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Russian Ex-Billionaire, Politician Brother Handed Lengthy Prison Terms for Fraud

Ziyavudin Magomedov. Pelagia Tikhonova / Moskva News Agency

A Moscow court has sentenced ex-billionaire Ziyavudin Magomedov to 19 years in a maximum-security prison on charges of embezzling state funds and organizing a criminal group, Interfax reported Thursday. 

Ziyavudin Magamedov, 54, built his fortune during Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency as the founder and main owner of Summa, a Russian holding that unites companies in a variety of strategic sectors including port logistics, telecommunications and oil transport.

Summa had had a stake in a number of critical infrastructure and development projects, including the construction of a football World Cup stadium in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad and oil transfer operations in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk — both of which were featured in the highly secretive case against the businessman. 

Ziyavudin was arrested in March 2018 together with his older brother and former Federation Council member Magomed Magomedov, 55, who was also accused of fraud and organizing a criminal group. 

In the ruling announced Thursday, Ziyavudin Magomedov was convicted of embezzling a total of 11 billion rubles ($179 million) from the Russian state through deals made by Summa. 

He has been fined 2.5 million rubles ($40,800) and stripped of his state awards in addition to his 19-year prison sentence.

Magomed Magomedov meanwhile was sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined 1.5 million rubles ($24,500).

Ziavudin Magamedov has denied the charges against him, labeling the case "a symbiosis of lies and absurdity."

Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.2 billion at the time of his arrest in 2018.

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