MOSCOW, April 24 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court has upheld the sentences of two people who were convicted of defrauding a senior manager at the Czech company PPF Investments (PPFI) Ltd in a $15 million fraud case, RAPSI learned from the court Thursday.

PPF Group held a blocking stake in the Russian Ingosstrakh insurance company until recently.

According to case materials, from September through December 2007, a group of con-artists, one of whom claimed to be a police general, promised Martin Schaffer, a top manager at PPF Group, that they knew government officials who could settle a commercial dispute between PPFI and Ingosstrakh. The PPFI manager was allegedly convinced to sign a $15 million contract to ensure a favorable outcome.

The Savyolovsky District Court in Moscow found Yekaterina Alabuzhina guilty of large-scale fraud and attempted fraud and sentenced her to 4.5 years under Article 30, Article 159 and Article 159 of the Criminal Code. Her accomplice, Vladimir Korovin, was also found guilty of fraud and sentenced to four years in prison.

They will serve their sentences in a general security penal colony.

In the summer of 2013, Amsterdam-based private equity firm PPF Group, controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, and Italian insurer Generali agreed to swap certain assets, including the combined 38.5% stake in Ingosstrakh, which was eventually transferred to Generali.