Ex-head of Mast-Bank arrested on suspicion of cashing out 9 billion rubles

Ex-head of Mast-Bank arrested on suspicion of cashing out 9 billion rubles
Yuri Pirogov

Yuri Pirogov became a key defendant in the case of illegal banking activity.

Law enforcement officers arrested former CEO of Mast-Bank Yuri Pirogov. He is suspected of illegally cashing out 9 billion rubles, Kommersant reported. The detention took place on December 6. According to the sources of the media outlet, Yuri Pirogov was first summoned to the police station for questioning on criminal charges of illegal cash withdrawal. Then, investigators said that Pirogov was detained for two days as a suspect.

Investigators believe that the management of the credit institution resorted to fraud on a considerable scale and embarked on deliberate bankruptcy. As established by the General Administration for Economic Crimes and Combatting the Corruption (GAESCC), the criminal group, which existed from October 2010 to April 2015, included more than a dozen people from the Mast-Bank top management.

According to preliminary version, under the pretext of loan granting, the fraudsters managed to steal a large sum of money from the bank. For this purpose, the gang members used the accounts of 70 shell companies that were clients of Mast-Bank. For their services, the schemers surcharged 6.5% on each transaction. According to estimates of the investigation, a total of 8.8 billion rubles were cashed out.

In 2015, the Central Bank revoked Mast-Bank’s license due to poor asset quality, unreliable accounting, and suspicious transactions for cash withdrawal abroad. In the summer of 2015, the bank was declared bankrupt.

The criminal case on the fact of Illegal Banking Activity (part 2 of Art. 172 of the Criminal Code) was opened in March 2015.

In May 2016, the Preobrazhensky District Court of Moscow sentenced the three defendants in the case (Alexander Meybatov, Maksim Vasilyev and Alexey Ponomarev) to small suspended terms (these defendants confessed). Another two defendants in the case avoided punishment due to lack of evidence. MIA Main Investigative Department in Moscow is currently conducting a criminal investigation against other members of the criminal group, including former CEO of the bank, Yuri Pirogov.

Yuri Pirogov had been working in Mast-Bank since 2009, and became its president in late 2013.

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