MOSCOW, March 21 (RAPSI) - Rector of the Russian Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) Sergey Ivanets was arrested on suspicion of abuse of power that caused damage estimated at more than 20 million rubles ($292,400), Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told journalists on Monday.

According to investigators, in 2011, the university signed a contract with the company Modern University for technical and information system implementation valued at 647 million rubles ($9.5 million). The services had to be rendered in a few years; the final stage was planned to be completed in 2013.

“From August 20 till September 11, 2015, Ivanets ordered two pro-rectors, Aleksei Tskhe and Victor Atamanyuk, to provide processing and signing of the certificates of services rendered at the third stage. On September 15, he ordered a chief accountant to transfer under these certificates over 20 million rubles to the contractor’s account,” Markin said.

Searches have been already conducted at the rector’s office. Investigators seized documents and began questioning witnesses, according to Markin.

A criminal case was opened on organization of abuse of office. Ivanets could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Previously, Ivanets served as Deputy Minister of Education and Science and supervised Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District.