Latvia imposes EUR 142,000 fine on bank implicated for tax fraud by deceased Russian lawyer Magnitsky
Latvia imposed a fine of more than EUR 100,000 on an unnamed bank implicated in a tax return fraud by deceased Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the international media wrote, June 20.
“Latvia’s Financial and Capital Market Commission […] imposed a fine of 100,000 lats (EUR 142,543) – the maximum fine under Latvian law – on a bank involved in laundering over EUR 170 mln stolen from the Russian government,” internet business website euobserver.com wrote.
Magnitsky was hired by Moscow-based British investment fund, Hermitage Capital, to investigate the alleged theft of USD 230 mln from the fund after it was raided by the police in 2007. The authorities confiscated company seals and documents.
Magnitsky implicated several officials from the Russian Interior Ministry and was promptly arrested, allegedly by the very institution that he had discredited. He died in prison in November 2009, after being badly treated and reportedly not given medicine required to get better.
Hermitage boss Bill B. subsequently launched an international investigation to catch those responsible for his colleague’s death. Hermitage also submitted a complaint to the Latvian financial commission in mid-2012, listing several Latvian banks, which it claims allegedly handled funds “from the illegal tax refund exposed by Magnitsky,” the euobserver wrote.
Meanwhile, the Russian authorities launched a post-humus trail of Magnitsky accusing him of the very fraud that he had uncovered. In April 2013, a Moscow court also demanded Bill B.’s arrest in absentia.
The Russian authorities are looking into suspicions that it was Bill B. and Magnitsky who in fact masterminded the tax fraud reimbursement of USD 230 mln.