Sprūds charged with misappropriation of €3.8 million and extortion

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In the criminal case recently sent to court former insolvency administrator Māris Sprūds is charged with misappropriation of €3.8 million, according to the information at the disposal of LETA.

The prosecutor’s office recently sent to court a criminal case against Sprūds and ten other people. Sprūds has been charged with misappropriation, abuse of authority, money laundering and extortion in an organized group.

The prosecutor’s office did not comment on the charges, but LETA learned that Sprūds has been accused of misappropriation of about €2.6 million during insolvency processes of Dzimta Seta and Peltes Ipasumi companies and extortion of €1.2 million during liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka.

Insolvency administration is a lucrative and even fatally dangerous profession in Latvia. Foreign investors have long pointed out systematic abuse within the sector

As reported, another insolvency administrator Ilmārs Krūms has been charged with negligence.

Financier Jorens Raitums who has been involved also in other criminal cases, has been charged with extortion in an organized group and money laundering. Mārtiņš Krūms, a figure in the construction business, has been charged with extortion in an organized group, while businessman Guntars Slišāns is to face charges of extortion in an organized group and money laundering.

Irish citizen Timothey Kelley will face charges of money laundering. Former Justice Ministry’s parliamentary secretary and insolvency administrator Aigars Lūsis, former judge Diāna Māsiņa, Sprūds’ employee Oskars Ercens, businessman Vjačeslavs Holmins and Sprūds’ wife, former insolvency administrator Ilze Gulbe will also face criminal charges.

The prosecutor on behalf of the state is Uldis Cinkmanis, and the case will be tried by judge Imants Dzenis.

As reported, law enforcement authorities launched criminal procedures on violations in insolvency processes of Dzimta Seta and Peltes Ipasumi companies and alleged illegal operations during liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka.

In June 2017, the State Police carried out 16 searches, seizing a number of important documents and arresting several properties, luxury automobiles, and hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.

The police said that the insolvency administrators overseeing liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka in 2016 had teamed up with another four persons to run an extortion scheme against the bank's creditors waiting to get back their money. According to LTV, the creditors were told that, if they ever wanted to get back their money deposited at the bank, they would have to give some of it to the gang, or else their deposits would be declared as criminal proceeds and forfeited.

The criminal proceeding over the crimes related to the liquidation of Trasta Komercbanka has been merged with another criminal proceeding over violations during the insolvency proceedings of Dzimta Seta and Peltes Ipasumi companies with Sprūds charged with misappropriation and Lūsis being one of the co-defendants.

The Economic Police already detained Sprūds in June 2017 in a different criminal proceeding about extortion and money laundering. He was released from custody in February this year after his brother posted for him a €0.5 million bail which is the largest bail in the history of the Latvian judiciary. The bail was paid by his brother Kristaps Sprūds.

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