Aug 14

Russian banker steals billions and runs for London (RT, August 13, 2011):

The case of a former Russian senator, whose bank owes the state more than $1 billion, has grown into one of the biggest financial scandals in Russian history, exposing drastic drawbacks in the country’s banking regulations.

­Russian businessmen making it onto the UK’s rich list have become a common thing – just as Russian investigators, in turn, take an interest in their affairs.

Sergey Pugachev has everything: a fortune in several banks, a couple of private jets and numerous properties – from the Cote d’Azur to London.

Married to a Russo-British socialite, he was a guest at Prince Albert’s recent royal wedding in Monaco. Among the top ten richest people in the UK according to last year’s Sunday Times newspaper, Pugachev leads a life many would envy. He even made his wife a star of a TV advertising campaign in France for the grand French food store Hediard, which he owns.

However, all that is hardly a consolation at home – in Russia – where he owes billions of rubles to his bank’s creditors.

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