Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Highland Castle future in doubt after Russian owner jailed for £4million fraud

Castle Grant
Castle Grant

The future of a Highland castle has been plunged into uncertainty after its Russian owner was jailed for 18 months for carrying out a £4million fraud to help fund his lavish lifestyle.

Sergey Fedotov, who purchased Castle Grant for £1million in 2014, has admitted a massive embezzlement while he was head of the Russian Authors’ Society (RAO), which collects royalty payments on behalf of writers.

It is understood the purchase of the castle, and other UK properties, were the trigger for an initial investigation.

The 40-year-old businessman was arrested in Moscow last year and held in custody.

He bought the 16th century A-listed pile, by Grantown, after it was repossessed from former Rangers’ owner Craig Whyte when he failed to keep up with mortgage payments.

Yesterday a housekeeper at Castle Grant would only say as a general response: “It’s not good.” She refused to comment on whether Fedotov’s home could be repossessed following his sentence.

Last night, fears for the future of the castle and disappointment at the latest twist in the tale were voiced in the village.

Bill Sadler, chairman of local history group the Grantown Society, fears there would be security problems at the castle if the housekeepers don’t stay until Fedotov’s release.

He added: “The history of recent owners is a sad and sorry state of affairs. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

“Grantown is a product of the family of Grants. Our dream is that the castle would be refurbished and opened up to the public. It’s a huge part of our heritage.

“If we were rich the community would buy it. We did once consider that but, not only would we have to buy it but also maintain it.”

A local resident in the town, who did not want to be named, said he attended a large banquet held in the castle’s grounds in June 2015 when Fedotov opened them up to the public to mark 250 years of the town.

He said: “There was a thinking in the community that maybe this was a sign of things to come after the Whyte years. But now this has happened, it’s a bit disappointing.”

Fedotov admitted carrying out the fraud during a hearing at Moscow’s Meshchansky Court this week.

Prosecutors told the court that Fedotov deliberately misled the RAO board, encouraging them to transfer property to a private company.

The company then sold the property to third parties, leaving the RAO out of pocket to the sum of 300 million rubles – about £4 million.

Russian police started investigating Fedotov in 2015 after concerns were raised about where he got the funds to buy the castle and other properties in the south of England.

During a preliminary hearing in the case, Fedotov insisted that Castle Grant was bought lawfully and said the purchase was modest as the castle was only worth the price of a small apartment in Moscow.

He said: “That castle in Scotland I have, I acknowledge.

“But this property is irrelevant.

“At the time of purchase it cost 50 million rubles. The cost corresponds to the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in the centre of Moscow.”

Following his sentencing, Fedotov told Russian media that he had already repaid some of the damages, and was considering an appeal against his sentence.

He said: “I’ve repaid 160 million rubles out of more than 300 million rubles.

“But in order to make these payments, I need to work: something I haven’t recently been able to do.”

Fedotov was denied bail over fears he might have fled to the UK despite his legal team’s claims that he suffers from hypertension and diabetes.

He bought Castle Grant after it was repossessed by the Bank of Scotland. He told estate agents that he had grand refurbishment plans for the property after it fell into disrepair during Whyte’s ownership.

Whyte bought it for £720,000 in 2006 but fell into arrears with the £7,000-a-month mortgage.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]