US investor released after 19-month house arrest in Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the release, after 19 months of house arrest, of a prominent American investor charged with alleged embezzlement.

The court said it took note of Michael Calvey’s compliance with the house arrest imposed in April 2019, and of his stated need to be able to take walks for health reasons.

The court also released from house arrest six others charged in the case, ordering them not to be in contact with each other and not to leave their residences at night.

Calvey was arrested in February 2019 and initially held in jail on charges of embezzlement from the Russian bank Vostochny, in which his investment firm Baring Vostok has a controlling stake. He denies wrongdoing.

Calvey’s company is one of the largest foreign investment firms in Russia and his arrest dented investors’ confidence in Russia.

The case alleges that Calvey took a loan of 2.5 billion rubles ($37 million at the time) from the bank and that in turn he transferred to the bank his shares in a company called IFTG that he said were worth the amount of the loan, but were actually worth far less.

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