MOSCOW, February 13 - RAPSI. New defendants may be involved in the Bank of Moscow embezzlement case, Pavel Lapshov, the Interior Ministry's Investigative Department head, told RIA Novosti.
Lapshov said the department is not only investigating the transactions made by Investlesprom and Premier Estate in the case. Both former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and his wife Yelena Baturina are witnesses alongside dozens - if not hundreds - of other individuals who have also been summoned for interrogation, Lapshov said.
It was earlier reported that the department suspected former Bank of Moscow President Andrey Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin of abuse of power while purchasing Investlesprom shares. According to investigators, Borodin and Akulinin made $200 million in the deal.
The department opened a criminal case against Borodin and Akulinin in late 2010. Borodin and Akulinin were charged with embezzling 12.5 billion rubles ($398.5 million) from the Moscow budget through a loan to Premier Estate. Prior to granting the loan to Premier Estate, the bank issued new shares worth 15 billion rubles ($478.2). The stake was purchased by the Moscow government, the bank's majority shareholder. Premier Estate used the funds to purchase a 58 hectare land plot in western Moscow. Investigators say the bank's personnel were well aware of the false information that the borrower submitted about the pledge to secure the loan.