US court sentences Estonian businessman into prison for skimming

29.11.2010, 10:46

US court has found Marko Rudi, former senior consultant of Ernst Young Baltic, guilty of misappropriating US financial aid to Iraq in 2003-2005 and sentenced him to prison for two years and nine months, writes aripaev.ee.

34-year-old Rudi was arrested by the Estonian criminal police in the autumn 2008 after he had completed his presentation at an Äripäev seminar on mergers and acquisitions. He was arrested on a US request for legal assistance and extradited to US. Before he was extradited to US, Rudi spent a year in custody in Estonia.

US federal prosecutors suspected Rudi of having masterminded a scheme that skimmed more than one million US dollars from a US government contract aimed at boosting democracy in Iraq.

Rudi's lawyer has said that Rudi agreed to be tried in the US because he could not prove that he had informed his employer of having personal relations with one of the employer's subcontractors. Moreover, several key witnesses had died and others were living in Middle East countries that had no mutual legal assistance treaties with the US and therefore could not have been expeced to testify, accoding to the lawyer.

Rudi was extradicted by Estonia in autumn 2009 to US authorities with the clause that he would only be tried on two charges, online scam and large-scale fraud against the US.

Rudi who is held in custody in North Caroline has denied the charges.