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Russian court arrests ex-penitentiary head’s assets worth over $300,000

May 06, 2015, 10:58 UTC+3

Reimer is charged with using fraudulent schemes to steal about $54 million when purchasing electronic bracelets for court prisoners

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Alexander Reimer

Alexander Reimer

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS

MOSCOW, May 6. /TASS/. A Moscow court arrested the bank accounts and assets of former Federal Penitentiary Service Chief Alexander Reimer accused of a 2.7 billion-ruble ($54 million) fraud, the court’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

"On the investigation’s petition, the court seized Reimer’s accounts and property worth over 15 million rubles [$300,000] as a restrictive measure," spokeswoman for the Presnensky District Court of Moscow Nina Yurkova said.

Reimer is charged with using fraudulent schemes to steal 2.7 billion rubles when purchasing electronic bracelets for court prisoners.

The court also arrested the accounts and property of another suspect in the fraud case, businessman Nikolai Martynov, the spokeswoman said.

The court passed its judgments on April 20, the spokeswoman said.

Reimer headed the Federal Penitentiary Service from August 2009 to June 2012.

The criminal case into the purchase of electronic surveillance bracelets was opened two years ago after the Federal Penitentiary Service held an audit of its system.

The audit revealed improper spending worth over 1 billion rubles ($20 million). After its check held on March 29, 2013, Russia’s Investigative Committee instituted criminal proceedings on fraud charges, with overstated costs estimated at 1.65 billion rubles ($33 million). The amount of misspent funds now stands at 2.7 billion rubles.

All the suspects in the criminal case, except for Reimer’s deputy Nikolai Krivolapov who was placed under house arrest, were arrested for two months until May 31.

According to investigators, electronic bracelets were purchased in 2010-2012 at overstated prices. With the price of 19,000 rubles ($380) a piece, stationary control devices were purchased at the price of 108,000 ($2,160) and mobile gadgets at 128,000 ($2,560).

The Federal Penitentiary Service started mass purchases of electronic surveillance bracelets in 2011. A total of 4.5 billion rubles ($90 million) were allocated from the federal budget for the introduction of electronic bracelets in 30 Russian regions.

The Federal Penitentiary Service had purchased 20,000 electronic bracelet sets by early 2012 and was preparing a contract for another 10,000 units.

Aside from Reimer and his deputy Krivolapov, the suspects in the case are also entrepreneur Martynov and Director of the Federal Penitentiary Service’s Center for IT Support and Communications Viktor Opredelyonov.

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