MOSCOW, June 21 (RAPSI) – Prosecutors have filed an appeal against sentence given to ex-head of Russia’s Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaizer for fraud, money laundering and receiving bribes, according to the Moscow City Court's records.

On June 10, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow sentenced Gaizer to 11 years in high security prison. Additionally, Gaizer was fined 160 million rubles (nearly $2.5 million) and banned from holding public posts for 5 years. 

However, the court acquitted Gaizer of creation of criminal community. 

In March, a prosecutor demanded a 21-year imprisonment for Gaizer and a 500,000-ruble fine.

Investigators claimed that a criminal gang involving Gaizer, another Komi Republic’s ex-head Vladimir Torlopov, ex-deputy head Alexander Chernov, ex-Chairman of the Republican State Council Igor Kovzel and 10 other people, was organized in 2006. Depending of their involvement and role in crimes, they were charged with taking bribes, embezzlement and money laundering.

According to investigation, gang leaders and members committed crimes aimed at occupation of the region’s highly profitable enterprises or instituting control over them for the purposes of unlawful enrichment. They allegedly caused a 4.5-billion-ruble (about $70 million) damage to the republic.

Investigators also accused the gang members of taking bribes totaling to 160 million rubles in 2013. Moreover, Gaizer himself received 37.5 million rubles in bribes for assignment of a person identified by investigators to the post of the Syktyvkar liquor producer’s director.

In August 2016, one of the defendants, businessman Anton Faershtein died in a Moscow detention center.