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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Say Italy Won’t Extradite Man Accused of $32M Fraud

Italy has refused to extradite a Russian citizen wanted for massive fraud and money laundering, saying his life would be in danger if he were sent back to Russia.

Alexander Kalinichenko is wanted on 119 counts of fraud totaling more than $32 million and at least 10 counts of money laundering, Interfax reported Wednesday, citing the Interior Ministry’s branch in the Urals Federal District.

He is accused of collecting the money from more than 4,000 people who wanted to trade on an Internet foreign exchange site. In June 2006, he disappeared with his clients’ money.

A Russian court put out an arrest warrant for Kalinichenko last year, and the Prosecutor General’s Office placed him on its international wanted list. In June 2008, Interpol arrested him in Italy, and he was placed under house arrest.

A Russian police spokesman told Interfax that while in Italy, Kalinichenko set up a web site to gloat about his deceived clients, who in turn left a number of angry comments there.

He later used the comments to convince an Italian court that his life would be in danger if he were extradited, the official said.

The spokesman said the Italian authorities had not provided any explanation for their decision and that there was no information about Kalinichenko’s current whereabouts, he said.

Previously, Kalinichenko was being held in an expensive hotel, the official said.