MOSCOW, November 24 (RAPSI, Yevgeniya Sokolova) – The Moscow City Court has reduced a 4.5-year prison sentence given to Konstantin Salnikov, former top manager of the Bank of Moscow, for embezzling over 1 billion rubles (about $15.6 mln) from the bank, by 6 months, RAPSI learnt in the court’s press office on Thursday.

A 4-year jail term of Alla Averina, the second ex-bank top manager convicted in the case was upheld.

Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court handed down the sentence to Salnikov and Averina on February 10.

A prosecutor demanded to sentence Salnikov and Averina to 7 and 6 years in prison and to fine them 500,000 ($7,800) and 400,000 rubles ($6,250) respectively.

Investigators claim that Salnikov, the former senior trader at the bank’s Currency Transactions Department, and Averina, the former director of the bank’s Department of Transactions Administration, were the accomplices of Andrei Borodin, then president of the Bank of Moscow, and his first deputy, Dmitry Akulinin, who have been charged in absentia of embezzling over 1 billion rubles from the bank.

Salnikov has been charged with embezzlement, and Averina stands charged with being an accessory to embezzlement and abuse of office. According to investigators, they acted in collusion with Borodin, Akulinin and one other bank employee.

In 2011, a criminal case was opened against Borodin and Akulinin on charges of large-scale fraud involving state funds. They were accused of lending $443 million to shell companies, which then transferred the funds to Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov and the owner of the construction empire Inteco.

Borodin fled to the UK in 2011. In November 2011, the Russian Interpol bureau put Borodin and Akulinin on the international wanted list. In March 2013, Borodin was granted political asylum in the UK.