Saturday, 20 March 2010

Russian lawyer steals $17 million from grieving pensioners

A lawyer admitted to stealing $17 million from a pair of grieving pensioners following the death of their son.

Zoe, 72, and Nikolai, 83, from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, trusted Yevgeny Skoblikov to deal with the cash because for five years he used to work with their late son, Sergei Rovbel, but when the lawyer came to Moscow he took $6 million and 7 million euros in cash before telling police the money had been stolen from his rented flat.

Skoblikov handed over the missing cash - which was buried in the Moscow Region town of Lobnya - after signing a confession, RIA Novosti reported. The money will be returned to the Rovbel family as soon as the investigation is over.

He had taken the money from the $200 million estate that businessman Rovbel left his parents after his death last spring.

But next day he was arrested on suspicion of theft, and was charged a week later. Prior to his confession he had been held in the notorious "Matrosskaya Tishina" pre-trial detention centre in Moscow.

Sergei Rovbel was the head of a construction company Krastonnel in Novosibirsk and died aged 47 of a heart attack. He had no family of his own.

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