Russia: Former Yukoz Shareholder Sentenced

Former Yukoz shareholder Leonid Nevzlin was found guilty of misappropriation and sentenced to  six years for stealing shares from the Eastern Oil Company, the Moscow Times reported Tuesday.

The trial was held in absentia as Nevzlin remains at large. He has reportedly been living in Israel where he has citizenship since 2003.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor’s Office said Nevzlin embezzled 38 percent of shares in the Achinsky oil refinery and other Eastern Oil Company assets in 1998 totaling more than 3 billion rubles ($91.6 million).

In 2008 Nevzlin was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for ordering three murders committed by members of the organized crime group between 1998 and 2002, including the murder of a local mayor. The Russian Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

Nevzlin has denied these charges and appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

In 2004 the Prosecutor’s General Office issued charges against Nevzlin for tax evasion exceeding damages of 26 million rubles ($820,600) and misappropriation exceeding damages of 30 million rubles ($946, 900), the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) reported Monday.

Nevzlin is thought to have operated with the organized criminal group headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky who has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment under similar charges.