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Russian military officers charged in food scam

Posted on Nov 20, 08:58PM | IANS

A criminal case has been opened against two Russian military officers who allegedly overstated the value of their soldiers' food rations by more than USD 200,000 in order to embezzle funds, authorities said Tuesday.

According to investigators, Col. Sergei Ustinov and Major Ovik Babayan, both part of a military detachment in Khabarovsk region, approved last January the services of food company MTC, contracted by the state to provide food for military personnel.

Investigators alleged the unit's daily nutritional needs were overstated by about USD 1,000. When added up, investigators said, it cost the state about USD 200,000.

The two officers face a possible 10-year prison sentence if convicted of abuse of authority.