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Deputy Governor Charged With 11 Counts of Graft

Investigators have charged a regional deputy governor with 11 criminal offenses including embezzlement and fraud, the Investigative Committee said Tuesday.

Marina Kalugina, the Kurgan region's deputy governor for social policy, is charged with six counts of embezzlement, four counts of fraud and one count of illegal business activity.

The charges relate to the period from October 2007 until February 2011 when she managed a state-owned company, Deti Plus (Kids Plus), and the social insurance fund in Kurgan. She also held her deputy governor role at the time.

She faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.

Investigators also charged Kalugina's husband Ivan Smolin and her acquaintance Igor Potemkin, who both held top management positions in Deti Plus, which organizes recreational activities for children.

Kalugina used an intermediary to purchase food supplies for children's camps at inflated prices and split the difference with her accomplices in the state firm, investigators said.

Moreover, part of the food supplies went to a company established by Kalugina and her husband in Nizhny Novgorod in violation of the legislation prohibiting government officials from running private businesses while in office, investigators said.

Kalugina also used her position to give preferential treatment to specific companies in exchange for money and free travel.

Investigators will ask the authorities to suspend Kalugina from her work duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

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