Property of Moscow region ex-finance minister suspected of fraud arrested
MOSCOW, July 8 (RAPSI) - The property of Alexei Kuznetsov, the former finance minister of the Moscow Region suspected of major fraud, has been arrested, the Investigative Committee reported on Monday.
"If Kuznetsov is deported to Russia, we will charge him and we will do our best to complete the investigation of his case without delay," the statement says. "Kuznetsov's property, including eight land plots in the Moscow Region, two flats in Moscow and two cars, has been arrested in view of a possible court decision to confiscate it."
Kuznetsov was detained in France as part of the fraud case, bearing false passports. He may be deported to Russia.
From November 2005 to November 2006, a group he organized deceived several housing and utility companies into selling it over 3.5 billion rubles ($105.4 million) worth of claims against the Moscow Region's municipal authorities. The group laundered and misappropriated the money. It also embezzled the property of the Mosobltransinvest company worth 7.2 billion rubles ($216.75 million).
Kuznetsov was placed on the federal and subsequently on the international wanted list in November 2012 on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.
The investigators said the search for Kuznetsov gathered speed after Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin met with the French police chief in January 2013.
According to the Investigative Committee, the investigation of the criminal case involving Kuznetsov's accomplices - Yelena Kuznetsova, an economist at NES-Finance, Deputy Finance Minister Valery Nosov and Vyacheslav Telepnyov, former chief of the Moscow regional government's Moscow Regional Trust Company, has been completed.
The suspects are currently going over the case materials.