MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. The investigation filed charges against all the persons involved in the case of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from the Vostochny Bank, where the founder and managing partner of Baring Vostok investment fund Michael Calvey is the key defendant, a source in investigative agencies told TASS.
"The investigation charged all persons involved in the case were charged under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Fraud committed by an organized group or on an especially large scale). Philippe Delpal (investment partner for the financial industry sector at Baring Vostok - TASS) was the last who was charged," the source said adding that all the defendants were re-interrogated and none of them pleaded guilty.
Philippe Delpal’s lawyer, Barbara Knutova, confirmed that her client was charged and did not admit guilt. "Today, investigators brought official charges against Phillippe Delpal, including the order to prosecute him as an accused, translated into French. Philip disagreed with the accusations, my client does not admit the guilt," she said.
Baring Vostok’s case
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the embezzlement of 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from the Vostochny Bank on February 13. Michael Calvey is the key defendant in the case. On February 15, the law enforcement agencies arrested Calvey and five others: Vagan Abgaryan, partner at Baring Vostok, Philippe Delpale, an investment partner for the financial industry sector at Baring Vostok, Ivan Zyuzin, Investment Director at Baring Vostok and also General Director of the First Collection Bureau Maxim Vladimirov and Advisor to the Management Board of Norvik Bank, Alexey Kordichev. They are all facing charges under part 4 article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code (Swindling committed on a large scale by an organized group).
According to the investigation, Calvey and his accomplices put together a scheme, where the "First Collection Bureau", under their control, waived its right to a 59.9% stake in a Luxembourg-based company called the International Financial Technology Group (IFTG), to the Vostochny bank to pay it back for a 2.5 billion-ruble debt. Before the deal, IFTG’s shares were valued at 3 bln rubles. However, the investigation is examining another estimate of 600,000 rubles (according to a Cyprus-based company’s valuation). That said, the Central Bank claimed that the price of these shares was close to zero, the investigator noted.
The investigation was launched after Serzod Yusupov, a minority shareholder in Vostochny Bank filed a complaint with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).
About Baring Vostok
Baring Vostok is one of the largest private equity firms focusing on Russia and the CIS with $3.7 bln in capital. Since 1994, the fund has poured more than $2.4 bln of investments into 70 projects in the areas of financial services, oil and gas, telecommunications and media, and into the consumer sector. Baring Vostok’s projects include CTC Media, Yandex, Avito, Ozon, ER-Telecom, 1C, and Novomet.