Autorollo defendants seek acquittal in appeals court
Väino Pentus and Siim Roode, defendants in the criminal case popularly known as the Autorollo case, sought an acquittal at Monday's hearing in Tallinn Circuit Court. The appeals court will announce their decision on Dec. 1.
The June 16 ruling of the first-tier Harju County Court was appealed by both the defense attorneys and the prosecutor; while the defense sought the acquittal of the defendants, the prosecutor requested a tougher punishment for Roode.
In June of this year, Harju County Court found Pentus and Roode guilty of all counts against them.
Pentus was found guilty of causing the insolvency of his raud haulage company Autorollo, violation of the obligation to maintain accounts, use of a counterfeited document and embezzlement; he was sentenced conditionally to two years in prison with three years of probation.
Roode, who became the de facto manager of the company in 2010, was found guilty of causing insolvency and counterfeiting a document; he was fined 300 daily rates of income, which came to a total of 7,644 euros considering his income as a lawyer.
The court did not review civil claims.
Pentus was the sole owner and board member of Autorollo beginning July 28, 2008. On April 26, 2010, Roode became the company's sole owner and de facto manager. According to the charge sheet, the company's financial situation was very poor by the time it changed hands and Roode, together with Pentus, arranged for the movement of assets out of the business in order to prevent their sell-off against creditors' claims and free Pentus of a personal guarantee of loans. The removal of assets primarily involved the removal of four trucks and 11 trailers from the asset list of Autorollo.
According to the charges, Autorollo thereby lost title to property worth at least 2.36 million Estonian kroons, or 151,000 euros, but was relieved of obligations worth just 880,000 kroons. The damage thus caused to the company by Pentus and Roode's actions amounted to 1.5 million kroons, or 94,000 euros.
According to the charges, Autorollo thereby lost title to property worth at least 2.36 million kroons (EUR 151,000) but was relieved of obligations worth just 0.88 million kroons. The damage thus caused to the company by Pentus and Roode amounted to 1.5 million kroons or 94,000 euros.