14 Oct 2019 09:41

Moscow court arrests developer Pavel Fuks in absentia in embezzlement case

MOSCOW. Oct 12 (Interfax) - Moscow's Tagansky District Court has arrested in absentia businessman Pavel Fuks, founder of Mos City Group, a development company, charged with fraud, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"The court has sustained the motion submitted by the investigation. The court has ruled to select two-month incarceration a measure of restraint on Fuks, the period being calculated beginning at the day of his extradition to Russia or detention in Russian territory," a judge said, reading out the court ruling.

As reported earlier, Fuks was charged with embezzling a large amount of money. He is now on the international wanted list.

The Russian Interior Ministry's Investigative Department for the Central Administrative District of Moscow is probing the criminal case.

Murad Musayev, lawyer for Fuks, told Interfax that he would appeal the court ruling on his client's arrest in absentia shortly.

According to the attorney, the development company controlled by his client did its utmost to timely complete the erection of the Sky House housing project in Mytnaya Street in Moscow. "The residential complex is 98.8% ready but yet not commissioned. All the funds have been invested in the development. So we don't understand what embezzlement we are talking about here," Musayev said.

Fuks was never in hiding and is not going to hide now, Musayev said, adding that the entrepreneur had lost his Russian citizenship in 2016, obtaining Ukrainian nationality for political reasons rather than any problems with residential housing construction. In other words, Fuks left Russia long before the criminal case was opened, Musayev said. Fuks is on "a sanctions list on Ukraine," he added.

The fraud case involving Sky House was opened in late December 2018.

According to the Moscow City Committee for the implementation of investment projects in construction and supervision of participatory construction (Moskomstroyinvest), the obligations to housing equity holders have not been honored since 2014.

Sky House is a troubled construction project started in 2008.

According to information from open sources, Mos City Group was founded in 2006 as a result of a merger of several companies specialized in integrated development of urban areas. The company has in its portfolio more than a dozen of large projects in Moscow, the Moscow region and Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.