MOSCOW, March 2 (RAPSI) – Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has forwarded a request to France seeking extradition of Sergey Pugachev, once an influential tycoon, who is charged with embezzlement, official representative of the Office Alexander Kurennoy announced on Thursday.

In May 2015, prosecutors sent a similar request to Great Britain where Pugachev lived at the time. However, he left the country for France without waiting for the ruling of British court regarding the request. Later he was sentenced in absentia to two years in prison for contempt of British court.

Pugachev fled Russia in early 2011 after International Industrial Bank (Mezhprombank) collapsed.

The Russian Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA), which was appointed as liquidator to Mezhprombank, claims that Pugachev extracted money from the bank for his benefit when it was already insolvent. An investigation was launched into the allegations.

Russian courts ruled that Pugachev along with several other persons should be held liable for the insolvency of Mezhprombank. They were ordered to pay nearly 75.6 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) in damages. Russia's Supreme Court upheld the ruling in January of 2016.

In November of 2016, The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague formed a panel of arbitrators for considering a claim filed by Pugachev seeking $12 billion in damages. Pugachev lodged the claim in September 2015. He alleged an attempted expropriation of his assets totaling $15 billion. Lazareff Le Bars is currently acting as counsel to Pugachev.