Yekaterinburg prosecutors said Thursday that they have opened a criminal case on fraud charges over last month's election to the opposition's Coordination Council, during which an unidentified suspect reportedly used a fake website to collect payments from potential candidates.
Prosecutors said in a statement on their official website that the address of the site used to scam potential candidates, cvk2012.org, was identical to that used by the opposition's central elections commission.
Law enforcement officials have so far been unable to detain the suspect, the statement added.
According to prosecutors, the suspect set up the website with the express intention of accepting payments of 10,000 rubles ($322) from those wishing to register as candidates in the online election.
Showing a charitable spirit, the suspect then transferred these payments to the local Volunteer Movement nongovernmental organization.
"The person who created the site did not intend to put those who made donations on the list of candidates," prosecutors said, adding that the suspect faces up to two years in prison if convicted.