MOSCOW, October 24 - RAPSI. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas have notified Russia that they are initiating the criminal prosecution of former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin, who is accused of major fraud in Russia, a high-ranking official involved in the investigation into the large-scale embezzlement case told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"The criminal prosecution is connected with the laundering of illegally obtained funds," he said.
RIA Novosti has yet to obtain official comments from the law enforcement authorities.
On Tuesday the Russian Interior Ministry reported that investigators had seized assets belonging to Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulin. Investigators froze over $400 million held in Borodins foreign bank accounts. His Bank of Moscow shares were also seized. In addition, plots of land, facilities still under construction and exclusive cars belonging to Borodin were confiscated as well.
A case was launched against the officials in late 2010. Borodin and Akulinin were accused of stealing 12.76 billion rubles ($409.95 million) from the Moscow city budget.
The Bank of Moscow allocated the amount to the Premier Estate company, which used the funds in 2009 to buy a 58 hectare land plot in western Moscow from Ramenskaya trade house, owned by Yelena Baturina, Russias richest woman and wife of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
The bank sold additional shares worth 15 billion rubles ($481.92 million) before granting the loan. The shares were purchased by the Moscow City Hall as a major shareholder.
Investigators believe that the Bank of Moscow executives knew the pledge information provided to Premier Estate was false, although the pledge was designed to act as security for the loan.
However, the source said they confused the bank's management by fraudulently assessing the credit risk.
Another case was also initiated against Borodin and Akulinin last winter for the embezzlement of over 6.7 billion rubles ($215.25 million). Additionally, a case for the theft of 540 million rubles ($17.34 million) from the bank is also in progress. The names of the suspects have not been disclosed.
In November 2011, Interpol's Russian office placed Borodin and Akulinin on the international wanted list after they fled the country.
According to Forbes 2012, Borodin's fortune was assessed at $800 million, which placed him 117th on the list of Russia's richest people. Recently, Borodin purchased Londons most expensive mansion for 140 million pounds.
Borodin headed the Bank of Moscow, Russia's fifth largest bank, for almost 16 years.