Russian entrepreneur escapes from house arrest before US extradition

Russian entrepreneur Artem Uss

 MILAN – Russian entrepreneur Artem Uss fled from house arrest after the Milan Court of Appeal decided to extradite him on Tuesday to the United States, where he could face up to 30 years of jail time.

 Uss, 40, is the son of the governor of the Siberian region Krasnoyarsk. He was initially arrested on October 17 on an international arrest warrant from New York judicial authority for committing bank fraud and for violating the Venezuelan oil embargo. 

 On Wednesday, Uss broke his electronic bracelet and fled from Basiglio, a town near Milan. He was waiting for an appeals court to challenge the judges’ ruling on extradition, which was planned to happen within the next 15 days. 

 The Carabinieri of the Corsico Company and the Milan Investigation Unit have begun a search for Uss. 

  Russia has the full intention of bringing Uss back to the country. In November, an extradition request from Moscow was pending against him for an unspecified hypothesis of money laundering. It is unclear if Uss received help from outside sources during his escape. 

 “Russian diplomatic missions will do their best to protect the interests of Uss,” said Dmitri Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, in October, following Uss’s initial arrest. 

 According to Il Messaggero, Uss’s defense said that his initial arrest “would be aimed at an ‘exchange of prisoners’” between Russia and the United States, as Paul Wheelan, 52, an ex-Marine, is currently serving 16 years in Moscow on suspicion of spying in 2018.