On February 5, 2007, Russian prosecutors filed money laundering charges against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky was convicted in May 2005 of tax evasion and sentenced to eight years in prison. The Russian government effectively nationalized Yukos to pay off $33 billion in back taxes and Khodorkovsky's lawyers have insisted that legal actions against their client have been politically motivated. Khodorkovsky had earlier been found guilty of fraud and tax evasion and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
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