Accomplice gives testimony in Bank of Moscow embezzlement case
MOSCOW, September 16 - RAPSI. The CEO of the company called "Financial Assistant" (FinansovyAssistent), who is suspected of embezzling over $418.1 million through a major Russian bank, started to give testimony against his accomplices, the Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The Bank of Moscow lagged behind Rosselkhozbank in the ratings of Russian banks. The bank held fifth place for assets ($29 million). The Bank of Moscow is a top three bank for private deposits in Russia, holding around two percent of the market.
In late 2010, the ministry's Investigative Department launched a case against former Bank of Moscow official Andrey Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin for embezzling $418.1 million from the Moscow budget through a loan to the Premier Estate company. The Bank of Moscow issued the loan.
A separate proceeding was launched against Financial Assistant CEO Dmitry Zhukevich. It was established that Zhukevich sold two shares in the major insurance company Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa, which holds a 17.32 percent stake in the Bank of Moscow, to offshore company Billiton Ltd.
Financial Assistant, which is affiliated with the Bank of Moscow, had a 25 percent stake in Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa.
Meanwhile, the Moscow government owned another 25 percent stake in the insurer. Therefore, the Moscow government and Financial Assistant had an aggregate stake of 50 percent plus one share in the company.
In February 2011, VTB Bank, Russia's second largest bank, purchased from the Moscow government a 46.48 percent interest in the Bank of Moscow and a blocking interest in Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa for $3.37 billion.
Even after the transaction, VTB had no control over the insurance company as well as over the Bank of Moscow. Zhukevich's sale deprived VTB Bank, the insurer's new shareholder, of control over them, because the aggregate stake of the Moscow government and Financial Assistant in the insurer was 50 percent minus one share.