Russian lawmaker resigns over SF property scandal

Vladimir Pekhtin

Vladimir Pekhtin, a senior lawmaker from Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, and chairman of Parliament’s ethics committee, resigned on Wednesday following the release of documents that showed him as the owner of at least three luxury properties in South Florida, totaling more than $1.3 million. Pekhtin had neglected to list his holdings on required disclosure forms, the New York Times reported.

The contentious documents, published by a blogger last week, came on the heels of President Vladimir Putin’s proposed legislation to bar senior Russian officials from holding bank accounts or owning stock overseas.

Though the proposal does not prohibit officials from owning real estate out of the country and Pekhtin insisted that he did nothing wrong, he will step down regardless to save his party from further controversy.

The documents show that the properties under Pekhtin’s name includes a South Beach apartment that was purchased last year for nearly $1.3 million, in a building where Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, also owns an apartment.

Pekhtin has a history of undisclosed real estate holdings, as reported by the Times. He made local news last year when newspaper Vedomosti revealed that he owned a large mansion outside St. Petersburg as well as other secret properties. [NYT]–Sanna Chu

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