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Official Stole Donations for Flood Victims, Cancer Patients, Investigators Say

The deputy head of the Buryatia republic's branch of the Federal Prison Service has been accused of stealing money donated to cancer patients and to victims of the Krymsk floods, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website Tuesday.

Investigators say Sergei Koval stole a total of 141,000 rubles ($4,000) when he was put in charge of organizing charity work performed by the Federal Prison Service's staff in Buryatia. The first such instance occurred in 2010, when Koval stole 85,000 rubles from funds collected for the cancer ward at a local children's hospital.

The second instance was in July 2012, when he stole 56,000 rubles from donations gathered to help Krymsk residents who'd lost their homes to torrential flooding, which claimed the lives of more than 170 people and destroyed thousands of homes in the area.

Koval faces up to six years in prison on two counts of fraud.

The investigation is still under way.

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