MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) – Russian investigators have arrested former chief producer of the Seventh Studio stage company Alexey Malobrodsky on suspicion of embezzling public funds allocated for promotion of art, RAPSI learnt from the Investigative Committee on Tuesday.

On June 8, ex-chief accountant of the company Nina Maslyayeva pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigation.

On May 23, police raided the Gogol Center, a popular contemporary theater in Moscow, as part of investigation into the case. Searches have also been conducted in premises of the theater’s artistic director, Kirill Serebrennikov.  Later, he was questioned as a witness in the case.

According to investigators, unidentified persons from management of the Seventh Studio, a stage company created by Serebrennikov on the basis of his acting and directing course in the Moscow Art Theatre School, embezzled 200 million rubles (about $3.5 million) allocated by the government for development and popularization of art in Russia from 2011 to 2014.

Investigators claim that damage caused by Maslyayeva is estimated at about 1.3 million rubles (about $23,000).