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Corrupt Uzbek ‘Princess’ prison sentence extended

Service Area: Fraud

Member: Jackie Berry

Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court has announced that the daughter of the country’s late president, Islam Karimov, will serve a further eight years in prison for corruption and criminal activities estimated to have cost the country a total of more than $2.3 billion.

Gulnara Karimova has been found guilty on charges including extortion, racketeering, money laundering and embezzlement of public funds.

Formerly known as the most powerful woman in Uzbekistan, Ms Karimova fell from grace in the latter years of her father’s 27-year dictatorship and was found guilty in 2015 of theft through tax evasion, embezzlement and illegally appropriating state assets, for which she was sentenced to five years.

This month, she was found guilty of fresh charges and her new prison term will be calculated from August 2015.

According to the investigation, amongst other assets, Ms Karimova is holding more than $1.5 billion in luxury properties in Switzerland, of which $686 million have already been frozen.

During any forensic investigation into alleged financial malpractice, the provenance of assets is key to getting at the truth.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “While the amounts in this example are eye-watering, this approach to an investigation holds true for any allegation of malpractice, whether at state, regional or company level.

“For example, an employee who is on a modest salary but suddenly starts spending lavishly could be a cause for concern, particularly if there is anything ‘suspect’ in a company’s accounts.”

Author: Roger Isaacs
26 March 2020

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