MOSCOW, November 15 (RAPSI) – Businessman Konstantin Ponomarev has been transferred to the Moscow detention center Matrosskaya Tishina as part of the investigation into alleged tax evasion and attempted fraud, his attorney Vladimir Postanyuk has told RAPSI.

According to the lawyer, the businessman was transferred from another detention center upon a request of investigators. He said that no investigative activities in this case have been conducted yet.

The second case against Ponomarev is not closed, but defense lawyers were not notified of the results of an examination that was to be conducted.

On July 9, a court in Lyubertsy, a town in the Moscow Region, found Ponomarev guilty of false denunciation and passed the sentence on him. His lawyer Maxim Zagorsky received 7 years and 8 months behind bars. He was also banned from practicing law for 3 years. A judge held that the defendants committed several crimes related to evidence simulation. The attorney was an organizer of the criminal group, the ruling read.

In mid-October, the Moscow Regional Court recalculated the term of actual punishment given to Ponomarev and reduced it by 6.5 months. Actual punishment of Zagorsky in the case was also recalculated. The sentence came into force.

The trial of Ponomarev and Zagorsky began in December 2018.  Investigators considered initiation of criminal proceedings by a private person on Ponomarev’s appeal as false denunciation.

The defendants pleaded not guilty and insisted on acquittal.

Ponomarev was embroiled in a long-standing dispute with IKEA that opted to rent diesel generators to power its shopping malls in St. Petersburg. Five criminal cases were opened against the businessman at the request of the Swedish retailer. However, a probe over alleged fraud found nothing, and the cases were dropped.

The businessman believes that the false denunciation case was resulted from the conflict with IKEA. Ponomarev claims that the company thus wants to stretch the time and siphon assets in order to avoid paying a multibillion debt to him.