Moscow court to hear case of U.S. citizen charged with $167M embezzlement
MOSCOW, March 4 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Basmanny District Court is to hear a criminal case of U.S. citizen Dmitry Kotlyarenko charged with embezzlement of over 11 billion rubles (about $167 million) and money laundering, the Prosecutor General’s Office informs on Monday.
According to the statement, a Prosecutor General’s Deputy has approved the respective indictment. The case has been submitted to the court to be heard on merits. The hearings are to be conducted in absentia, as the U.S. authorities refused to extradite Kotlyarenko.
Investigators believe that in 2005 through 2008 Kotlyarenko was a member of an organized criminal group headed by former Finance Minister of the Moscow Region Alexey Kuznetsov. Together with his co-conspirators, the statement reads, Kotlyarenko has unlawfully obtained the right to recover debts of enterprises operating in the housing and utilities sector of the Moscow Region and embezzled funds of Moscow Regional Investment Trust Company.
In 2014, a Moscow court issued an arrest warrant in absentia for the businessman, who fled to the United States after his release on parole in Russia in a large scale fraud case.
Kotlyarenko, CEO of RIGroup and board chairman with affiliated company RIGroup–Finance, was convicted of large-scale fraud in Russia. After his arrest in Cyprus and extradition to Russia in 2011, he made a deal with prosecutors and was only tried under one charge, embezzlement of 1 billion rubles ($15.3 million at the current exchange rate) from a construction project in the Moscow Region.
In July 2011, the Odinsovsky District Court in Moscow sentenced him to three years in prison, but 10 counts of fraud and money laundering were brought against him in 2012.
In November 2012, Kotlyarenko was released on parole and immediately went to the Untied States, contrary to his parole conditions.