MOSCOW, June 11 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Commercial Court has introduced an asset sale procedure against ex-Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexey Bazhanov, according to court records.

In February, the court initiated debt refunding as to Bazhanov. A 9.87 billion-ruble (about $140 million) claim of the Company Blago was added to the debtor’s creditor list.

In April 2020, the Supreme Court refused to reconsider recovery of over 12 billion rubles (about $170 million at the current exchange rate) from Bazhanov ordered by the Commercial Court of Voronezh Region in September 2019.

The claim to collect funds from Bazhanov has been lodged by Blago Company saying that the former official had controlled Oil Production starting the company’s establishment and prior to the moment of the bankruptcy case launch.

Oil Production company was declared bankrupt in July 2014. Bankruptcy proceedings were instituted against the debtor.

In March 2014, the former official was put on the international wanted list. In May 2014, the Moscow City Court upheld a decision to arrest Bazhanov in absentia.

Bazhanov was charged with having embezzled a 1.15-billion-ruble (about $16 million at the current exchange rate) loan issued by the Russian Agricultural Bank to the Masloproduct group of companies, which produce vegetable oil. The group was established by Bazhanov and controls about 6% of the Russian sunflower oil market.

He also became a defendant in a case over embezzlement 1.1 billion rubles from Rosagroleasing Company which was set up by federal authorities to lease agricultural machinery, livestock and pedigree cattle to Russian farmers.

The Interior Ministry reported that in 2008-2009 Bazhanov and his alleged accomplices stole budget funds by signing contracts to deliver equipment to the farms controlled by his group of companies.

In 2009-2010, Bazhanov was a deputy to then-Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik.