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False rumor of Roman Abramovich’s arrest sends steel shares tumbling

Mar 25, 2013, 1:50 PM EST

Boris Berezovsky, Roman Abramovich

You know you’re one of the most powerful business tycoons on the planet when a false rumor of your arrest for an unknown act is enough to send steel shares plummeting.  Such is the life of billionaire Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, who was incorrectly reported to have been arrested in New York City on Monday.

It is currently unclear what the rumored arrest was for, however, immediately after Russian business channel RBK-TV reported that the Blues owner was being held by the FBI, shares of Russian steelmaker Evraz, of which Abramovich is a majority shareholder, dipped by 6 per cent.

RBK-TV promised details of the alleged arrest in its 6pm Moscow bulletin but failed to substantiate. The story spread like wildfire on Twitter until Abramovich’s spokesman, John Mann, released a statement denying the arrest. The FBI and Chelsea have since come forward in insisting that the Abramovich arrest rumors are false.

Arrests of high-powered owners are not uncommon in world football, as AC Milan’s owner and president (and former Italian Prime Minister) Silvio Berlusconi was handed a four-year prison sentence in 2012 for his part in a tax-fraud scandal.

 

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