Russia’s biggest bank fraud lands ex-CEO in jail for nine years

Russia’s biggest bank fraud lands ex-CEO in jail for nine years
By Vadim Dumesh May 15, 2017

The former CEO of Russia’s Vneshprombank Larisa Markus has been sentenced to nine years in jail by a Moscow court for extracting about RUB113.5bn (EUR1.83bn), in what has become the biggest case of banking fraud in the country, Tass reported on May 12.

Markus pleaded guilty, which was received by the court as an extenuating circumstance. Her brother and co-owner of the bank Georgy Bedzhamov was arrested in Monaco in April last year, but was not extradited to Russia and now reportedly lives in London.

At the end of 2016 Vneshprombank was shut down by the Central Bank of Russia with a RUB187bn ($2.3bn) hole in its balance sheet. 

In explaining its decision to close the bank, the regulator said the bank’s management had conducted various operations to “strip assets out for a long period of time”. 

Vneshprombank, Russia’s 34th-largest lender by assets, cost the state another RUB48.6bn ($821mn) as about two-thirds of its RUB72.9bn of deposits were covered by the Deposit Insurance Agency.

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