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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Officials Convicted in Bribery Sting

Itar-TassFormer federal tax official Oleg Alexeyev, right, entering Moscow City Court before the start of Monday's hearing.
Senior officials from the Federal Tax Service and the Central Bank were convicted Monday of demanding a $5.3 million bribe from a Moscow bank in exchange for dropping a back taxes claim.

The Moscow City Court on Monday convicted Oleg Alexeyev, a former deputy head of the Federal Tax Service's credit organizations department, and Alexei Mishin, a lawyer in the Central Bank's Moscow branch, court spokeswoman Marina Malygina said.

The court sentenced Alexeyev to 10 years in prison and Mishin to eight years, Malygina said.

Lawyers for both men said they would appeal the convictions, Interfax reported.

Alexeyev was found guilty of accepting $1 million from a representative of the commercial bank Rossiisky Kapital as a down payment on a $5.3 million bribe. In exchange, Alexeyev was to drop a $53 million back taxes claim, authorities said.

The bank tipped off the tax service's internal security department and the Federal Security Service about the bribe demand, and Alexeyev was nabbed in a sting operation at the Baltschug Kempinski hotel in October 2005.

He was arrested after he received a suitcase containing $1 million in cash from a bank representative and began to count the money, prosecutors said.

The FSB had covered the $100 bills in the suitcase with an invisible substance. In FSB footage shown on Channel One television after the arrest, an FSB officer trained a device that radiated a green light on the bills and then on Alexeyev's fingers to show that the suspect had handled the bills.

Mishin was detained several hours later in his home. A search of his office, located across the street from the hotel, turned up more than $1 million in three suitcases, the FSB said.

Prosecutors said Mishin set up Alexeyev's meetings for bribes and provided legal advice about evading taxes.