Russian officials have issued an international arrest warrant for Sergey Petrov, the founder of “Rolf,” the country’s biggest car dealership franchise, on charges of illegally transferring 4 billion rubles (about $60.6 million) abroad.
According to state investigators, Petrov transferred the money earned at Rolf in 2014 to the account of a Cyprus-based company he controlled, creating a fake purchase and sale order for “Rolf Estate” shares at an inflated price of 4 billion rubles. Petrov then allegedly appropriated this money. Spokespeople for Rolf say this deal was part of a corporate restructuring project, and the value of the shares was established by an independent appraiser.
Petrov has been charged in absentia, as he is currently living abroad. After June 27, 2019, when officials raided several Rolf dealerships across the country, Petrov announced that he did not intend to return to Russia. In an interview with Forbes, he said, “It’s possible this is related to my political position or possibly a seizure attempt by corporate raiders.”