Officials Implicated in Magnitsky Fraud Flee

Published: 01 March 2012


Two tax officials accused of tax fraud by a former Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky cannot be summoned for questioning because they left the country last May, according a report released by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The report was released in response to a lawsuit by a colleague of the dead lawyer who sued government authorities for failing to open an investigation into officials Magnitsky accused of embezzling public funds, reported Interfax on Tuesday.

Magnitsky accused the two tax officials, Olga Tsaryova and Yelena Anisimova of stealing US$186 million in a tax refund fraud.

The women drove out of Russia and into Ukraine via a border crossing in Russia’s southern Belgorod region, according to the FSB report.

Both women purchased luxury apartments in Dubai before departing Russia, Magnitsky’s lawyers said.

After Magnitsky said the tax officials were part of a US$230 million tax refund fraud, officials turned the accusation on him.  He died in prison awaiting trial after what his family said was abuse and attempts by authorities to make him sign a confession. His case has become an international cause and one of the highest profile example of corruption in Putin’s Russia.

A Russian court ruled Monday that Magnitsky’s posthumous trial is legal.