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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fugitive Moscow Expat Arrested in Cyprus

David Carter, the fugitive American businessman charged together with his common-law wife Beverly Dwight with bank fraud, was arrested Wednesday in Cyprus after a seven-month search by U.S. federal agents, law-enforcement officials in Atlanta said.

"He's been caught. He's in Cyprus and I'm anxious to see him," said John Malcolm, the assistant U.S. attorney handling the 1992 indictment in which Carter and Dwight are charged with defrauding American banks of over $1 million.

In telephone calls to The Moscow Times, Carter, 49, a former St. Petersburg businessman, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In the latest call, last Friday, Carter said he had read the 40-count indictment against him and was still considering surrendering to U.S. authorities. He also said that he felt U.S. agents were getting close to him, but did not elaborate or say where he was hiding.

Dwight, 45, who was a prominent psychologist in Moscow's expatriate community until her January arrest, is due to be sentenced on two misdemeanor counts of bank Carter were available for comment Wednesday night.

Details of Carter's apprehension in Cyprus were sketchy. An agent with the U.S. Marshal's Service working on the case was informed in Atlanta of the arrest about 2 a.m. Wednesday, local time. Neither the agent, who asked not to be named, nor Malcolm knew how Carter was picked up, where in Cyprus the arrest took place or what sort of extradition agreement may apply to Carter's transfer to the United States.

"However difficult or easy it is I'm going to try to get him. Whatever hoops there are I'm prepared to jump through them," said Malcolm, who also said the length of the process may be determined in part by Carter. "He's the person who has the right to extradition hearings."

In Moscow, one of Beverly Dwight's closest friends, Kathleen Bachmann, said she was pleased to hear of the news.

"I think it is wonderful that they have finally caught him. We've been waiting so long to hear what the man has to say for himself," said Bachmann, an American businesswoman. "I think that this will show that Carter is the one behind this scam and now they will be able to get to the bottom of it."

Dwight has previously downplayed her relationship with Carter, saying they had lived apart for several years -- he in St. Petersburg and she in Moscow. Dwight has said she plans to write a book about her experiences as a cautionary tale for women generally.

While in Moscow, Dwight had a high-profile psychology practice, which included work at the U.S. Embassy and a radio show. She was also active in women's organizations and the American Chamber of Commerce.

Carter achieved his own measure of fame in St. Petersburg, where he was well known among expatriates and to the Russian police. The St. Petersburg prosecutor's office charged Carter late last year for taking property from an employee of RJR Nabisco in exchange for rent that Carter claimed was owed to him. In 1993, he was involved in a high-speed car chase through the city's streets.

In the United States, too, Carter had brushes with the law. He was convicted in the 1980s of assaulting a federal officer and served several months in prison. In telephone interviews, Carter has characterized that conviction, and the 1992 bank-fraud indictment for which he was arrested in Cyprus, as attempts by federal authorities to harass him.