27 December 2023
EPAM Law Secures Internet Access Ban Removal for Blogger Valeria Chekalina (Lerchek)

EPAM Law attorneys led by Konstantin Tretyakov, Partner, White Collar Crime Practice achieved the modification of a restraining order that had prohibited blogger Valeria Chekalina (known as Lerchek) from using the internet.

Earlier in the year, following the attachment removed from their accounts, the Chekalins settled their debts to the state, paying in total RUB 500 million to tax authorities.

Valeria Chekalina and Artem Chekalin had been charged with significant tax evasion and money laundering. In March 2023, the court imposed restrictions on the Chekalins, including prohibiting internet and phone use and contact with witnesses.

However, when investigators proposed changing their restraint to house arrest, EPAM Law attorneys developed an effective defense strategy, persuading the court that such a change was unjustified. Consequently, in the summer of 2023, the Presnensky District Court in Moscow denied the petition to alter the couple's restraint measures.

Additionally, in May 2023, the bloggers paid the initial RUB 311 million that led to the tax evasion case. They also cleared an additional RUB 296 million in fines and penalties charged by tax authorities, as part of the initial payment covered 2022 taxes. By November 2023, the Chekalins had fully settled their debts.

Valeria Chekalina has been represented by attorneys from EPAM Law Tax and White Collar Crime Practices headed by Partner Konstantin Tretyakov.