MOSCOW, March 22 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian court found a former banker guilty on Friday of fraud worth 16 billion rubles ($517 million) and has sentenced him to 7.5 years in jail.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said Matvey Urin ran several financial and industrial enterprises and was a member of an organized criminal group involved in transaction frauds.
Little known outside banking circles, Urin gained notoriety in 2010 after being linked by reporters and bloggers with a brutal road rage attack on a man rumored to be President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law.
Prosecutors say that in 2009-2010, Urin and his criminal associates created sham banks and issued securities that they later sold to financial institutions.
The funds were transferred onto the accounts of fly-by-night companies, prosecutors said in a statement.
“As a result of such financial malpractice, five financial institutions suffered damages estimated at almost 16 billion rubles,” prosecutors said.
Urin has earlier been found guilty of hooliganism, battery and property damage for ordering his bodyguards to assault Dutch national and Gazprom executive Jorrit Faassen after a trivial road collision in November 2010.
The ex-banker was initially sentenced to two years in prison in April 2011, but a court overturned the sentence as too lenient and Urin was sentenced to four and a half years in November 2011.
The severity of the treatment meted out to Urin served to kindle speculation of the links between Faassen and Putin, but rumors that the Dutchman is married to the president’s oldest daughter have never been confirmed.
Little is known about Putin’s two daughters, Maria and Yekaterina, and their private lives are protected by a strictly obeyed code of silence among Russia’s media.