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The chief accountant of Poltava Mining and Processing Plant, part of Ferrexpo group, was charged with tax evasion and forgery, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) reported. Ukrainian billionaire Kostyantyn Zhevago is the controlling shareholder of the iron pellet producer Ferrexpo.
According to the investigation, in 2018-2021, the suspect entered false information into the company's documents, which helped it to avoid paying Hr 2 billion ($54.6 million) in rent payments to the state budget for the use of the subsoil of the iron ore deposit.
Law enforcement opened criminal proceedings against the suspect under two articles of Ukraine's Criminal Code for alleged evasion of payment of taxes or fees and forgery.
Zhevago, who holds 51% of Ferrexpo shares, was arrested and detained earlier in France at Ukraine's request but then released on bail of 1 million euros, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Jan. 10, citing its sources in Ukrainian law enforcement.
Shortly after his arrest, Zhevago stepped down from the company's board of directors.
In 2019 Zhevago was charged with embezzling and laundering $113 million at Finance & Credit Bank. In 2021 Zhevago was put on the Interpol wanted list.
With a net worth of $1.4 billion, Zhevago is the fifth richest Ukrainian, according to a recent list by Forbes Ukraine. Ferrexpo is his main asset.
Zhevago was a member of Ukraine's parliament from 1998 to 2019.