Sberbank Suffers Fraud Losses Worth $89M

Police reported that Sberbank lost $89m as a result of grand larceny. Anti-organized crime police forces, Sberbank's security service and the law enforcement bodies of Germany and Switzerland ran a joint investigation and revealed that the stolen money were intended for the construction of the Tsarev Grad business center in Moscow. Sberbank had released $150m in loans to the Keystone construction firm, which provided the bank with forged invoices and acceptance agreements for $89m from January 1989 to February 2001. The Moscow branch of Sberbank transferred loans to Keystone's accounts at commercial banks, which were further on remitted to the accounts of Liechtenstein-registered firms. Russian law enforcement authorities filed a criminal case in accordance with Article 159 (fraud) of the Criminal Code and Article 174 (money laundering). Police seized Keystone's assets and accounts and searched offices and apartments of the senior officials of this firm. The investigation is being continued.

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