ST. PETERSBURG, October 18 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – Prosecutors seek to impose a stricter punishment on Maxim Korneyev, who has received suspended sentence for the embezzlement of funds allocated as part of the Federal Target Program “Culture of Russia” for a new building design of the Maly Drama Theatre, RAPSI has learnt from the St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office.

A case against Maxim Korneyev, co-owner of several construction companies, and Vyacheslav Karasev, a former deputy director of economics and finances of a regional structure of the Culture Ministry, was considered by the Smolninsky District Court in St. Petersburg. Korneyev has been given a suspended term and Karasev has received a fine.

Prosecutors have challenged the ruling. According to the prosecutor’s office, the court has failed to properly assess the gravity of crimes committed by the defendant. Korneyev has caused damage worth 242 million rubles ($3.4 million) to the state while the convict has compensated only 2.5 million rubles, prosecutors claim.

According to case papers, in 2015, the Culture Ministry transferred the funds for the theatre building to a contractor. Korneyev purchased the shares of the company and took control over it. Then, the budget funds in the amount of 45.5 million rubles were transferred to the account of one of the defendant’s construction companies.

The court also found that Korneyev’s Stroyuz SV company received 196 million rubles for supplies of the equipment to the Moscow Art Theatre’s building in St. Petersburg. However, the contract was not executed.