(AP) A former Ukrainian governor was arrested in Florida at Ukraine's request on fraud and extortion charges, prosecutors and police said Thursday.

Ukraine's Prosecutor-General's Office accused Volodymyr Shcherban of abusing his position as the former head of the northern Sumy region to cause losses of tens of millions of dollars to Ukraine. The charges against him also include abuse of power.

Shcherban ran the regional government until January, when President Victor Yushchenko assumed office and replaced many high-ranking regional officials. A few now face criminal charges linked to their time in office.

Shcherban was detained Wednesday in Tampa, said Inna Kisel, spokeswoman for Ukraine's Interior Ministry. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev said it was checking on the report.

Ukraine's Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun had begun the process of asking for Shcherban's extradition, his office said.

Ukrainian media reported that Shcherban allegedly conducted 50 financial transactions involving $47.8 million in the weeks before he left Ukraine.


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