Star U.S. investor Michael Calvey and his French business partner Philippe Delpal have left Russia having complied with the travel restrictions imposed on them with their suspended sentences in a highly controversial fraud case, Interfax reported Friday, citing unnamed sources.
A Moscow court in August 2021 handed Calvey a five-and-a-half-year suspended sentence in a trial that sent shockwaves through Russia’s investment and business community.
His colleague Delpal was given a four-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.
The pair were accused of a $34 million embezzlement scheme related to loans issued by a bank owned by Calvey’s Baring Vostok fund in 2015. The charges were largely seen as having been fabricated to settle a corporate dispute.
“Calvey and Delpal left for their countries immediately after their restraints were lifted,” Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying.
An appeals court lifted restrictions on Calvey’s movements in January 2022, a month before Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
Bloomberg reported in May 2022 that Calvey had not been in Russia the day Moscow launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Lawyer Timofey Gridnev said at a hearing to appeal Calvey’s controversial conviction on Friday that his client had planned "to attend the trial, but due to difficulties in obtaining a visa in the current circumstances, it's difficult for him to come,” Russia’s RBC news site reported.
The high-profile court proceedings cast a shadow over Russia’s corporate world for two years and were regularly cited by investors as a reason to avoid investing in Russia.
Calvey’s Baring Vostok was once seen as one of the most successful venture capital firms operating in Russia, having directly invested almost $3 billion in top-tier companies such as Yandex and Ozon.