ROSTOV-ON-DON, January 14 - RAPSI. A city court in Russia’s Rostov Region has fined a former deputy governor 550,000 rubles ($18,179) for having illegally attempted to sell a tank for 4.5 million rubles ($148,742) to a businessman, the court’s spokesperson told RIA Novosti on Monday.

Investigators reported that on September 15, 2011, a businessman who wanted to buy a T-44 tank in the town of Belaya Kalitva reached out to Ivan Boychenko, an official in the Rostov regional administration for communal services and construction.

He said that the tank was one of a limited production line which was made during the Great Patriotic War and was highly valuable. Boychenko found out that nobody actually owned the tank and decided to sell it for 7 million rubles ($231,376).

In order to make his actions appear legal, the defendant proposed that the collector should sign a fake contract stipulating that he would take the T-44 tank for restoration. The plan was that the businessman would buy a T-34 tank instead of the rare tank and then give it to the administration for free. The defendant asked to be given the difference in value between the two tanks in cash, a total that would amount to 4.5 million rubles ($148,743).

The business took the matter to law enforcement authorities. In October 2011, Boychenko was detained during the exchange of the money.