MOSCOW, September 19 (RAPSI) – The Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court has upheld a 4.5-year prison sentence given to former regional Minister of Industry, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Alexander Makarov, for abuse of power, the regional Prosecutor’s Office announced on its website on Monday.

According to investigation, in 2012, Makarov, then Minister for Public Property and Land Resources of the Nizhny Novgorod region, illegally transferred a land plot with an area of more than 17,000 square meters to a commercial organization for exploitation the company’s building standing on it. The plot owned by the Nizhny Novgorod region was sold for 130,000 rubles ($2,000).

Investigstors found that Makarov abused his authority and sold a public space reducing the plot’s market value by 60 million rubles ($923,200).

In April, Makarov was convicted.  He was also prohibited by court from holding posts in government bodies for 2 years.