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6 May, 2019 14:49

Russian court leaves US investor Calvey under house arrest

Russian court leaves US investor Calvey under house arrest

Moscow City Court has upheld an earlier decision to extend the house arrest of US investor, Michael Calvey, who is being investigated in relation to massive fraud in Russia.

Calvey’s legal team had insisted that their client should be allowed to take walks, but the judge rejected the appeal on Monday, and upheld a decision to extend his house arrest until mid-summer.

The founder of the private equity fund, Baring Vostok, was detained in February along with three of his colleagues. They were detained at a pre-trial facility in the Russian capital. The restrictions against the prominent US businessman, who had been working in Russia since 1994 and invested over $2.8 billion in the country, were later changed to house arrest, which was then extended until July 14, much to the dissatisfaction of his lawyers.

The American businessman is accused of using a fraudulent scheme to embezzle 2.5 billion rubles ($37 million) from Vostochny Bank. Calvey and his associates persuaded the bank’s board to accept shares in a Luxembourg-based company, International Financial Technology Group, by way of repayments in respect of a large loan.

They claimed that the shares were worth 3 billion rubles ($45 million), but prosecutors insist that their actual value stood at just 600,000 rubles ($9,000).

During earlier court hearings, Calvey said that he had decided not to flee Russia, despite risking a 10-year prison sentence, because doing so would be “tantamount to admitting guilt.”

The 51-year-old insisted that he would prove his innocence in court and restore his reputation. Vostochny Bank filed a lawsuit against him in “a desperate attempt” to protect its interests in a business dispute between the partners, he explained.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the US businessman’s case “shouldn’t have any negative effect on the investment climate in Russia,” as the country remains interested in attracting foreign capital. “Until there’s a court ruling, nobody can say that Calvey is guilty of any wrongdoing,” he pointed out.

Also on rt.com Moscow knows top Baring Vostok businessman as major investor in Russia, alarmed by his arrest

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