Nekrasov Refuses to Sell Arbat Prestige

A Moscow court has refused to release Arbat Prestige owner Vladimir Nekrasov on bail, and a defense lawyer said his client had declined an offer to sell the cosmetics company in exchange for having the charges against him dropped.

The Moscow City Court on Monday turned down a request for Nekrasov, who is accused of failing to pay almost 50 million rubles ($2 million) in taxes, to be released if he turned over the sum, Kommersant reported.

After the proceedings, Alexander Dobrovinsky said his client had received an offer last week to sell his business, adding that the implication was that if Nekrasov agreed, the proceedings against him would be dropped by the summer, Kommersant said. "I told Vladimir Nekrasov about the offer," Dobrovinsky said. "He refused."

Nonetheless, business problems connected to Nekrasov's detention could force his hand. Arbat Prestige has not been able to pay its suppliers since he was detained in a high-profile arrest last month, Vedomosti reported Tuesday. He was the only person at the company authorized to make payments, acting general director Alexei Shvetsov said, Vedomosti reported.

Shvetsov said the company was working as usual but that contracts with distributors would expire in mid-March and that some distributors had already halted supplies, Vedomosti reported.

Speaking after the proceedings, Dobrovinsky said Arbat Prestige had paid several billion rubles in taxes last year and that if the problem were merely "the so-called debt of 49 million rubles," then it could be paid, Vremya Novostei newspaper reported. "It seems they, too, don't know what they're talking about," Dobrovinsky said.

Nekrasov and suspected crime boss Semyon Mogilevich were detained as they left a Moscow office last month.