MOSCOW - Russia has detained American investor Michael Calvey, the U.S. founder of the Moscow-based Baring Vostok private equity group, on suspicion of fraud.
A spokeswoman for Moscow's Basmanny district court says Calvey was detained along with other members of the firm on Thursday. The court will rule later Friday afternoon on whether to keep them in custody.
According to Baring Vostok's website, the private equity group holds more than $3.5 billion in committed capital.
A State Department spokesperson said Friday, "We are aware that a U.S. citizen was arrested on February 14, 2019, in Russia. We have no higher priority than the protection of U.S. citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we do not have any additional information at this time."
Prosecutors allege that Calvey, a senior partner who set the fund up in 1994, worked in concert with his colleagues to steal $37.5 million (2.5 billion rubles). If convicted, the men could face up to 10 years in prison.
Interfax is reporting that Calvey's detention stems from a dispute over Russia's Vostochny Bank, in which Baring Vostok is a controlling shareholder.
Vostochny, whose portfolio is based on Siberian and Far Eastern markets, ranks among Russia's 30 largest banks by assets.
Before starting at Baring Vostok, Calvey worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Salomon Brothers.
State Department correspondent Nike Ching contributed to this report.