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Yukos Faces Fraud Claim

Russian oil company Yukos and its former financial head will have to defend themselves in a fraud lawsuit

Russian bankrupt oil company Yukos will have to defend itself in a fraud lawsuit, a US judge has ruled.

Yukos and its former CFO Bruce Misamore will be asked to respond to allegations of mis-stating the company's tax risk to investors.

In 2003, Russian authorities arrested Yukos' former president Mikhail Khodorkovsky and seized his 44% equity stake in the company.

Khodorkovsky was jailed after being found guilty of fraud, embezzlement and evasion of personal income taxes. He is now serving an eight-year sentence in a penal colony in eastern Siberia.

Yukos was also accused by the Russian Ministry of Taxation of tax evasion between 2001 and 2003, and for underpaying its taxes by more than $27.5bn.

The bankruptcy hearing of Yukos began earlier in March in Moscow.