MOSCOW, October 31 - RAPSI. Four Eurasia Logistic top managers have appealed their sentences after receiving eight to nine years in prison for defrauding the BTA Bank of $730 million, Yury Gervis, who represents one of the convicts, told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/ on Wednesday.
All four defendants were found guilty of large-scale fraud.

The Interior Ministry reported that former BTA Bank head Mukhtar Ablyazov created an organized criminal group in 2006 to steal funds from Bank TuranAlem. The group comprised Eurasia Logistic heads and East Bridge Capital General Director Alexander Udovenko.

Investigators reported that the accused stole BTA Bank funds jointly with other individuals. The businessmen agreed to buy 2,500 hectares in the Moscow Region. On behalf of six offshore companies located in Seychelles and controlled by Udovenko, they prepared fake applications for a $730 million bank loan to purchase the land and construct cottages.

They then spent a small portion of the loan on purchasing the land to be pledged as security and largely overestimated its value. The stolen funds were then used for personal purposes, according to investigators.

BTA Bank (presently known as AMT Bank) is a multipurpose financial institution with nine branches and 26 offices. According to the RIA Analytics Economic Research Center, AMT ranked seventy-first in terms of assets among Russia's top banks as of April 1, 2011.

The Moscow Commercial Court upheld the Central Bank's petition for the ATM Bank's bankruptcy in October 2011. The Deposit Insurance Agency was appointed to act as the failed bank's receiver. The Central Bank revoked AMT's license in July for forging account data. The bank's deposit portfolio was 15 billion rubles ($499.41 million).
According to the bank's website, Mukhtar Ablyazov directly owns a 19.7 percent stake in the bank.

Ablyazov has been living in the UK since 2009. The police opened a criminal case against him that year on suspicion of fraud and withdrawing funds through shell companies.

On February 16 this year Ablyazov was sentenced to 22 months in prison for breaching court orders and is now hiding from justice. The bank hopes to secure and enforce court decisions to return the $5 billion it is owed.