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Russia collection society head arrested for fraud

Sergei Fedotov is accused of funnelling £6m out of property owned by the Russian Authors' Society (RAO), a claim he denies

By Jon Chapple on 29 Jun 2016

Sergei Fedotov, RAO, Mikhail Fedotov

Sergei Fedotov (left) talks with Russian Union of Journalists head Mikhail Fedotov

image © RAO

The director-general of Russia’s copyright collection society, the Russian Authors’ Society (RAO), has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Sergei Fedotov, who led RAO during its abandoned merger with the Russian Union of Right-holders (RUR) and the Russian Organisation for Intellectual Property (VOIS) in July 2015, is accused of siphoning off over ₽500 million (£5.8m) from property owned by the public organisation, which has nearly 27,000 members.

Police spokeswoman Irina Volk confirmed yesterday that “operatives of the Russian interior ministry’s department of economic security and anti-corruption, in cooperation with FSB (Federal Security Service) staff, have detained the director-general of the Russian Authors’ Society”, reports state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.

Fedotov’s deputy, Vera Vladimirovna, will take over the running of RAO while the director-general is in custody.

Fedotov’s lawyer, Denis Baluev, has said his client is not guilty and asked that he be released on a bail of ₽5m (£58,200). RAO has also denied any wrongdoing by Fedotov.

Police raided RAO’s office on Monday and seized folders which “presumably could be documents relating to financial and operating activities of the company”, said RIA.


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