ST. PETERSBURG, August 2 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The sum of embezzlement of the Tavrichesky bank depositors’ money allegedly committed by ex-member of the Russian Federation Council and owner of Liviz liquor producer Alexander Sabadash and his accomplices - former top managers of the credit organization - has come close to 1 billion rubles ($14 millon), the United press service of St. Petersburg courts has told RAPSI.

All defendants are reading case papers now.

Investigators charge alleged accomplices 16 counts of embezzlement totaling to 952 million rubles. Initially, they were accused of 10 counts.

Sabadash, ex-deputy chairman of the bank board Dmitry Garkusha and ex-chief of Tavrichesky board Sergey Somov are in detention. One more defendant, ex-financier of Sabadash, Garry Itkin is on the international wanted list as he has fled abroad.

Investigators claim the defendants took out impaired loans to Milan company basing on fictious agreement allegedly related to legal business concerning import of capital equipment for producing cutting dies for glass bottles at the non-resident company Renaissance Premier S.A.

In 2015, he received a 6-year prison sentence for attempted embezzlement of 1.8 billion rubles (about $25 million at the current exchange rate) involving Arkhangelsk-based developer ES-Kontaktstroy and JSC Vyborgskaya Cellulose. Sabadash, believed to be the owner of Vyborgskaya Cellulose, has organized a fraudulent VAT refund scheme, according to investigators.

In October 2017, Sabadash was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for embezzlement from the Bank Tavrichesky. Somov and Garkusha were sentenced to 7 years in prison each. Moreover, all defendants were fined 100,000 rubles ($1,300) each. According to case papers, from June to December 2013, Somov, Garkusha and Sabadash stole 190 million rubles by signing credit contracts in violation of a procedure of approval and processing of loans established in the bank. The defendants transferred the embezzled money to accounts of foreign companies controlled by Sabadash.

Sabadash was stripped of his seat in the parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, in 2006 after he was accused of carrying out business activities, which senators are forbidden to do.