New case opened against Russian billionaire Pugachev
MOSCOW, November 6 (RAPSI) – A criminal case on abuse of power has been opened against Sergei Pugachev, the former beneficiary of the International Industrial Bank (IIB or Mezhprombank) and ex-member of the Russian parliament’s upper house, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists on Friday.
Former chief executive of Mezhprombank Alexei Zlobin is also suspected of abuse of office that resulted in serious consequences, Markin added.
On April 30, the Moscow Commercial Court ruled in favor of the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) in a lawsuit filed to declare Pugachev and other Mezhprombank executives guilty of knowingly bankrupting the bank, primarily through the transfer of liquid assets.
The court decided to debit 75.6 billion rubles ($1.2 bln) from Pugachev, including 68.5 billion rubles from Pugachev and Marina Illarionova, the last CEO of Mezhprombank, and 7.16 billion rubles from two former chief executives, Alexander Didenko and Alexei Zlobin.
This was the largest amount ever assigned for secondary liability in Russia.The district court did not find any grounds for overturning the original verdicts of the two previous courts and ruled against Pugachev, Didenko and Zlobin’s cassational appeal. Illarionova did not appeal the sentence.
Last year, the DIA filed a lawsuit at a UK court to collect the assets which Pugachev allegedly embezzled from Mezhprombank. In July 2014, London’s High Court granted an injunction to seize $2 billion worth of Pugachev’s assets in various countries.
Pugachev appealed the decision, but in December 2014 London’s High Court refused to release his assets.
The Moscow Commercial Court declared Mezhprombank bankrupt in November 2010 after the bank defaulted and received a 40 billion ruble ($630 million) bailout from Russia’s Central Bank. The DIA was appointed liquidator of IIB’s assets.
An investigation into the bankruptcy was launched in January 2011 on suspicion of illegal operations in the process of filing for bankruptcy and premediated bankruptcy.
Pugachev was charged with embezzlement and arrested in absentia. In November 2014, he was put on the international wanted list. In January 2015, Russia sent a request for extradition to the UK.