MOSCOW, June 6 - RAPSI. Russian authorities have completed investigation of two former Moscow region tax inspectors and a local resident accused of large-scale extortion, Vladimir Markin, the Investigative Committee’s spokesman, told RIA Novosti.

According to investigators, Artyom Kozlov, Alexander Samorukov, and Oleg Markov, as an organized criminal group, extorted business owners who were audited by the tax inspectorate in 2009.

Markin said Samorukov discovered that one company owed 600,000 rubles ($21,443) in taxes, and in September and October he and Kozlov demanded 4.4 million rubles ($157,250) from the business’s owner.

He added that from June to November, Kozlov repeatedly attempted to take 15% of two other companies’ VAT refunds, amounting to 3.6 million rubles. Kozlov promised in return to turn a blind eye toward tax violations during the companies’ next audit.

The case has been referred to court for prosecution.