MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. Russian independent gas producer Novatek will provide all necessary support to its top executive Mark Gyetvay, who was arrested in the US accused of concealing ownership of substantial offshore assets for the purpose of tax evasion, the company said in a statement on Friday.
"As far as we know from US law enforcement reports, currently Mark Gyetvay is in the process of a court hearing in the US regarding alleged personal tax evasion. The Company is not involved in the litigation and does not have any details of the court hearings. Novatek monitors the situation and will provide all necessary support," the company said.
Novatek stressed that the situation has absolutely no effect on Novatek’s operational and financial activities.
The company also noted that Gyetvay has not been involved in the company’s financial activities since 2014. "In 2014, Mark Gyetvay left the Board of Directors of Novatek and Chief Financial Officer’s position, and according to an internal Novatek order, subsequently was not involved in the financial activities of the Company, including attracting financing," the company said.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said earlier that Gyetvay had been arrested in Florida. He is accused of concealing ownership of substantial offshore assets for the purpose of tax evasion. According to the Department of Justice, Gyetvay from 2005 to 2016, "allegedly engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States by concealing his ownership and control over substantial offshore assets and by failing to file and pay taxes on millions of dollars of income." The amount of funds he hid from the US government exceeded $93 mln at one point. The DOJ said in its report that Gyetvay in hiding his ownership of foreign accounts and associated assets, removed himself and made "his then-wife, a Russian citizen, the beneficial owner of the accounts." He is facing up to 20 years in prison.
Gyetvay has been working in Russia since 1995, becoming a partner at PwC Global Energy. He began his career in Novatek in 2003. In August 2007 he was voted onto the company’s board, since July 2010 he has been deputy chairman of Novatek. Gyetvay was awarded Russian citizenship in 2019.