, economically strong, a world-player once again. But there are some old skeletons rattling around in its closets -- allegations of cronyism and corruption.

 

 A Moscow opposition group has launched a new website detailing what it says is the corruption that has made the Sochi Games the most expensive ever.

One major venue, the Bolshoy Ice Dome, was built by a company owned by a political crony of Putin's for about $300 million -- about $25,000 a seat -- costing two-and-a-half times what it should have, the website says.

 Another Putin pal, they say -- Arkady Rotenberg -- has pocketed almost $7 billion for work for the Games. The total bill so far is about $50 billion -- five times as much as the previous Winter Games in Vancouver.  And where did the money go?

According to Valery Morozov -- a major Olympic contractor who is now a fugitive living in England -- the money went toward payoffs and kickbacks to Russian officials. When he tried to go public with his allegations, he received death threats and had to seek asylum in the United Kingdom.

"I was informed, that there is a contract on my assassination," Morozov said.

Morozov says he was told by local Olympic officials to add about $30 million to his bill -- and then pay that money back to those officials through phantom companies.

Asked where the extra money was supposed to go and what it was for, Morozov said, "The only one reason for this was their pockets. There was only one reason."

Phillips added on "CBS This Morning," "There's no Olympic event for finding where the money went.  And no Olympic medal for spending more of it than anybody else, but if there were, Sochi would have already won gold."

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