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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutors Assail State Fund Over Lavish Salaries

The Prosecutor General's Office on Tuesday berated the state corporation created to reform utilities services, saying the salaries of its managers were higher than the country's top officials.

The prosecutor's office said 97 employees of the State Housing and Utilities Reform Fund were paid more than 235 million rubles ($6.7 million) in 2008 and that the fund planned to raise wages by 100 million rubles ($3 million) this year.

The fund's general director, Konstantin Tsitsin, collected 16.5 million rubles ($485,000) last year, "which is several times more than the annual incomes of the top officials whose declarations were made public on the official web sites of the government and of the president of the Russian Federation," the prosecutor's office said in a statement posted on its web site.

One of Tsitsin's deputies who held the post for less than a month was paid 1.1 million rubles ($32,000), it said.

Earlier this month, President Dmitry Medvedev declared his 2008 earnings at 4.13 million rubles ($123,900), and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he earned 4.6 million rubles ($138,350).

The utilities fund was created in 2007 by then-President Putin and given control of more than 250 billion rubles (worth $10 billion at the time) to repair aging housing and resettle dwellers from housing slated for demolition.

The prosecutor's office said the fund's expenditures violated a law requiring government money to be spent effectively but said it had not opened a criminal investigation.

It called for the Regional Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry to tighten control over the fund's spending.

State corporations that manage billions of dollars in government money allocated for purposes deemed strategic by the government enjoy a great degree of freedom.