Leading Russian economist Mau is accused of fraud on a massive scale

Vladimir Mau, a notable economist in Russia, has been accused of fraud “on an especially large scale,” the interior ministry announced on Thursday, shocking the country’s intellectual and business elite.

Mau, 62, is a top executive of Russian energy giant Gazprom and a liberal economist with connections to top authorities. As per the source, he was charged with embezzling funds from the institution where he serves as rector as part of a wider case involving another respected scholar and a former deputy education minister.

Leading Russian economist Mau is accused of fraud on a massive scale

He was a friend of the late Yegor Gaidar, who conducted “shock therapy” economic changes in Russia just after fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Mau was put under house arrest by a Moscow court on Thursday and will remain there until August 7 as a result of the institute’s alleged theft of 21 million roubles.

According to Alexey Dudnik, his attorney, he would question the house arrest.

Mau was quoted by Interfax, a different news source, as declaring the claims absurd.

Political scientist Ekaterina Shulman showed her support with Mau in a horrified social media post by writing: “Dear Vladimir Alexandrovich, what have we come to?”

Mau, and his residence have been checked by anti-corruption investigators, according to the interior ministry.

The allegations, according to the ministry, are a component of a larger investigation that saw the arrests of Marina Rakova, a former deputy minister of education, and Sergei Zuev, who, like Mau, served as the rector of a prestigious academic institution.

As the most recent incident in a long-running Kremlin drive to impose control over Russia’s educational system and suppress academic freedoms, opposition figures have condemned the case.