MOSCOW, October 31 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The Moscow Presensky District Court will hold preliminary hearings with regard to the criminal case against Russian developer Sergei Polonsky, who stands charged with embezzling 2.6 billion rubles ($41.7 million), on November 7, the court’s spokeswoman Anastasia Pylina told RAPSI on Monday.

On August 8, the Moscow Presnensky Court returned the case against Polonsky to prosecutors for tightening indictment; this decision was later upheld by the Moscow City Court. This decision was adopted in order to classify the defendants’ actions as a more serious crime, the court’s spokesperson told RAPSI at that time.

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 ($41.2 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 $38 million) with regard to Kutuzov Mile and 256 million rubles (around $4 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.