MOSCOW, July 15 (RAPSI) – The Supreme Court of Russia on Monday dismissed a statement of venue lodged by the Prosecutor General’s Office in relation to its claim to recover over 3.2 billion rubles (about $50 million)  from convicted ex-mayor of Vladivostok Igor Pushkarev, the court’s press service told RAPSI.

Therefore, the case will be heard in a court in Vladivostok.

In late May, prosecutors filed a lawsuit to forfeit over 3.2 billion rubles from Pushkarev. According to them, the claim is aimed to redress damages caused to the state and society as well as to prevent unjust enrichment of officials.

In April, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Pushkarev to 15 years in high security prison for commercial bribery, abuse of office and taking bribes on a large scale. Additionally, he was fined 500 million rubles ($8 million). The court also prohibited him from holding public posts for 10 years.

Moreover, the court collected 143 million rubles (over $2 million) in favor “Roads of Vladivostok” granting the company’s suit.

According to investigators, between 2009 and 2016, Pushkarev acting as a mayor of Vladivostok “from mercenary or other personal motives” organized the acquisition by “Roads of Vladivostok” of a large volume of construction materials from “Vostokcement” controlled by his relatives. Construction materials were allegedly purchased only from these companies and at inflated prices.

Pushkarev allegedly received upwards of 75 million rubles ($1.3 million at the current exchange rate) in money, goods and services from his brother Andrey.

In total, Vostokcement received over 1.2 billion rubles (about $21.4 million) for the delivered construction materials while Pushkarev’s relatives received dividends in the amount of more than 500 million rubles ($8.5 million), according to the Investigative Committee.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

Pushkarev has been removed from his post by court order. Later, he filed in resignation.