ST. PETERSBURG, October 4 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The Vasileostrovsky District Court of St. Petersburg has issued an arrest warrant for fugitive ex-board chairman of Bank of East-European Finance Corporation (EEFC) Alexander Gitelson charged with embezzling 20 billion rubles (about $347 million at the current exchange rate), according to St. Petersburg courts’ press office.

Gitelson failed to appear before investigator for bringing charges in July. According to investigators, the former banker fled to Austria. In August, he was put on the international wanted list.

A ruling on Gitelson’s search was challenged, but the court dismissed the appeal in September.

From March 2007 to October 2008, the defendant acting as the Board Chairman of Bank of EEFC conspired with Deputy Chairman of the Board Ivan Bibinov to embezzle the bank’s funds in the amount of 20 billion rubles under the pretense of credit granting to companies controlled by Gitelson.

Bibinov was given a 4-year suspended sentence with a 5-year probation term in May 2015.

In March 2015, Gitelson was convicted and sentenced to three years for embezzling over 2 billion rubles ($35 million) in public funds from Inkasbank. A court in St. Petersburg also fined the banker 500,000 rubles ($8,700).

In April 2011, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court sentenced Gitelson in absentia to five years in prison and a 1 million-ruble ($16,700) fine for embezzling 495 million rubles ($8.6 million) from his acquaintance, MP Adnan Muzykayev.

Later, the court ruled to combine punishments for both crimes and extended prison sentence to five years.

In May 2016, the Commercial Court of St. Petersburg granted Gitelson’s petition for his own bankruptcy.