A Moscow court on Thursday found American businessman Michael Calvey and his French partner Philippe Delpal guilty of a crime of embezzlement of funds for the embezzlement of 2.5 billion rubles (28.9 million euros). Calvey, the founder of the investment fund Baring Vostok and co-owner of the Orient Express Bank, was arrested along with others implicated in early 2019 for a crime of embezzlement of funds linked to the Vostochny Bank, although all of them have always denied the charges.
The reading of the sentence is expected to continue this Friday, after more than five hours with several breaks this Thursday. The defendants face sentences of up to ten years in prison. In Calvey’s case, under house arrest, the Prosecutor’s Office has requested six years in prison for him.
Judge Anna Sókova considers that the defendants committed an embezzlement “of great proportions”, although she has not yet proceeded to study the evidence presented by the defense, says the Russian news agency Sputnik. According to the indictment, the Orient Express Bank gave a loan of 2.5 billion rubles to the collection agency First Collection Bureau, in which Baring Vostok was an investor. Even knowing the agency’s debt, Calvey persuaded shareholders to accept 59.9 percent of the shares of the International Financial Technology Group in lieu of payment, which actually cost much less.
When Calvey exercised his right to the last word on July 19, he denied all the accusations and reaffirmed that he always acted according to the law. In turn, he questioned the accusations, which, he said, prosecutors have not bothered to prove.