Baring Vostok founder is suspected of embezzling $37.4 mln

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MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Founder of the Baring Vostok investment fund Michael Calvey is suspected of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($37.4 mln) form the Vostochny Express Bank, a TASS correspondent reported from the Basmanny court in Moscow.

The court is now considering the petition of the investigation for the arrest of the defendants in the case of large-scale fraud.

According to the investigation, Calvey embezzled the funds through a fraudulent scheme involving the First Collection Agency. The agency was searched earlier this week.

“The investigation revealed that Calvey, knowing that the First Collection Agency he controls has a 2.5 bln rubles debt, arranged the sale of his shares to the Vostochny Express Bank, which led to the actual embezzlement of these funds,” the investigator said in the courtroom.

Philippe Delpal, who is the investment fund’s partner in the financial sector, denied the charges of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles.

“I strongly deny my guilt, I had no relation to the transaction the investigation is talking about,” Delpal said. He added that he was ready to help the investigation and to reside in Moscow.

Earlier on Friday, TASS reported that four employees of the Baring Vostok investment fund, including the founder and managing partner Michael Calvey, were detained as part of a dispute over Vostochny Express Bank.

“Yesterday Baring Vostok employees, including Michael Calvey, were detained by authorities in Moscow. Baring Vostok believes these charges are related solely to an ongoing commercial dispute related to Orient Express, a Baring Vostok Fund portfolio company, and they do not relate to Baring Vostok as a whole, or any other Baring Vostok Fund portfolio companies. Baring Vostok and all the Funds’ portfolio companies, including Vostochny Express Bank, continue to operate business as usual. Baring Vostok plans to fulfill all its obligations to finance Vostochny Express Bank capital increase approved by the Central Bank,” the Baring Vostok fund said in a media release.

The Investigative Committee of Russia filed a petition to the Basmanny Court of Moscow for the arrest of Michael Calvey. Mr. Calvey, the investment fund’s director Ivan Zyuzin, financial sector partner Philippe Delpal, as well as Vagan Abgaryan, Alexey Kordichev and Maxim Vladimirov are suspected of large scale fraud.

About Baring Vostok

Baring Vostok is one of the largests private equity firms focusing on Russia and the CIS with a capital of $3.7 bln. The Baring brand in the sector of direct investments is owned by BPEI, a company that was formed in 2004 as a result of the repurchase of business from ING Group.

Baring Vostok’s projects include CTC Media, Yandex, Avito, Ozon, ER-Telecom, 1C, Novomet.

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