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Court seizes property of wife of ex-Rive Gauche chain owner accused of embezzlement

On December 8, Inna Meyer and her husband were detained on suspicion of embezzling more than 2.4 billion rubles ($31.9 mln)

ST. PETERSBURG, January 10. /TASS/. The court of the Moscow district in St. Petersburg has seized the property of Inna Meyer, wife of August Meyer, former owner of the Rive Gauche cosmetics chain and former co-owner of the Ulmart retailer, who was arrested earlier, the united press service of the St. Petersburg courts reported on Monday. She is banned from managing property including the apartment.

"The Moscow district court of St. Petersburg satisfied the investigation's petition to seize the property of Inna Meyer, accused of committing crimes under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fraud)," the statement says.

On December 8, Inna Meyer and her husband were detained on suspicion of embezzling more than 2.4 billion rubles ($31.9 mln). They were charged later that day.

On December 9, August Meyer was arrested, and his wife was placed under house arrest until February 7. It was reported that both defendants pleaded not guilty.

Inna Meyer and her lawyer asked for a softer preventive measure, noting that none of the victims during the interrogation directly pointed at her involvement in the crimes. The third defendant in the case - general director of Big Boxing LLC and Meyer's business partner Elena Streltsova - also pleaded not guilty and was placed under house arrest.

According to media reports, the criminal case involves the theft of funds that the Ulmart company received in the form of loans from Sberbank. In 2017, another co-owner of Ulmart, Dmitry Kostygin, was accused of the crime, but later his actions were classified as "causing damage without signs of theft" (part 2 of article 165 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). In 2017, the defendant was placed under house arrest, and in 2018 the businessman was released on bail of 25 million rubles ($332,763).