Former official fined for false asset declaration

The RĪga City Latgale District Court on May 24 found Inga Koļegova, former head of the State Environmental Service guilty of providing false information in her public official’s asset declaration and fined her with €3,010.

After the court hearing, Koļegova's defense lawyer Aigars Purmalis and prosecutor Kristaps Bresis told LETA that they would request the full verdict. Bresis said he was not satisfied with the penalty given to Koļegova, but added that he needed to read the full verdict first.

In accordance with the Criminal Law, after hearing the shortened verdict, the parties involved can request the full text of the verdict which then can be appealed.

Koļegova declined any comments following the court hearing and left the courthouse. In her statement to the court the former head of the State Environmental Service said she did not understand the point of the matter and asked the judge not to fine her as she did not have the money to pay the fine.

“A fine would be a punishment not for me but for my family, who would have to suffer for this,” Koļegova told the court.

As reported, Koļegova was tried for providing false information in her asset declaration. Koļegova had failed to include in her public official’s asset declaration deals worth more than €300,000, according to the charges laid against her by the prosecutor’s office.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the public official failed to include in her 2013, 2014 and 2015 declarations the real estate at her disposal, as well as transactions whose value exceeded 20 minimum monthly wages, as well as other facts concerning her finances.

The official also did not declare deals worth more than €300,000 which had been made in 2013. In the declarations for 2014 and 2015, the official provided false information about large deals whose total value exceeded €600,000, the prosecutor’s office said.

Under the Criminal Law, the above offenses carry a short (up to three months) jail sentence, community work or a fine.

In the summer of 2016, Kolegova unsuccessfully ran for the office of the Revenue Service's director-general. After more than a week of close public scrutiny, Kolegova withdrew her candidacy shortly before the government had to vote on her appointment.

According to information available in Lursoft business database, Kolegova used to own a 50 percent stake in Pallogs pallet manufacturer and received €320,000 in dividends from the company in 2015. Kolegova explained that she gave the dividends to her brother. She also extended €220,914 in loans in 2015.

Koļegova told the press that she was only a formal co-owner in Pallogs and that her brother was the company's beneficial owner. Koļegova said she also gave a sizable amount of money to the brother's family. The company's annual report, however, makes no mention of such loans, causing suspicions that the money might have been spent on undeclared wages.

In 2015, Pallog generated €985,135 profit on a turnover of €11.7 million.

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