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Russia's top prosecutor supports ‘legitimate’ criminal case against US financier Calvey

The prosecution had "sufficient grounds" for opening a criminal case

MOSCOW. June 7./TASS/. The criminal case against Michael Calvey, the founder of the Baring Vostok private equity firm arrested in a major embezzlement case, was opened legitimately, said Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika on Friday.

"We had sufficient grounds for opening a criminal case and it was launched legitimately. There are no doubts about this," Chaika told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

He noted, however, that a new independent expertise was being carried out at the moment. "Of course we are keeping a close eye on these issues," the top prosecutor noted.

Calvey case

Michael Calvey, the founder of the Baring Vostok private-equity firm, was detained and then arrested on February 16 on suspicion of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from Vostochny Bank. Moscow’s Basmanny Court also arrested five other suspects in the case. Calvey was sent to a pre-trial detention center, but later he was placed under house arrest.

According to the investigation, he 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 to the Vostochny bank in order to pay it back for a 2.5 bln-ruble debt. However, law enforcement agencies say the stake was actually worth 600,000 rubles ($9,100).

On February 7, Serzod Yusupov, a minority shareholder in Vostochny Bank filed a complaint with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). In addition, Artyom Avetisyan, another Vostochny shareholder, along with the deputy chairman of the bank’s board Konstantin Rogov testified against Michael Calvey.