Russian Lawmaker Wants Probe After $175,000 Earrings Stolen From Moscow Official

Construction department official Maria Rudakova received the $175,000 diamond earrings as a gift from her husband but the gems were replaced with glass.

A Communist lawmaker has asked prosecutors to look into reports that a Moscow city official had $175,000 worth of diamonds stolen from earrings she took to a repair shop, noting the difference between the value of the jewelry and the assumed salary of the official.

State Duma Deputy Valery Rashkin appealed to the Investigative Committee after tabloid LifeNews earlier this week reported the theft of the diamonds from Moscow's deputy chief of municipal construction, according to a copy of the letter posted Thursday to the Communist Party's website.

"I am asking you to check the statements made in the publication," Rashkin said in his letter. "During your investigation, I ask you to pay particular attention to the legality and justification of acquiring such expensive jewelry by municipal employees and/or their family members, comparing the price of stolen property to the income of a given official."

According to LifeNews, construction department official Maria Rudakova told police that she received the $175,000 diamond earrings as a gift from her husband but that the gems were stolen and replaced with glass when she took them into a repair shop.

While Rudakova estimated her losses from the theft at nearly 7 million rubles ($175,000), she told police that the earrings cost slightly more than 600,000 rubles ($15,170) when her husband bought them new — increasing in price ten-fold during the few years in her possession, LifeNews reported.

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