Russia has detained the founder of the Vostok Private Equity Group in the Russian Federation, Michael Calvey, a U.S. national, along with other executives.
[The] founder of the Baring Vostok investment fund Michael Calvey is suspected of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($37.4 mln) from the Vostochny Express Bank, reported Russian state news agency TASS. Michael Calvey, investment fund’s director Ivan Zyuzin, financial sector partner Philippe Delpal, as well as Vagan Abgaryan, Alexey Kordichev and Maxim Vladimirov are suspected of large-scale fraud.
“The investigation revealed that Calvey, knowing that the First Collection Agency he controls has a 2.5 bln rubles debt, arranged the sale of his shares to the Vostochny Express Bank, which led to the actual embezzlement of these funds,” the investigator said in the courtroom, added TASS.
The case seems to be a reaction to the new Western sanctions imposed against the Russian Federation for its actions against ships of the Ukrainian navy late last year when they attempted to pass the Russian-controlled Kerch Strait. Moscow arrested in January a former U.S. Marine, Paul Whelan in-country, accusing him of espionage.
The detentions come at the same time that Russia is hosting a major investment forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi intended to attract foreign investors, many of whom stopped pumping in new money when the West imposed sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine, reported Reuters.
In the past few years, Russian law enforcement has mounted cases involving the businesses of billionaire entrepreneur Mikhail Prokhorov, Vladimir Yevtushenkov and Ziyavudin Magomedov. Officials have denied the cases are politically-motivated, but some people in business circles say they have had a chilling effect on the business climate.