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Construction Company Embezzled Millions Destined for Famous Moscow Cemetery

14 million rubles had been embezzled from the state-sponsored restoration project of one of Moscow's cemeteries.

Russia's Interior Ministry said Monday that 14 million rubles ($388,360) had been embezzled from the state-sponsored restoration project of one of Moscow's most famous cemeteries.

In 2007, a state funeral company hired a "large Moscow-based construction company" to carry out restoration and maintenance work in the Vagankovskoye cemetery in western Moscow for 259 million rubles ($7.2 million), the ministry said in a statement.

According to the statement, the contractors did not fulfill some of their obligations, having failed to restore some of the facilities, and used cheaper materials than stated in the contract.

A fraud case has been opened into the incident, the ministry said. Those found guilty of taking part in the scheme could face up to 10 years in prison under Russian law.

The 50-hectare Vagankovskoye cemetery, which was established in 1771, is the final resting place of many prominent Russian cultural and sporting figures, including cult singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky, poet Sergei Yesenin and Dinamo Moscow's legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin.

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