Kruuda not arrested, creditors demand end to Tere restructuring to file bankruptcy petition

Oliver Kruuda (Siim Lõvi /ERR)
8/18/2016 8:24 AM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

Estonia’s North prosecutor’s office is not asking the court to take Tere AS owner Kruuda and other suspects previously detained in an alleged tax fraud case into custody. Meanwhile, the creditors want the company’s restructuring process to stop so they can file a bankruptcy petition.

All suspects in the Tere AS tax fraud investigation have been released.

According to other sources, the other suspects besides Kruuda are the chairman of the supervisory board of Tere AS, Allan Viirma, its head of services Rein Lepasson, the company’s chief accountant, and an employee of the company’s financial department. In addition, sources suggest that Hjalmar Konno, who is connected to Kruuda, is also being investigated.

Oliver Kruuda and six other people were detained on Tuesday on the suspicion of tax fraud. The investigation includes a legal person as well, namely dairy producer Tere AS.

According to case files, income tax in the amount of €250,000 as well as €125,000 of value-added tax had been withheld from the Tax and Customs Board.

According to the media, the offices of Tere AS as well as the workplaces and homes of all six suspects were searched on Tuesday.

Lawyer for creditors: Suspicion lodged against Tere managers not surprising

A lawyer for Nordea and DNB Bank, the biggest creditors of Tere AS, said on Wednesday that the suspicions came as no great surprise. Lawyer Jaanus Mody said that to his knowledge none of the creditors had been in contact with the tax authority on the subject of the company under investigation.

“Mr. Kruuda has constantly had tax problems,” Mody said. He added that it hadn’t been him who tipped off the Tax Board, and that he didn’t know who did it.

About the current state of Kruuda’s Tere AS, Mody said that the creditors would like to see the still ongoing reorganization process in the company to stop, as this had been the reason why they haven’t been able to file a bankruptcy petition.

Mody added that since Kruuda had not provided the court and the other parties in the case with transparent information about the assets and debt of Tere, there was no way the restructuring could be carried out.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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