Fugitive ex-minister of Moscow region accused of fraud sold himself as victim of political persecution for 5 years
A criminal case under as many as three articles has been initiated against Aleksey Kuznetsov: Swindling, Legalization of Criminal Proceeds, and Embezzlement.
Ex-Minister of the Moscow region Aleksey Kuznetsov, who is accused of Swindling, Money-laundering, and Embezzlement, would spend large sums of money to make himself look as a victim of political persecution. This was informed to journalists by Prosecutor General's Office Spokesperson Aleksandr Kurennoy told journalists about it during a briefing.
Russian law enforcers have demanded to turn the official over since 2013 in connection with the criminal prosecution. However, Kuznetsov has been extradited from France only recently. According to the Prosecutor General's Office representative, the criminal case lasted for so long because of the financial resources available to the ex-minister. To French law enforcement bodies, he would make himself look as a victim of political persecution. In addition, according to Kurennoy, he “tarnished the judicial and law enforcement bodies of Russia.”
The Prosecutor General's Office stressed that they had put a lot of effort to extradite Kuznetsov. This issue was raised during Prosecutor General Yury Chaika’s visit to France.
Aleksey Kuznetsov served as Minister of Finance of the Moscow region from 2000 to 2008. Then he voluntarily resigned and moved to France. Shortly afterwards, the former official was accused of embezzlement.
A criminal case under as many as three articles was initiated against Kuznetsov: Swindling, Legalization of Criminal Proceeds, and Embezzlement. According to investigators, the total amount of damage from the actions of Kuznetsov is 14 billion rubles ($208 million).