Russian Banker Wanted for Fraud Detained by Austrian Police

Austrian authorities detained Alexander Gitelson, a Russian banker wanted in Russia for fraud.

Police arrested Gitelson on April 12 at his home in Lower Austria, a province outside of Vienna, said Mario Hejl, a spokesman for the Austrian Federal Crime Agency. Gitelson, the former owner of the Bank of East-European Finance Corp., was sentenced to 5 years in jail by a Russian court in June 2011, he said.

The 63-year-old banker, who is wanted by St. Petersburg prosecutors, “is in detention waiting for extradition,” Hejl said today in a telephone interview. Gitelson will be held in Vienna until a formal request for extradition to Russia has been received, said Dagmar Albegger, a spokeswoman for Austria’s justice ministry.

Gitelson’s lawyers didn’t immediately return phone calls and a message seeking comment. Gitelson is suspected of major fraud involving state funds and has been investigated in several cases, according to the Russian Legal Information Agency.

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