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Wednesday 16.01.2019 | Name days: Lida, Lidija
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Tax avoiders sentenced to prison after SRS criticized court rulings

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAt the end of September, five people were sentenced to prison for tax avoidance. This ruling comes right after the State Revenue Service criticized the court justice system for previous rulings in criminal cases dealing with financial crimes.

It is mentioned in the prosecutor office’s statement to the press that on 21 September Riga City Latgale Suburb Court announced the verdict in a criminal case in which two company officials were accused of tax avoidance and three other people were accused of supporting tax avoidance.

According to charges presented by Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Other Sectors, one company’s tax avoidance caused damages to the state budget worth EUR 337,731, whereas similar crimes committed by another company caused damages to the state budget worth EUR 521,510.

First instance court found the accused guilty and sentenced them to prison for up to two years. All five suspects were arrested in the courtroom.

Considering the systematic illegalities committed by the accused for personal gain, an additional measure was applied. In accordance with this measure, they are not allowed to organize any form of commercial activities for a period of five years.

On 19 September, SRS Tax and Customs Police Department manager Kaspars Podiņš told journalists that previous rulings made by Latvian courts in different cases dealing with financial crimes do not contribute a thing to successful combating of money laundering activities.

He mentioned that over the course of 2004 to 2016 no court had given any real prison sentence to people accused of committing financial crimes even though it is considered a serious crime, one that potentially carries the penalty of deprivation of freedom for up to 12 years.

«Courts are to blame that financial crimes are not reducing in numbers in Latvia. Knowing that this crime carries only a minor penalty gives criminals the motivation to return to their criminal ways, now more experienced and smarter. Only two or three people out of 100 found guilty of committing financial crimes do not return to their criminal ways later on in life,» said Podiņš.


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