State Duma Deputy Ashot Yegiazaryan, who is living in California, has been placed on Interpol's wanted list in connection with fraud charges in Moscow.
Yegiazaryan's name and photograph appeared on the organization's international search base late last week, saying he is wanted by Moscow's Basmanny District Court over fraud charges.
Yegiazaryan's lawyers said in an e-mailed statement Friday that the court-sanctioned arrest warrant was issued on fabricated charges and noted that Interpol itself does not search for anyone but only circulates notices at the request of member states.
Prosecutors want Yegiazaryan in connection with a 1.5 billion ruble ($53 million) fraud case surrounding the Hotel Moskva development. He moved to the United States last year and has said he won't return to Russia for fear of his safety.
A U.S. Embassy spokesman said Friday that U.S. authorities were following the case. "We have asked the Russians for more information about the case," the spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity.
Yegiazaryan's lawyers said their client was not hiding and in fact complying with the Investigative Committee, which is handling the case. They said the committee wrote several letters to his U.S. home address and received prompt replies. "We have on numerous occasions informed the Russian Investigative Committee of Mr. Yegiazaryan's current address, where he has been residing since September 2010," their statement said.