MOSCOW: A London-based investment company said Thursday that police have arrested an employee of a law firm in Moscow in apparent connection with his work for the investment firm.
Sergei Magnitsky, a legal and accounting adviser for Moscow-based law firm Firestone Duncan, was detained Monday after a raid on his home and police issued a formal warrant for his arrest two days later, said Bill Browder, chief executive officer of Hermitage Capital Management. The law firm was also raided, the third time in the past year, Browder said in a telephone call with The Associated Press.
An Interior Ministry spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment late Thursday.
Browder, a crusader for shareholders' rights, has been barred from Russia since November 2005. He said the law firm was involved in defending his company and its partner, HSBC, from what he alleges was a 2006 takeover of assets through forgery and fraud. He says the individuals behind the alleged scheme then fraudulently reclaimed $230 million in taxes from the state.
Browder said Magnitsky's arrest was in connection with tax evasion claims.
In a separate statement, Hermitage said Magnitsky "was apparently targeted for providing accounting advice to two Hermitage Fund entities in 2001 that police claimed underpaid taxes in that year."
Hermitage has twice been cleared of the tax evasion charges, but the case was reopened earlier this year.
Hermitage was once one of Russia's largest investment advisers, and now has investments in a number of other countries, since Browder was barred from entering Russia. [link]
posted by: jrtelegraph