Oklahoma Native, Brother Of County Commissioner Accused Of Fraud In Russia
Oklahoma City, OK - An Oklahoma native and brother to Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey is being held in a Russian jail.
Michael Calvey is facing fraud charges but says he's innocent.
Calvey, a long-time businessman in Russia, is accused of embezzling nearly $37 million. He says local prosecutors were given false information.
Calvey had his pre-trial hearing over the weekend, where he denied the allegations and said the charges are likely connected to a pending arbitration with shareholders of another bank.
“It’s a very bad situation,” says Dr. Sherri Raney, who teaches International Relations and Russian history at Oklahoma Baptist University.
“He has come in contact with someone who is even more politically connected, then the result was his arrest,” says Dr. Raney.
Calvey, founder and senior partner at Baring Vostok Equity Firm, has been doing business in Russia since 1994 and has invested heavily in the country's economy.
Saturday morning, Michael's brother Kevin Calvey posted on the following on his Facebook page:
“Please pray for my brother Mike, the most honest and ethical man I know. Through Jesus, I am confident justice will prevail and this misunderstanding will be cleared up.”
The post has since been removed.
Dr. Raney, however, points to Paul Whelan, an ex-marine who was arrested in December on suspicion of espionage and still sits in a Russian jail. She says if America has not been able to free him, it doesn't bode well for Calvey who faces 10 years in prison if convicted.
“In a Russian prison at his age, that would almost certainly mean he would die in prison if he were convicted,” says Dr. Raney. “And it’s possible for that to happen.”