Arrest of puppet theater director accused of embezzlement extended
MOSCOW, November 1 - RAPSI, Diana Gutsul. A Moscow court extended by six months the arrest of Obraztsov Puppet Theater Director Andrei Luchin, who has been accused of embezzling $390,650 in budget funds, Luchin's attorney Yevgeny Khlopkov told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) on Tuesday.
The court upheld the investigators' appeal.
Luchin's wife Natalya Peshenkova, his alleged accomplice, told RAPSI that neither she nor her husband pleaded guilty of embezzling the funds, but they do admit to opening fly-by-night companies.
Andrei Muratov, Peshenkova's attorney, added that although they violated the law by opening the firms, it has nothing to with the charges against them.
The investigators maintain that Luchin used forged documents to ensure that shell companies would win bids for producing and repairing furniture, decorations, costumes, puppets, and other accessories for the theater's productions.
According to the preliminary data, the suspect entered into more than nine state contracts amounting to over $618,526.
The theater is considered the largest in the world. It is located in central Moscow. Despite the arrest, Luchin remains its director.