Over $3M Embezzled During Renovation of Moscow Theaters

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – According to preliminary police estimates, more than 100 million rubles ($3.1 million) were embezzled during renovation works in Moscow’s Bolshoi and Maly theaters, the Interior Ministry’s Moscow department said on Wednesday.

“According to preliminary estimates, the federal budget lost more than 100 million rubles,” the department said in a statement. “At the moment, four people are named as suspects in the case.”

The Interior Ministry said on June 13 that an investigation was under way into a suspected embezzlement of 90 million rubles (nearly $2.8 million) allocated for remodeling work at Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theater. It was not immediately clear whether this money was part of the sum announced on Wednesday.

The Bolshoi reconstruction project, which lasted from 2005 to 2011, was marred by repeated delays and fraud allegations. Russian prosecutors opened a probe in 2009 into the suspected embezzlement of millions of dollars during the renovation.

The theater’s extensive reconstruction cost an estimated 35.4 billion rubles ($1.2 billion), according to the Russian Audit Chamber.


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