27 Sep 2021 13:36

Novatek top manager Gyetvay says already settled tax charges in U.S., to continue to fight charges

MOSCOW. Sept 27 (Interfax) - Novatek deputy chairman Mark Gyetvay has paid all the alleged tax arrears to settle legal claims brought against him in the U.S.

"Dear friends and colleagues. On Thursday I was indicted for baseless tax charges that I already settled through a voluntary program, and pleaded not guilty. I will vigorously fight these charges and will continue to discuss gas topics as normal," Gyetvay tweeted early on Sunday Moscow time.

As reported earlier, U.S. authorities have charged Gyetvay with failing to disclose his assets in order to avoid paying taxes. According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Gyetvay has been arrested and could face up to 20 years in jail for the most serious of the charges. Tax authorities believe that from 2005 to 2016, Gyetvay allegedly concealed his ownership of offshore assets for the purpose of tax evasion. The amount of funds in Swiss bank accounts which prosecutors allege Gyetvay hid from the U.S. authorities was up to $93 million at its peak. He took deliberate steps in order not to declare these assets, in particular, indicating his then wife, a Russian citizen, as the beneficiary of the assets.

U.S. prosecutors requested $80-million bail for Gyetvay, according to a motion posted on the electronic database of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The court granted bail for Gyetvay on Friday. Gyetvay will stay under house arrest and will surrender his U.S. and Russian passports. His movements will be tracked through GPS. A federal grand jury in Fort Myers, Florida is considering his case.