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Man Charged With Stealing $9.3M From Russian Footballer

Zenit St. Petersburg striker Alexander Kerzhakov. (E. Razumny for Vedomosti)

Investigators have charged a man with defrauding Zenit St. Petersburg striker Alexander Kerzhakov out of 329 million rubles ($9.3 million).

The suspect and his unidentified accomplices obtained the money from Kerzhakov under the false pretense of financing the construction an oil refinery in the Voronezh region, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on Friday.

The accused faces up to 10 years behind bars if found guilty.

Kerzhakov is well known among sports writers for having gotten involved in a spat with a reporter from The Guardian who used the striker's surname as a verb to denote profligacy, after Kerzhakov wasted a series of goal scoring chances while playing for Russia in the European Championships in 2012.

Kerzhakov responded to the put-down by saying he felt sorry that English language needed to subsume his name because it was so short of words.

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