Prokhorov Hit With $71 Million Tax Bill ... A Week Before He Enters Politics

Onexim

Funny how things work in Russia. Increasingly, it looks like Mikhail Prokhorov is in it to win it in Russia.  He seems quite serious about his political ambitions and many have taken note, like Newsweek and Radio Free Europe, which discussed his prospects earlier in the week. Next weekend, he reveals his political plans.

But Saturday, it was reported that local authorities in Siberia claim the Nets owner owes them two billion rubles in back taxes!  That's about $71.3 million US dollars. Prokhorov has long claimed to be Russia's biggest taxpayer (at $500 million a year!) and to have such a significant tax claim against him tarnishes that image.

Prokhorov has paid a large sum in taxes, said an insider, and believes he has met all of his commitments to the government. His lawyers are looking into the issue. Bottom line: If it is determined he owes money, he will pay it.

Is there a connection between the tax claim and his political ambitions?  Kommersant, Russia's leading business publication, headlined the story, "Prokhorov has now got into real politics." It quoted a Russian lawyer as saying. "It is interesting that the tax claim and the statement of Prokhorov's desire to go into politics --and lead one of the parties-- are so wonderfully matched."

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