MOSCOW, August 8 - RAPSI. Russia's Investigative Department reports that the Hermitage Capital tax evasion case is being reassigned to a new investigator. William Browder and auditor Sergei Magnitsky are named as the primary suspects in the case.
The department's statement says the move was made to redistribute the workload between investigators. It also reminds that the criminal case against Browder and Magnitsky became a separate proceeding in December 22, 2011.
According to case materials, Browder, who was the head of the Moscow office of Hermitage Capital Management Limited and was the CEO of Dalnyaya Step and Saturn (which were registered in the Republic of Kalmykia) jointly with auditor Magnitsky submitted falsified tax returns in 2001 and therefore evaded taxes estimated at more than 500 million rubles ($15.84 million).
Hermitage Capital claimed that it paid 5.4 billion rubles ($186.5 million) in taxes, but that this money was stolen, abetted by law enforcement officials. Magnitsky's prosecution was said to be in connection with this theft.
No charges have been brought against Browder so far since he now resides in the United Kingdom.
UK authorities have refused to assist Russian law enforcement authorities and hand over to Browder the notification that the preliminary investigation has been completed, saying that the transfer of such data would inflict damage to the sovereignty, security, public order and other substantial interests of the United Kingdom, according to the statement.
Magnitsky died in a Moscow pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009, after almost a year in prison.