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20 May, 2023 12:55

Investor failed to get Russian visa to attend court hearing – lawyer

Michael Calvey had received a five-and-a-half-year suspended sentence
Investor failed to get Russian visa to attend court hearing – lawyer

US private-equity investor Michael Calvey could not acquire a visa in order to appear at a Moscow court hearing of his appeal against a fraud conviction, his lawyer, Larisa Kashtanova, told Interfax on Friday.

Calvey’s French associate, Philippe Delpal, also failed to appear in the court. His lawyer claimed the businessman had planned to attend the trial, but could not do so due to visa difficulties in the current circumstances.

Attorneys for both men confirmed that their clients agreed to be tried in absentia.

In 2021, Calvey, the former head of Baring Vostok, a $3.7-billion investment firm which he founded, was handed a 5.5-year suspended sentence in Russia for embezzlement, after a judge found that he and his colleagues conspired to pocket tens of millions of dollars.

The other figures in the case were also given suspended sentences, including Delpal, who received four and a half years.

The two were accused of running a $34 million embezzlement scheme related to loans issued by a bank owned by Calvey’s Baring Vostok fund in 2015.

In January 2022, an appeals court lifted the restrictions on the partners’ movements. In March 2023, Calvey and Delpal left Russia.

Baring Vostok was once considered the largest independent private equity firm focused on investments in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. It directly invested in a wide range of industries including oil and gas, consumer products, media and technology, telecommunications, and financial services.

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