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Investigators Checking Over $33M in Misused Funds by Federal Prison Service

The Investigative Committee has announced a check into misused budget funds of over 1 billion rubles ($33 million) by high-ranking officials in the Federal Prison Service.

State budget funds were allocated for the purchase of electronic monitoring devices for prisoners, but the devices were purchased at triple their actual cost, official spokesman of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin said on Tuesday.

The overpayment led to a budget loss of 1.3 billion rubles, and the devices purchased were later found to not function properly.

According to RIA-Novosti, the purchases were approved by Alexander Reimer, formerly the head of the prison service, and Nikolai Krivolapov, deputy head of the service until Feb. 25, when he was dismissed by President Vladimir Putin.

Although no reason was given for Krivolapov's dismissal, numerous reports of embezzlement within the Federal Prison Service have surfaced recently.

On Tuesday, the Investigative Committee announced that it had filed fraud charges against Sergei Koval, the deputy head of the prison service's branch in the Buryatia republic, for stealing donations meant for flood victims and cancer patients.

Last December, Izvestia reported that the prison service wastes up to 6 billion rubles in budget funds each year by overpaying for products of poor quality.

The Federal Prison Service has denied those allegations, saying that all purchases are made at mid-market prices.

The investigation into the misappropriated funds is still under way.

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