ST. PETERSBURG, October 12 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The trial of ex-member of the Russian Federation Council and owner of Liviz liquor producer Alexander Sabadash, who stands charged with embezzling nearly one billion rubles from the Tavrichesky bank, will begin on October 21, RAPSI has learnt in the Smolninsky District Court of St. Petersburg.

His alleged accomplices, former top managers of the credit organization Sergey Somov and Dmitry Garkusha, will stand the embezzlement trial.

Investigators accuse the defendants of 16 counts of embezzlement totaling to 952 million rubles ($13.3 million). Initially, they were charge with 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.