Former high-ranking PPA official and his son charged with fraud

Tartu County Court house.
Tartu County Court house. Source: Postimees/Scanpi

A father and son are charged with fraud and embezzlement in a case made more serious by the fact that the father, Kaupo Martihhin, is a former high-ranking Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) officer, whose activities allegedly happened while he was still in office. The sums involved total around €300,000.

State Prosecutor Taavi Pern said that: "It is unfortunate that an official, who should set an example for colleagues and everyone else, has been accused of committing a number of crimes, including work-related acts," referring to Kaupo Martihhin, who stands accused alongside his son, Kevin Martihhin.

"The allegations the commission of the fraud described in the indictment would lead to a situation in which a company that is genuinely worthy of compensation due to the payment of unjustified aid would be left without aid," he continued.

The pair are charged with misappropriating over €300,000 in various ways, from Kaupo Martihhin's joint-stock company, which manufactures traffic control equipment.

The embezzled funds were used to cover personal expenses, including holidays, while the two men also allegedly misappropriated rental income associated with the company's property, and receivables from its customers, as well. 

The prosecutor's office says the suspects caused hundreds of thousands of euros in damage to both the company and its co-owners, in the course of their activities, over the period 2014-2019.

The pair are also charged with producing false documentation and providing false information to authorities, and of gaining illegal access to state secrets. The false documents were allegedly used to facilitate and conceal the misappropriation of property, as well as to gain other benefits, while the father and son also jointly committed a scam aimed at the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa), Kaupo Martihhin also separately against the employer's police and border guard board, as well as the health insurance fund.

Tartu County Court is holding a preliminary hearing in the criminal case on Wednesday where the applications are being handled and subsequent court hearing times set.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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