Moscow Court Freezes Assets of Detained U.S. Investor Michael Calvey

The Basmanny district court in the Russian capital has frozen assets of U.S. investor Michael Calvey and several other employees of his company Baring Vostok, increasing the pressure in a case that has rocked the foreign investor community in Russia, The Financial Times reported on Friday. 

Apartments owned by the businessmen are included in the court decision, according to a statement from the company. They were arrested in February this year and charged of overvaluing a company it contributed to the capital of Vostochny Bank, a Russian lender then controlled by the private equity fund.

Calvey alone had more than 55 million rubles ($850,000) in assets frozen, according to the Financial Times. The ruling — which also covers cars and local bank accounts — was made in late August but the defendants’ families only found out about it this week, the newspaper said.

Calvey, one of the most successful and longest-standing foreign private equity investors in Russia, was arrested and jailed along with several other Baring partners in February. Calvey and his fund colleagues dismiss the allegations, saying they are a tactic in a business dispute with their Russian partners over ownership of Vostochny Bank. Those investors say their conflict is separate from the criminal case.

After an outcry among top Russian business executives and officials, Calvey was released under house arrest in April. His colleague, French citizen Philippe Delpal, was let out under similar terms in August, days before President Vladimir Putin went to France for a meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who had repeatedly asked for Delpal’s release. Three others remain in detention.

The Russian court’s decision comes after Russian media reported last month citing a financial expert analysis submitted in the Baring Vostok case that the proceedings could be dropped since Russian state investigators miscalculated the value of the shares at the root of the fraud charges against Calvey and his colleagues.