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Moscow Official Charged With Stealing $5 Million

Investigators in Moscow have charged a former Supreme Court official and three others with fraud for allegedly stealing more than 300 million rubles ($5.25 million) earmarked for courtroom interpreters.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin says Vyacheslav Lipezin, the former head of the court's judicial department, systematically drained funds from the 2014 city budget by forging invoices with the help of a translation agency, Rabikon.

Two Lepezin deputies and the director of Rabikon have also been charged.

A criminal case was opened after Olga Yegorovaya, the chief judge of the Moscow City Court, filed a report to the Supreme Court complaining about the sharp rise in spending for translation services.

Interpreters are required in all cases where the defendant does not understand Russian.

Lipezin was arrested March 29 and has been ordered to serve at least two months in pretrial detention pending trial.

He denies the charges.

Based on reporting by Interfax, and