Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (Russian: Михаи́л Бори́сович Ходорко́вский, IPA: ; born 26 June 1963) is an exiled Russian businessman, philanthropist and former oligarch, now residing in London. In 2003, Khodorkovsky was believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, with a fortune estimated to be worth $15 billion, and was ranked 16th on Forbes list of billionaires. He had worked his way up the Komsomol apparatus, during the Soviet years, and started several businesses during the period of glasnost and perestroika in the late 1980s. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in the mid-1990s, he accumulated considerable wealth by obtaining control of a number of Siberian oil fields unified under the name Yukos, one of the major companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s (a scheme known as "Loans for Shares").
In October 2003, he was arrested by Russian authorities and charged with fraud. The government under Russian president Vladimir Putin then froze shares of Yukos shortly thereafter on tax charges. Putin's government took further actions against Yukos, leading to a collapse of the company's share price and the evaporation of much of Khodorkovsky's wealth. In May 2005, he was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison. In December 2010, while he was still serving his sentence, Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were further charged with and found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering; Khodorkovsky's prison sentence was extended to 2014. After Hans-Dietrich Genscher lobbied for his release, President Vladimir Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky, releasing him from jail on 20 December 2013.