Russian judicial authorities accuse U.S. investor of fraud
A Russian court in Moscow has begun a review of the embezzlement case against American investor Michael Calvey. Calvey and several of his colleagues at Baring Vostok are facing a ten-year prison sentence on fraud charges.
At trial, Calvey emphatically pleaded not guilty.
“I have been charged with a serious crime and put on trial for a crime invented by investigators,” Calvey said (written text of his statement provided by Baring Vostok).
“Under these circumstances, the accusation against me is not only meaningless and dishonest but also illegal,” the businessman stressed.
Calvey, one of the most successful foreign investors in the Russian economy, was detained in February 2019.
The case against him was initiated after a complaint from Sherzod Yusupov, a shareholder of the Vostochniy Bank. According to the investigation, Michael Calvey convinced Vostochny’s board of directors to vote to forgive a two-and-a-half billion dollar loan from the First Collection Bureau in exchange for shares in the Luxembourg fund IFTG. Calvey calls the allegations against him a lie and links them to a corporate conflict between him and the bank’s shareholders.
Calvey’s detention shocked the business community and prompted many leading Russian businessmen to speak out in his defense.
Calvey was later released from custody and placed under house arrest, but his prosecution has exacerbated concerns about the investment climate in Russia today.