Prosecutor seeks 10-year prison sentence for Vneshprombank ex-president
MOSCOW, May 2 (RAPSI, Oleg Sivozhelezov) – A prosecutor has asked the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow to sentence former Vneshprombank president Larisa Markus, who stands charged with embezzling 114 billion rubles (about $2 billion), to ten years in a penal colony, RAPSI learnt in the court on Tuesday.
The sentence is expected to be read on May 10.
The prosecutor has also asked to fine Markus 400,000 rubles (about $7,000). He requested a five-year prison sentence and the same fine for another defendant in the case, former vice-president of the bank Yekaterina Glushakova.
Defense lawyers of Markus and Glushakova called the requested punishment too harsh. They noted that Markus participated in the projects under the auspices of the United Nations and UNESCO. Lawyer of Glushakova noted that his defendant was a subordinate under Markus and got deceived about true reasons behind her actions. They asked court to give Markus and Glushakova non-custodial sentences.
A representative of Vneshprombank noted that defendants partially compensated the caused damage by transferring 100,000 rubles (about $1,750) to the bank. Overall, claims in the civil lawsuit against the defendants amount to 13 billion rubles (about $228 million).
Investigators believe that Markus along with her brother Georgy Bedzhamov, who once co-owned the bank, created an organized crime group to siphon money from the bank. The group allegedly granted loans to sub-companies and did not refund money to Vneshprombank. Allegedly, from May 2009 to December 2015, conspirators managed to embezzle over 114 billion rubles.
Bedzhamov was arrested in absentia and put on a wanted list.
In March 2016, the Moscow Commercial Court declared Vneshprombank bankrupt. Vneshprombank was one of the top 40 by assets before it lost its license in January of the same year.