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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Real Estate Developer Charged With Fraud

The head of an investment company planning to build an elite resort complex in the Moscow region has been arrested on charges of large-scale fraud and falsification of property registration documents.

Vasily Boiko, director of Vash Finansovy Popechitel, or Your Financial Guardian, was detained in a raid by armed police officers at the Next Door restaurant on Ulitsa Vozdvizhenka on Feb. 15, Kommersant reported Monday.

The charges, filed at the Ostankino district court, center on the alleged fraudulent acquisition of a site in the Ruza district to the west of Moscow. The Ruzskaya Switzerland complex planned for the site is intended to comprise exclusive country homes, hotels, an aviation club, a business center and a golf course.

VFP has hit back at Boiko's arrest in a statement, claiming that it was motivated by its competitors "in breach of all legal standards" and will, "most likely not come to court."

"We maintain that the criminal investigation relating to Boiko has been paid for and is a provocation," the statement said.

VFP denies all wrongdoing in their statement, giving their own account of the events leading up to the acquisition of the land in the Ruza district. Boyko's lawyer, Mikhail Bunin, has lodged an appeal.

Boiko is the second person to be charged in connection with the yearlong investigation. The general director of the company said to have sold the land has also been arrested, Bunin said in the appeal.

Since being established in 1992, VFP has been involved in a series of deals in the heavy industry sector. From 1995 to 1997, the company had a minority stake in Bratsk Aluminum Plant, and from 2001 to 2002, it battled Severstal for control over the Olenogorsk mining and processing plant.

Boiko's wealth was estimated at 3.5 billion rubles ($135 million) in a survey that appeared in Finans magazine earlier this month. He has previously sat on the boards of Irkutskenergo and Rosenergoatom, but has more recently been concentrating on agricultural, tourism- and energy-development projects in the Moscow region, Kommersant reported.