MOSCOW, June 30 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Monday upheld the detention of businessman Alexander Sabadash, a former member of the Russian parliament’s upper house who has been charged with the attempted embezzlement of 1.8 billion rubles ($53.6 million) in the form of VAT refund, according to the court’s press office.

The court thus rejected an appeal filed by the defense of Sabadash seeking a less restrictive preventive measure.

The investigation of the attempted embezzlement by the Arkhangelsk-based developer ES-Kontaktstroy reportedly began several years ago. It was established that ES-Kontaktstroy was connected with the pulp producer Vyborg Cellulose, based in the Leningrad Region.

Sabadash, being the owner of Vyborg Cellulose, is suspected of organizing a fraudulent VAT refund scheme, as a result of which ES-Kontaktstroy, an obscure company that repaired Sabadash’s flat, planned to receive over 1.8 billion rubles of budgetary funds in 2010.

According to the statement, Sabadash has been detained upon the investigators’ motion. The investigation is continuing.