MOSCOW, January 16 (RAPSI) – A court in Aix-en-Provance, France, on Thursday ruled to extradite Alexei Kuznetsov, a former finance minister of the Moscow Region to Russia, Investigative Committee reports.

The investigators in Russia are prepared to charge Kuznetsov with more than 150 counts of fraud, with damages stacking up to 11 billion rubles ($333 mln).

According to the investigators, from November 2005 to November 2008, a group organized by Kuznetsov deceived several housing and utility companies into selling it over 3.5 billion rubles’ ($109 million) worth of claims against the Moscow Region's municipal authorities. The group laundered and misappropriated the money. It is also alleged to have embezzled the property of company Mosobltransinvest,worth 7.2 billion rubles ($224 million).

Kuznetsov was placed first on the federal and subsequently on the international wanted list in November 2012 on suspicion of fraud, money laundering, and embezzlement.
The investigators said the search for Kuznetsov gathered speed after Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin met with the French police chief in January 2013.