Russian Social Media Stars Face Jail In $4 Million Tax Probe

According to Russia’s Investigative Committee Russian social media star Valeria Chekalina and her husband Artyom are facing jail in a $4 million tax probe.

Russian authorities have brought charges against Instagram fitness blogger Valeria Chekalina over an alleged attempt to evade taxes to the tune of several million dollars. Her husband Artyom has been accused of acting as her accomplice.

Should the pair be found guilty, they could face up to three years in jail in addition to a hefty fine.

On Tuesday, the Moscow prosecutor’s office stated that Chekalina, also known as ler_chek, had evaded, with the complicity of her husband, paying VAT and personal income taxes between 2020 and 2021 totaling more than 311 million rubles ($4.1 million).

Earlier in the day, Russia’s Investigative Committee said that it had launched a relevant criminal investigation into the matter.

According to the Committee, between 2020 and 2022 Chekalina took advantage of a simplified taxation scheme that could be employed only by taxpayers who earn 150 million rubles ($2 million) per year or less.

Around 78 percent of 13 to 17-year-olds check their phones at least once an hour every day, and 35% monitor the top five networks “almost constantly”. This is how social media is changing children’s brains.

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