Investigative Committee charges Navalny supporter with fraud
MOSCOW, June 11 (RAPSI) – A member of the Moscow legislature, Konstantin Yankauskas, has been charged with large-scale fraud. Investigators have filed a motion to place him under house arrest, lawyer Sergei Panchenko told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
Panchenko said his client was suspected of illegally transferring large funds to opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s campaign during the Moscow mayoral election last year.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin earlier said that searches were conducted at the premises of MP Konstantin Yankauskas and businessmen Nikolai Lyaskin and Vladimir Ashurkov. They each transferred 1 million rubles (nearly $30,000) to Navalny’s election account, posted an online address “for web users to voluntarily refill their digital wallets, presumably to compensate for the funds that had been transferred to Navalny’s account, and to support his political activity.”
“As a result, over 10 million rubles (over $290,000) was transferred to these digital wallets. Investigators have cause to believe that Yankauskas, Lyaskin and Ashurkov embezzled these funds,” Markin said.
Searches have also been conducted at the Yandex.Money offices.
This is not the first time that Navalny’s supporters have been suspected of embezzling funds. Last year, the Interior Ministry announced that Yankauskas had received 5 million rubles (nearly $146,000) via transfers to the Yandex.Money wallet, of which he embezzled 4 million rubles (over $115,000). The ministry said that Ashurkov embezzled 2.27 million rubles ($66,200) and Lyaskin 790,000 rubles ($23,000).
Alexei Navalny ran for Moscow mayor in 2013, losing to the incumbent mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, who received 51.37% of the vote on September 8. Navalny finished second with 21.24%. The turnout was 32.03% of the electorate.