A “greedy” City banker who accepted$3.5m of bribes in return for approving large loans has been jailed for six years.
Andrey Ryjenko, 44, who worked for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)had been found guilty by a jury at the Old Bailey of conspiring to make or accept corrupt payments and a second charge of money laundering.
His job at the bank involved considering loan applications from companies and equity investment.
The EBRD was founded in 1991 to finance the transition of former communist Europe to market democracy.
The court heard that Mr Ryjenko accepted $3.5m of bribes for commission between July 2008 and November 2009 which were paid into the bank account of his sister. She was declared unfit to stand trial.
The court was told in the trial that Ryjenko agreed to favour a US consultant “middleman” in return for a share of the commission the consultant then received from successful loan applications.
Sentencing Mr Ryjenko, Judge Nicholas Cooke QC told him that he had engaged in “morally contemptible” behaviour and “you lost your moral compass at some point in your life.”
The EBRD bank, the judge said was “taxpayer funded” and was set up to bring “honest and beneficial capitalist investment to former communist countries”. However the judge said he accepted Mr Ryjenko had been “motivated by greed” and using the money to fund his family.
This type of corruption “strikes at the confidence of ordinary people in the banking industry,” the judge added.
Elspeth Pringle, specialist prosecutor from the CPS, said: “Andrey Ryjenko repeatedly abused his position of power within a publicly-funded bank by accepting corrupt payments.
“Despite his efforts to disguise his crimes, the prosecution was able to present a compelling case to the jury, resulting in his conviction and today’s jail sentence.” She said
She said the prosecution was helped by cross border co-operation particularly with US authorities.