Agrokor Owner Loses U.K. Extradition Fight on Fraud Charges

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(Bloomberg) -- Ivica Todoric, the owner of food and retail conglomerate Agrokor d.d., lost his bid to avoid extradition to Croatia where he faces charges of fraud in the company’s near-bankruptcy.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot in London called the case against him a “detailed allegation” with “strong evidence” and said the investigation is “progressing with speed.” Todoric has seven days to appeal the extradition order.

Todoric, 67, who has said he regards the case part of a political campaign, was arrested in November on a European Arrest Warrant issued by Croatian authorities, before being released on bail and surrendering his passport. The judge granted bail to Todoric again on Monday pending the appeals, N1 TV reported.

Todoric in April 2017 asked the government to apply a special law, allowing the state to step in and oversee the company’s restructuring. He faces fraud charges along with 14 of his former managers in his home country after an audited report released in September showed hundreds of millions of dollars of hidden loans and other bookkeeping irregularities.

Agrokor’s biggest creditor, Sberbank PJSC of Russia, has also accused Todoric of misrepresenting the company’s accounts to investors, and in August filed charges against him in Zagreb in an attempt to recover 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in loans.

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