The Prosecutor General's Office said Monday that it was investigating the misappropriation of 1.4 billion rubles ($43 million) of budget funds allocated to road maintenance in a southern Russian region.
Prosecutors initiated the probe after a Russian lawmaker, who was not named, raised the issue. Local officials are accused of siphoning off money intended for road repairs to cover other costs.
Misappropriating public funds is an offense punishable with up to 5 years in jail, under Russian law.
Investigators have so far found that 1.4 billion rubles from the total 4.6 billion rubles from a high-profile federal investment program aimed at road maintenance in the Volgograd Region last year in fact went on "other purposes."