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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report: French Eyeing Pugachyov

Sergei Pugachyov, a member of the Federation Council, the former head of Mezhprombank and reportedly an old friend of President Vladimir Putin, has come under scrutiny by French prosecutors, Le Monde reported Tuesday.

Nice prosecutor Eric de Montgolfier began looking into Pugachyov after French anti-money-laundering body Tracfin raised an alarm over suspicious transactions between Monaco and France conducted via bank accounts associated with Pugachyov, the French daily reported. He owns a number of expensive properties on the Cote d'Azur.

Prosecutors also are looking into complaints alleging that the Pugachyov-controlled Star Limousine luxury car-rental company has harassed competitors in Nice, Cannes and Villefranche-sur-Mer, Le Monde reported. Monthly payments to the company of $150,000 from Pugachyov-associated accounts also aroused suspicions, the report said.

Nobody picked up the phone at Pugachyov's office in the Federation Council on Wednesday. Kommersant quoted a spokesman as saying the French report lacked proof of any violation of the law.