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Court Hands Former Official Record Breaking Fine

A 1 billion ruble banknote used in the Caucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic during a period of hyperinflation in the early 1920s.

The Moscow Regional Court has fined a former government official almost 1 billion rubles ($30 million) for soliciting a bribe two years ago.

It is the largest ever financial penalty to be imposed on a Russian official for a crime committed while serving the state, Interfax reported Tuesday.

The Vidnoye municipal court in September convicted Lev Lvov, former deputy head of the Leninsky District administration, on bribery changes, and gave him a four-year suspended prison sentence.

Police said that a construction company finished building an apartment block in the town of Vidnoye, the Moscow region, in 2011 and then applied to the Leninsky District administration for permission to start selling the properties.

Lvov demanded that the construction company pay him $500,000 and sell him two flats in the new building for just 30 percent of their market value, police said.

However, prosecutors appealed September's ruling to the Moscow Regional Court, which handed him a massive fine instead.

Lvov's acquaintance, Igor Komarov, who was caught collecting part of the money from the construction company, has been ordered to pay 500 million rubles. He had previously been given a three-year suspended sentence.

Previous whopping fines dished out by Russian courts include a 320 million ruble fine for Alexander Samorukov, a St. Petersburg official convicted of bribery in May, and a 300 million ruble fine for Tatarstan official Alexander Timofeyev, also for bribery, in 2012.

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