MOSCOW, July 11 (Itar-Tass) - The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow sentenced in absentia Director General of the Hermitage Capital Management Foundation, British national William Browder to nine years in prison for tax evasion at the tune of over 522 million roubles. According to the court verdict, Browder was also deprived of the right to engage in business activity for two years
On Thursday, Federal Judge Igor Alisov found guilty Browder and auditor of the foundation Sergei Magnitsky of the incriminated crime. According to the court verdict, Magnitsky acted in the interests of Browder, masterminding “a massive tax evasion scheme in a preliminary conspiracy with a group of people.”
The court relieved Magnitsky of punishment over his death and terminated the criminal case against him.
According to the court verdict, Magnitsky acted in the interests of Browder. “Magnitsky masterminded a massive tax evasion scheme in a preliminary conspiracy with a group of people,” Judge Igor Alisov said in the court verdict.
According the court verdict, Browder’s fly-by-night companies Dalnaya Step (far steppe) and Saturn Investments, which are based in Kalmykia, illegally used additional benefits on the income that was confirmed by the witnesses in their testimony, the results of the expertises and written evidence.
So, in 2001 the income tax was regulated by the special law and made 35%, which were distributed to the budget of three levels: local budget - five percent, regional budget - 19% and federal budget - 11%. Meanwhile, Kalmykia envisaged the benefits on the income tax in some conditions. One of conditions is the investments by the organization in the republican economy. In this respect, Magnitsky has developed an illegally tax evasion scheme for Browder. Browder has set up Kalmykia’s Business Centre for investments that permitted him to get an additional benefit. However, a real sum of his investment has made 1,000 roubles that cannot be considered as investment.
Meanwhile, Browder has set up an organization, which consists of three people - Browder himself and two disabled people, which were employed only formally, but also provided the benefit on the income tax. The defendants also falsified the documents, which were produced in the taxation service.
So, the court verdict reads that both companies of Browder paid 5.5% each instead of 35% of income tax.
“As a result of a scheme for the falsification of tax declarations that Magnitsky has developed for Browder and illegal use of benefits the actions of the defendants inflicted the damages to the budget at all its levels - federal, regional and local, where hundreds of millions of roubles were underpaid,” the court verdict runs.
Meanwhile, “Magnitsky was aware of false declared information” and realized the unlawfulness of his actions, the judge noted.
During the court hearings the prosecutor asked to sentence Browder to nine years in prison and relieve Magnitsky from punishment over his death and terminate the criminal case against him.