Official charged for false asset declaration

The Prosecution Office for Investigation of Financial and Economic Crimes has charged Inga Kolegova, the head of the State Environmental Service, with providing false information in her asset declaration, reported LETA February 26. 

The charges are based on a provision of the Latvian Criminal Law that stipulates criminal liability for providing false information on income, assets or transactions in a declaration.

The offense carries a jail term of up to three months, community service or a fine.

The prosecutor would not give any more details for now, Una Reke, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, told LETA.

Kolegova has not been available for comments for quite a long time already. Maruta Buklevica, a spokeswoman for the State Environmental Service, indicated that Kolegova is on sick leave since February 5.

Aiga Eiduka, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General’s Office, said that no restrictions have been imposed on Kolegova at this point.

As reported, in September 2016, the Financial Police of the State Revenue Service started an inquiry over possible irregularities in Kolegova's asset declaration and possible criminal offenses.

Upon analyzing materials of an administrative probe against State Environmental Service head Inga Kolegova, the State Revenue Service has concluded that she has failed to provide full and accurate information about large transactions in her declaration of assets and income.

In line with the Latvian Administrative Offenses Code, the materials of the case were forwarded to the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) for investigation.

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

Kolegova took the decision not to run for the Revenue Service's director-general on August 12, the day the Revenue Service decided to forward her case to KNAB.

As reported, the government on August 9, 2016 postponed a vote on Kolegova's appointment as the Revenue Service's head after Unity raised questions about her business deals, namely, the dividends she received from Pallogs company.

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

Kolegova told the media that she was only a formal co-owner in Pallogs and that her brother was the company's beneficial owner. Kolegova 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, which creates suspicions that the money might have been spent on undeclared wages.

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

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