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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Arbat Prestige Trial to Start Next Week

Moscow’s Tushinsky District Court ruled Monday that former cosmetics retail king Vladimir Nekrasov and reputed crime boss Semyon Mogilevich will go on trial Sept. 18.

Nekrasov, 47, and Mogilevich, 62, are accused of masterminding a tax evasion scheme worth more than $3.7 million for Nekrasov’s company, Arbat Prestige, via a conduit company, Magnolia.

Mogilevich, also known as Sergei Shnaider, has been described by Western media as the most powerful Russian mobster alive. He has been on the “wanted” list of the FBI on racketeering, wire fraud, mail fraud and money-laundering charges since 2003.

Both men deny wrongdoing. Mogilevich’s lawyer, Alexander Pogonchenkov, says they do not share any business interests, apart from a hobby of collecting paintings.

Nekrasov and Mogilevich were arrested in a dramatic raid by 50 commandos on a Moscow restaurant in January 2008 and released in July this year after signing an agreement to remain in Moscow for the duration of the trial.

Nekrasov founded Arbat Prestige, once Russia’s leading cosmetics retailer, in 1989. The chain, which at its peak had 95 stores across the country and generated a turnover of $475 million in 2007, declared bankruptcy last year.