MOSCOW, September 6 (RAPSI, Yevgeniya Sokolova) – The Moscow City Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision to send a case against Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, who stands charged with embezzling 2.6 billion rubles ($40 million), back to prosecutors for toughening indictment, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

The court rejected appeals filed both by prosecution and Polonsky’s defense.  Prosecutors demanded to overturn the ruling because the conclusion that defendants had conspired to commit the crime was not proven.

Defense lawyers in turn also insisted that the ruling was meritless and illegal as well as failed to meet the requirements of the Russian Federation Code of Criminal Procedure.

Polonsky himself supported the appeals and objected to reclassification of charges against him from large scale embezzlement to embezzlement committed by an organized group.

On August 8, the Presnensky District Court of Moscow returned the case against Polonsky and his alleged accomplices to prosecutors. Such decision was adopted in order to classify the defendants’ actions as a more serious crime, the court’s spokesperson Anastasia Pylina told RAPSI.

According to investigators, Polonsky, aided by Alexander Paperno, Head of the Mirax Group Finance Department and Alexei Pronyakin, CEO of Avanta company, have defrauded participants of shared construction apartment projects of 2.6 billion rubles ($40 million), thus committing a serious crime.

Polonsky, who is the founder of Potok (formerly Mirax Group), a diversified corporation that has been involved in several large development projects, is deemed to cause damages in amount of 2.4 billion rubles (around $37 million) with regard to Kutuzov Mile and 256 million rubles ($3.9 million) with regard to Rublyovskaya Riviera development projects.

Other projects Polonsky has been involved in include Federation Tower in the Moscow International Business Center, office buildings Mirax Plaza, Poklonnaya 11 and Admiral, condominium developments Mirax Park, Golden Keys 1 and 2, and the Well House.

In May 2015, the Cambodian authorities, where Polonsky had been avoiding Russian prosecution, extradited him to Russia.

If convicted, Polonsky could face up to ten years in prison. Polonsky has pleaded not guilty.