MOSCOW, February 12 (RAPSI) - Russian businessman Ilya Sherman charged with land plot fraud estimated at about 570 million rubles (about $9 million) has pleaded not guilty, the Investigative Committee’s press service reports Tuesday.

He has also refused to testify during his interrogation, the statement reads.

Investigators claim that between 2010 and 2012 Sherman and his accomplices illegally gained a right for acquisition of land plots in the Moscow Region. Under false pretences, they acquired the ownership of two land plots with a total area of 174.5 sq. m worth over 568 million rubles, the spokesperson of the Prosecutor General’s Office Alexander Kurennoy told journalists earlier.

Sherman has fled Russia and has been put on the international wanted list, according to Kurennoy. In April 2018, the businessman was arrested in Italy, and Russia forwarded a request for his extradition.

On January 24, Italian authorities approved Sherman’s extradition. On February 8, he was extradited to Russia.

According to investigators, one of Sherman’s accomplices has been convicted and sentenced, while others are still wanted.