MOSCOW, August 8 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld a 7-year prison sentence passed on ex-Deputy Chairman of the Komi government Konstantin Romadanov for participation in a criminal gang, taking a bribe and money laundering, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.

Romadanov was convicted and sentenced in late May. In addition to the prison term he was fined 170 million rubles ($2.7 million) and prohibited from holding government posts for 5 years.

The case against Romadanov was separated from embezzlement case involving Vyacheslav Gaizer, the former Komi Republic’s head.

Investigators believe that a criminal gang involving Gaizer, another 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 are charged with taking bribes, embezzlement and money laundering.

According to investigation, the 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 (over $70 million) damage to the republic.

Investigators also accuse 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.