Russian Official Accused of Accepting $28 Million Bitcoin Bribe

Russian Official Suspended Amidst Allegations of Accepting a $28 Million Bitcoin Bribe

A prominent Russian official, Marat Tambiev, has been thrust into the center of a high-profile corruption scandal.

Tambiev, who had been serving as the head of the Tverskoy district of Moscow’s investigative department, stands accused of accepting a staggering bribe of 1,032 bitcoins.

The alleged bribe, amounting to $28 million, was purportedly offered to him by the hacking group Infraud Organization Mark.

Tambiev allegedly received the substantial bitcoin bribe in April 2022 from two members of the Infraud Organization Mark, Kirill Samokutyaevsky and Konstantin Bergmanov, who were under investigation in Russia at the time.

According to a lawsuit filed with the Nikulinsky District Court of Moscow, the bribe was given on the condition that the group’s illegally obtained assets would be protected, thereby enabling Samokutyaevsky and Bergmanov to evade jail time.

The alleged bribe came to light in early 2023 when Russian authorities searched Tambiev’s apartment in Moscow. During the search, they discovered an Apple MacBook Pro, which they managed to access several months later.

Within the laptop, they found a folder named “Pension,” containing keys that granted access to two online wallets holding a total of 932.1 and 100 bitcoins.

Upon the discovery of the bitcoins, authorities seized the digital assets and transferred them to an address located on a Ledger Nano X hardware wallet for evidentiary purposes. The seized bitcoins were valued at approximately 1.6 billion rubles, surpassing the previous record for a bribery case in Russia.

Russian authorities justified the seizure of Tambiev’s bitcoin assets by highlighting that his reported income as a Russian investigator over the years was significantly lower than the value of the bitcoins he possessed.

Tambiev, however, denies any involvement in the alleged corruption and has sued the ICR, seeking reinstatement and compensation for his time out of work. Despite his appeal, a departmental audit supported the evidence of Tambiev’s alleged corruption, resulting in the dismissal of his case.


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