MOSCOW, July 30 (RAPSI) - Criminal investigation against businessman Boris Berezovsky is underway, Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

Dissemination of more information on this issue is inadvisable, owing to the necessity of the security of pre-trial investigation, Markin said.

Russian prosecutors had discovered that in 1995, Berezovsky and his then-business partner Yuly Dubov conducted a series of thefts that proved damaging to the interests of the Samara Region. The investigation revealed that the region had sustained 58 million rubles in damages. The amount was later indexed for inflation and interest. In the end, the amount exceeded one billion rubles.

In September 2012, the government of Russia’s Samara Region filed a claim to recover 989 million rubles ($31.7 million) that the oligarch had allegedly failed to pay up following a lower court’s order to do so.

On the basis of a massive fraud scheme, a Russian court convicted Berezovsky in 2007, finding him jointly and severally liable with a co-defendant who had previously been sentenced to pay Aeroflot nearly 215 million rubles (approximately $7 million). By this point, Berezovsky had already had asylum status in the UK since 2003, and had not returned to Russia for years prior.

In 2011, Aeroflot sought an adjustment of the amount awarded, taking inflation into consideration, charging that the original award should be increased to upwards of 2 billion rubles. Aeroflot failed in its effort to serve Berezovsky and Glushkov with process. Still, a Russian court opted to move forward in absence of the defendants, and ultimately granted the inflation adjustment in full.

The 67-year-old businessman was found by his bodyguard in the bathroom of his house on Mill Lane, Ascot, Berkshire, on March 23. The results of a post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be consistent with hanging.

The British media report that the former oligarch was on the verge of bankruptcy after losing several litigations against his former business partners. In 2012, he lost a case in London against fellow Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich and agreed to pay litigation costs of 35 million pounds.