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  Monday, November 11, 2019
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A southwest Siberian court released on a 1 million-ruble ($30,000)
A southwest Siberian court released on a 1 million-ruble ($30,000) bail on Wednesday the U.S. owner of the New York Pizza restaurant chain in Novosibirsk, who has been accused of tax evasion.

Eric Shogren, 43, a Minneapolis native who owns over 20 restaurants, was detained by police in Novosibirsk on Tuesday.

"The court sees no grounds for choosing custody as a punishment," Judge Yevgenya Zhigaleva said at the court session on Wednesday.

The Leninsky district court rejected a request by Novosibirsk investigators that Shogren be remanded in custody to prevent him from absconding to the United States.

The judge said Shogren's detention could "negatively affect" his company's business in Russia. The businessmen has not yet been officially charged.

In late 2008, bailiffs were sent to Shogren to collect 52 million rubles ($1.5 million) in tax arrears and loans. In January, a criminal case into tax evasion was opened against him and New York Pizza's bank accounts in Russia were frozen.

In February, more than 30 pizza chain workers held a picket demanding that the company pay 7 million rubles ($205,000) in wage arrears.

Shogren told journalists his company had troubles amid the global economic crisis but promised to pay the debts and pledged not to quit the restaurant business in Russia.

New York Pizza opened its first restaurant in downtown Novosibirsk in 1996.


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