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Russia's Border Agency Head Charged With Embezzling $8.5M

Dmitry Bezdelov (r) / Valery Sharifulin / TASS

A Moscow court has charged the former head of Russia’s border agency with embezzling nearly half a billion rubles ($8.5 million). 

Dmitry Bezdelov resigned as head of the Federal Border Development Agency in 2013 after an audit found that he had authorized the illegal transfer of money earmarked for the development of border zones. He was arrested in Italy a year later, and court proceedings began last January.

A Moscow District Court ruled Friday that Bezdelov had committed fraud while he was the head of the agency, the Interfax news agency reported

State prosecutors asked the court to sentence Bezdelov to 10 years behind bars, his attorney told the state-run TASS news agency earlier this month. They sought prison terms of three to nine years for his accomplices. 

Previous reports said that Bezdelov had authorized the transfer of about one billion rubles to the Agrosoyuz bank, whose main beneficiary was Bezdelov's father.

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