Moscow court reduces suspended sentence of US investor

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Baring Vostok founder Michael Calvey was found guilty in 2021 of embezzling several million dollars in Russia

The suspended sentence of US private-equity investor and Baring Vostok founder Michael Calvey has been reduced by two months after an appeal, Interfax reported on Thursday, citing a court ruling.  

Calvey was convicted in 2021 of embezzlement and given a 5.5-year suspended sentence, which in 2022 was reduced to 4.5 years. 

In light of his most recent appeal, meanwhile, his sentence was commuted by another two months to four years and four months, the outlet said, citing a statement from the Moscow appeals court that, in rendering the decision, mentioned mitigating circumstances and a full admission of guilt.  

However, shortly after the court’s decision, Calvey’s lawyer, Timophey Gridnev, denied the court’s statement about his client’s admission of guilt.  

“Michael Calvey never admitted his guilt. And he never will, because he is innocent,” the lawyer told Interfax.   

“The appeal did not touch upon the essence of the sentence, but raised the issue of reducing the punishment and probation in connection with the personality of Michael Calvey,” Gridnev noted.

Calvey, who founded and led the $3.7-billion investment company Baring Vostok, was arrested along with several of his associates in February 2019 as part of a probe into financial wrongdoing. The executives maintained their innocence and insisted that the case had been brought as part of a dispute with business rivals.   

In 2021, after spending almost two years under house arrest, Calvey was handed a 5.5-year suspended sentence for embezzlement, after a judge found that he and colleagues had conspired to embezzle 2.5 billion rubles ($27.6 million).  

The other figures in the case were also given suspended sentences, including Calvey’s French associate, Philippe Delpal, who received 4.5 years.  

The two were accused of running an embezzlement scheme related to loans issued by a bank owned by Calvey’s Baring Vostok fund in 2015.  

In early 2022, Calvey left Russia after travel restrictions were lifted by an appeals court.

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