Russia: Former Bank Chairman on the Run After Allegedly Embezzling Millions

Russia’s Investigative Committee (SKR) announced Wednesday they were searching for the former head of the country’s defunct Interkommerts bank, who is suspected of using false contracts to embezzle tens of millions of dollars.

интеркоммерцA Moscow court declared Interkommerts bankrupt in April (Photo: Bugayevsky is accused of covertly moving over 3.9 billion rubles (US$ 47.35 million) through payments on falsified purchase and sale contracts issued between January 21 and 25 this year.

At press time, investigators had yet to locate Bugayevsky, but had seized assets belonging to him throughout the Moscow region. Assets included a country house, a Moscow apartment, various plots of land and 100 million rubles in funds directly related to the crime, according to investigators.

Russia’s Central Bank revoked Interkommerts’ license in February due to a concerning drop in capital and what appeared to be a series of reckless transactions over the previous month. The hole in the bank’s capital assets amounted to 65 billion rubles, according to Russian media reports

The Central Bank then announced in a March statement its suspicions of asset stripping after it came to light that in the third week of January a series of high-volume loans were made between Interkommerts and foreign companies without any known ability to repay.

The Central Bank attributed a loss of at least 4.3 billion rubles to these transactions, according to the statement. The bank said that Interkommerts only had 26.6 billion rubles in assets at the time to cover 91.8 billion rubles in liabilities.

A Moscow court declared Interkommerts bankrupt in April.