Russian law enforcement agencies have opened a new criminal investigation against U.S. entrepreneur William Browder, who resides in London, a source close to the investigation told Interfax on Dec. 25.
"I am speaking about an investigation into new episodes of Browder's fraudulent actions to seize assets of major Russian enterprises," he said.
The source, however, declined to disclose further details of the case, only noting that a decision to open this criminal inquiry was adopted by investigative agencies on December 14.
Browder's lawyer Alexander Antipov, for his part, told Interfax he has no information that a new criminal case was launched against his client.
"We have not been notified about that," he said.
In early December, the Kommersant daily published Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika's letter concerning a film-inquiry into his family members, which was made by the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). According to the FBK inquiry, Chaika's close relatives and some of his subordinates are engaged in unlawful activity.
In his letter to the newspaper, Chaika called the film false and said it had been ordered by the co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital, W. Browder, and the U.S. intelligence agencies which were behind him.
On July 11, 2013, the Moscow Tverskoy Court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison on charges of avoiding paying more than 522 million rubles in taxes by means of falsifying tax declarations and illegally using benefits provided to people with disabilities.
Two weeks later, Russia declared Browder internationally wanted.
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