MOSCOW Nov 23 A former bureaucrat was charged
with fraud on Friday in a $100 million embezzlement case that
has cost the defence minister his job and shone a spotlight on
corruption in President Vladimir Putin's administration.
Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, who had valuable paintings, rare
antiques and more than 100 expensive rings seized in an early
morning raid on her central Moscow apartment last month, was
charged with large-scale fraud.
Vasilyeva, 33, oversaw defence ministry property at a time
when one of its firms allegedly sold lucrative properties to
insider companies at a loss of at least 3 billion roubles ($96
"Vasilyeva, along with others, participated in the
embezzlement of property of subsidiaries of the holding
Oboronservis," said federal Investigative Committee spokesman
Vasilyeva, who was photographed in a silver sequined dress
with former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, was put under
house arrest by a Moscow court and made to wear a tracking
Though he has not come under investigation himself, Putin
fired Serdyukov on Nov. 6, shortly after the start of the probe.
Putin won a third term in office in March.
Vasilyeva has not spoken publicly about the allegations.
Serdyukov said in a statement last month that any comments on
the case represented only "a possible scenario."
Analysts say Serdyukov fell foul of influential groups
within the Kremlin and had crossed his powerful father-in-law.
Investigators said that on Thursday they had raided 18
cottages in a community outside Moscow which belonged to
Russia's national tax service and where Serdyukov - a former tax
service chief - had stayed for some time.
RIA reported two others have been arrested in the
Russia's Defence Ministry channels billions of dollars every
year through the country's arms industry, the world's
second-largest defence exporter.
A military prosecutor last year said one fifth of the
military budget is stolen.