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Former Russian executive indicted in U.S. on tax dodge charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former executive of a large Russian steel company has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Missouri on charges that he hid millions of dollars offshore from U.S. tax authorities, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Victor Lipukhin, a Russian citizen and formerly an Illinois resident, was indicted on Thursday for hiding between $4 million and $7.5 million in bank accounts at UBS AG from 2002 through 2007, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The indictment's announcement came amid growing tensions between the United States and Russia over the Ukraine crisis. President Barack Obama unveiled sanctions against members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle on Thursday.

Lipukhin was formerly a permanent U.S. resident, the department said. He was president of Severstal Inc USA, a subsidiary of AO Severstal, a large steel company in Russia, it said.

Lipukhin used shell companies based in the Bahamas to conduct transactions in his Swiss accounts, Justice said.

He failed to report these accounts and any income from the accounts to the Internal Revenue Service, Justice said.

Details on Lipukhin's whereabouts, or his legal representation, were not available.

(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; editing by Andrew Hay)

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