MOSCOW, October 6 (RAPSI) – Russian investigators have charged former head of Russia’s Komi Republic Vladimir Torlopov with creating an organized criminal group and large-scale fraud committed with the use of official position, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.

Torlopov was a head of the Komi Republic in 2001-2010 and a senator of Russia’s Federal Council in 2010-2016. He is charged with organizing a criminal group conspiring with Vyacheslav Gaizer, another former head of Russia’s Komi Republic who was holding the office in 2010-2015.

According to investigators, damage to the government from Torlopov’s actions is estimated at 2.5 billionrubles ($39.6 million).

Nineteen people are defendants in the large corruption case against Gaizer, including his deputy Alexei Chernov, Igor Kovzel, Chairman of the Republican State Council, and Konstantin Romadanov, Deputy Chairman of the Komi government. This August one of the people related to the case, Anton Faerstein, died in detention.

Gaizer was charged in relation to two counts of bribery and one count of fraud. Earlier, various media have reported that Gazier made a deal with investigators, but his lawyer does not confirm this information.

Earlier, the Investigative Committee reported about thwarting the activity of a criminal group led by the head of the Republic of Komi, Vyacheslav Gaizer.

Gaizer pleads not guilty. Several high-ranking officials have been arrested in the fraud and organized crime case, as well as several business people that the Investigative Committee called “finance technologists.”

During 80 searches in Komi, St. Petersburg and Moscow, the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service confiscated over 60 kg of jewelry, 150 watches worth $30,000 to $1 million each, over 50 stamps and seals from offshore corporations, and financial documents legalizing over 1 billion rubles ($14 mln) in stolen money transferred to the offshore zone.

Investigators have also opened a criminal case on money laundering against Gaizer.

On September 30 of 2015, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to relieve Gaizer of his duties because of loss of trust.