Russian Police Knock at PwC’s Door

The country's Interior Ministry has reportedly accused executives at the firm's Moscow office of failing to pay more than $9.3 million in taxes.
Stephen Taub and Dave CookMarch 9, 2007

“The tax man cometh” somehow sounds more ominous in the middle of the Russian winter.

The Moscow office of PricewaterhouseCoopers has acknowledged that on Friday it was visited by police investigators, reported the Associated Press. A PwC spokeswoman elaborated that a group of Interior Ministry officials had requested additional documents, according to the wire service.

In addition, the spokeswoman reportedly acknowledged that the Big Four firm is also facing a separate investigation by the Prosecutor General’s Office related to Russian oil company Yukos, a PwC client until 2004.

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Yukos subsequently went bankrupt, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government confiscated the company’s assets and put its owner, oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in jail for tax evasion. The Yukos assets were later acquired by Rosneft, now Russia’s second-largest oil company.

According to the AP, the Interior Ministry has accused executives at PwC’s Moscow office of failing to pay taxes totaling more than 243 million rubles ($9.3 million). In a statement, the ministry said the investigation was continuing but provided no further details, the wire service reported.

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