The former head of Ministry of Finance of the Moscow Region, Alexei Kuznetsov has been sentenced to 14 years in a penal colony after he was found guilty of embezzlement and laundering of 11 billion rubles. The case opened in May 2008 as a corruption case against Russian officials, he managed to leave the country but was detained in 2013 in France on Russia’s request.
Based on the several criminal and corruption cases of the Minister, which involved multi-billion dollars, the prosecutor Amaliya Ustaeva requested for 14 years in prison and a fine of 1 million rubles, saying Kuznetsov multi-billion dollars theft faded some years back after it was discussed in the media. He added that the minister and his cabinet stole from Moscow budget using political tactics and also used dubious means to transfer the right to claim the debt from Moscow to companies controlled by him.
Initially, Kuznetsov refused to plead guilty but later agreed with the prosecution after 6 months. The court rejected his defence’s request to discontinue the majority of the episodes in connection with an allegedly expired statute of limitations. Kuznetsov later expressed his deep repentance and apologized to the representatives of the victims but it was too late.