Former Justice Ministry official accused in embezzlement case

Aigars Lūsis, a former parliamentary secretary at Justice Ministry, is accused of abetting embezzlement, reported LTV's De Facto March 11.

Lūsis, a member and donor of the National Alliance party, is one of eleven defendants in a case that centers on Māris Sprūds, a former insolvency administrator who was recently released on €500,000 bail.

Sprūds was a defendant in the Trasta Komercbanka case, but shortly before he was released he was also accused of violations in two separate insolvency processes, and the accusations have now been merged with the Trasta case, reports De Facto.

According to the prosecutors, Sprūds used complex schemes and his position as an insolvency administrator to misappropriate about 40 hectares near lake Ķīšezers in Rīga. He now stands accused of abuse of power, organized money laundering and large-scale embezzlement. 

Five other people are accused of abetting Sprūds to commit misappropriation. 

Lawyer Aigars Lūsis is one of them. He is also a former insolvency administrator whose office was located next door to Sprūds' office. In 2011, he used a company in Cyprus to buy, for €3.2 million, the obligations of Peltes īpašumi, an insolvent company Sprūds was administrating at the time.

A year later Lūsis became the parliamentary secretary at the Justice Ministry, and was subject to a probe for an incomplete asset declaration, a charge which he denied and which has now been added to the case in question.

Lūsis is also a former Secretary General at the National Alliance party. Currently, he is only a regular member, albeit a frequent donor.

"We won't distance ourselves from him. As I've said, Aigars Lūsis.. has been an active member at National Alliance, and has proven himself as a very honest and competent person who's ideologically very close to the party. There still stands the presumption of innocence, and he has every right to defend his opinion about the professional activities that he has carried out, and which are not in any way related to the party's activities," said National Alliance co-chair Raivis Dzintars.

Other people who stand accused are former insolvency administrator and the mother of Sprūds' child, Ilze Gulbe. Still others include Vjačeslavs Holmins, a real estate entrepreneur; former judge Diāna Mašina; and Oskars Ercens, a former employee of Sprūds. 

According to De Facto, the case over liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka is still being investigated by the police but is unlikely to be expanded further, as it is currently more than 100 volumes large. The case could go to court in the spring. 

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