Former Latvijas Krājbanka board members get prison sentence

Take note – story published 2 years and 10 months ago

On Thursday, 19 August, Riga City Vidzeme District Court found former members of defunct bank Krājbanka board Vladimir Antonov and Ivars Priedītis guilty of all charges against them.

Antonov was sentenced to six years' imprisonment and seizure of property, while Priedītis was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and seizure of property, the Court of Justice reported.

The Court also decided to recover more than EUR 27 million from Antonov and Priedītis for the losses caused to the bank.

Former bank co-owner, Russian citizen Antonov and former bank president Priedītis were accused of embezzlement of EUR 27 million. Both were accused of abuse of power, and Priedītis was accused of falsifying and hiding statistical reports and statistical information provided for by JSC Latvijas Krājbanka laws.

The criminal proceedings were launched in 2011 and were handed over to the court in 2014. During the trial, 55 hearings were held.

The judgment can be appealed in Rīga Regional Court.

As previously reported by LSM, Latvijas Krājbanka was dragged down by the collapse of parent company Snoras bank in Lithuania, both banks being owned by Antonov who subsequently fled to the UK and then Russia as Lithuanian law enforcement pursued him.

As Latvia's oldest commercial bank, many depositors were shocked by the collapse of Krājbanka, despite frequent questions raised in the press concerning the business activities of Antonov and his associates.

On November 21, 2011, the Latvian financial watchdog, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) ordered Latvijas Krajbanka to suspend all financial services. The decision was made due to a shortage of assets discovered at the bank, and a criminal investigation was started.

The Riga Regional Court declared Latvijas Krajbanka insolvent on December 23, 2011. On May 8, 2012, the court ruled to satisfy the request by KPMG Baltics auditing firm, which had been appointed the insolvency administrator of Latvijas Krajbanka, to start the bankruptcy procedure against the bank. Latvijas Krajbanka's banking license was annulled on May 10, 2012.

A useful chronology of the Krajbanka affair can be read at the FKTK website.

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