The brother of Russia’s richest woman has been arrested on suspicion of a large-scale fraud.
Businessman Viktor Baturin is charged with trying to cash a fake $300,000 bill at the office of Elena Baturina’s real estate company Inteco. As the personnel had suspicions about the authenticity of the bill, police were called in and duly arrested Baturin.
It is alleged the businessman knew that the bill was counterfeit. Baturin, however, insists that the bill was passed to him by his sister. Inteco claimed it had never issued the bill he wanted to cash.
This is not the first time Baturin has faced legal charges. In June, 2011, the businessman was found guilty of large-scale financial fraud and received a three-year suspended sentence.
Baturin pleaded not guilty and said that the case was contrived. He linked the charges against him to the dismissal of his sister’s husband – Moscow’s ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov – and the ensuing prosecution of Elena Baturina.
Russia’s only woman billionaire was involved in a large scandal around one of the largest Russian banks, the Bank of Moscow, which granted her an allegedly illegal loan of 13 billion rubles ($416 million).
Back in October, 2010, Viktor Baturin urged the authorities to investigate “the shady dealings” of his sister.
The businessman claimed that Baturina owed him millions of dollars, since Inteco was divided between the two. As well as the assets, he is seeking the salary he was supposed to have received from 1999 to 2005 when he was vice president of the company.