How to Steal a Million

New blog post, in RUSSIA!:

Today, a Moscow court issued an arrest warrant for Igor Popov, the deputy to the artistic director of the venerable, historical, mythical Moscow Art Theater, founded by Constantin Stanislavski in 1898 and home, once upon a time, to Anton Chekhov and Mikhail Bulgakov.

Popov was apparently on the verge of embezzling 36 million rubles (a hair over $1 million USD now that the ruble’s been on fire sale) earmarked for the renovation of the historic building in the center of Moscow. He had been in charge of overseeing the contracts and the funds, which he demanded be transferred to a shell account whence he could remove them for pocketing purposes.

Reactions at the Theater have been varied. Artistic Director Oleg Tabakov, a People’s Artist and the voice of the famous cartoon cat Matroskin, is apparently cooperating vigorously with the authorities.

A spokesman for the theater told the press, however, that all this arrest stuff seems to be a bit much. The money hasn’t been stolen, the renovations continue apace — what’s a little attempted embezzlement between friends? “It doesn’t strike me as beneficial to the theater’s health,” he said.

Illegal, schmilegal.

How To Steal A Million [RUSSIA!]

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