Ex-lawmaker Yegiazaryan suspected of 720 million ruble money-laundering deal

The Russian Investigative Committee has started one more criminal case against ex-lawmaker Ashot Yegiazaryan on suspicion of misappropriating 720 million rubles, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin announced.

"The Russian Investigative Committee has opened one more criminal case against Yegiazaryan and other unidentified persons on suspicion of money-laundering," he told Interfax n Friday.

"At least 720 million rubles in ZAO Centurion Alliance's 460 book-entry shares are involved," he said.

Yegiazaryan, in collusion with unidentified accessories, misappropriated Vitaly Smagin's shares in a fraudulent transaction, according to investigators.

"An order has been issued today to prosecute Yegiazaryan in absentia in connection with his being on the international wanted list," Markin said.

Under a court order, the assets owned by suspects Artyom and Ashot Yegiazaryan - a 100% stake in ZAO Titul - have been seized, and their account with a commercial bank has been frozen, he said.

The Russian State Duma on October 22 granted the Investigative Committee's request and gave the go-ahead to prosecute Yegiazaryan on fraud charges.

The decision was made in Yegiazaryan's absence. Yegiazaryan is abroad and, to quote Duma Deputy Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky, is not going to return to Russia for fear of prosecution.

Businessman Vitaly Smagin complained to the Prosecutor General's Office in August 2010 that his assets had been illegally misappropriated by his business partner and lawmaker Yegiazaryan.

Smagin, a shareholder in the Europark shopping center, claimed that Yegiazaryan had misappropriated his 20% stake in Centurion Alliance, the company that built and ran Europark, a shopping center at the intersection of the MKAD and Rublyovskoye Shosse in western Moscow.

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