MOSCOW, August 5 (RAPSI) - Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court on Thursday found U.S. investor Michael Calvey guilty of embezzling over 2.5 billion rubles (over $34 million) from Vostochny Bank, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
The court also convicted all other defendants in the case including Philippe Delpal, Vagan Abgaryan, Maxim Vladimirov, Ivan Zyuzin, Alexander Tsakunov, and Alexey Kordichev.
Earlier, prosecutors asked the court to sentence Calvey to a six-year suspended jail sentence. The prosecutor's office also requested suspended sentences ranging from 4 to 5.5 years for the rest of the defendants in the case - Philippe Delpal, Vagan Abgaryan, Maxim Vladimirov, Ivan Zyuzin, Alexander Tsakunov, and Alexey Kordichev.
Calvey was accused of large-scale fraud in a deal on the purchase by Vostochny Bank of shares in First Collector Bureau. However, in December of 2020, investigators changed the charges to those of embezzlement.
Investigators allege that the price of the asset was overstated, and the transaction brought losses to the bank, referring to the audit report of PricewaterhouseCoopers on the deal, which valued the sold shares at 600,000 rubles ($8,000), what, investigating authorities believe is an indication of a crime.
At the same time, Delpal explained that expert estimation of the value of the shares in dispute made 254 million rubles (about $3.4 million at the current exchange rate), and stated that the assessment could not be complete without the inclusion of the assets associated with the shares; in Delpal’s opinion in this case the total value makes 4 billion rubles ($54 million).
Calvey denies allegations insisting that the deal was fair as both companies agreed its terms and stood for it, including a person reporting an alleged crime to law enforcement bodies. He noted that a report has been filed with police by a member of Vostochny bank board of directors Sherzod Yusupov. According to Calvey, the real reason of his prosecution is a wide corporate dispute related to the control of the bank by two groups of shareholders: Baring Vostok and stockholders coming from Uniastrum bank, which was reorganized and joined to Vostochny in early 2017.
Baring Vostok company founded by Calvey in 1994 focuses on private equity investments in the CIS and Russia. The company has invested in shares of Yandex, Vkusvill, Tinkoff Bank and other major projects.