16 Mar 2019 21:54

Another "Titov list" businessman returns to Russia - business ombudsman's press service

MOSCOW. March 16 (Interfax) - An entrepreneur from Kaluga, Leonid Kurayev, who was hiding from the Russian justice system in the United States, had returned to Russia, the press service for the Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov said on Friday.

"On March 15 a former employee of the Kaluga-based limited liability company Unitorg, Leonid Kurayev, who was included in the so-called 'Titov's London list' returned to Russia. Kurayev has become the first participant from the list to have returned to Russia from the U.S.," the press service told Interfax.

In 2013, Kurayev and several others became a subject of a criminal inquiry into "fraud in the sphere of business activities," it said.

According to the inquiry, he was involved in an embezzlement of a textured soy protein production line located on the grounds of a prison in Kaluga region.

In December 2013 the criminal charges against all of them were dropped after a successful petition for amnesty, and Kurayev left the country. In February 2014 prosecutors overturned the investigator's decision to close the case and the businessman was placed on the international wanted list.

"Kurayev's defense team insists that he, during his formal employment by Unitorg, did not have the authority to issue instructions and make decisions on the company's behalf," the press service said.

In January 2018, Kurayev, now living in the U.S., appealed to Titov and in June his arrest warrant was replaced with travel restrictions and international fugitive status discontinued.

In New York alone, there are hundreds of Russians facing prosecution in Russia, who validly claim innocence and non-involvement in alleged crimes, Titov said.

"An overwhelming majority of these people, even those running a successful business in the U.S., were unable to integrate into the difference culture, unable to keep their families around, and really want to come back to their home country and seek discontinuation of the prosecution, and be useful to their country," Titov said.