One more legal explosive device left by M. Marcinkevičius and intended for persons and companies related to the VP Group has been neutralised

2017 - 06 - 08

An almost two-year-long offensive by Mindaugas Marcinkevičius against persons and companies related to the VP Group still results in nothing – on 23 May, Vilnius County Court dismissed M. Marcinkevičius’ civil claim regarding alleged damage in excess of EUR 40 million caused to UAB Leksita.

Proceedings were brought against the director and members of the Board of Leksita, Violeta Tvarijonienė, Meri Navickė and Andrius Keršys, regarding the damage allegedly caused by their unlawful actions as Leksita and its subsidiary Megafin S.a r.l. granted a loan in the amount of EUR 80 million to the company Carson S.a r.l. The court has stated that the damage was not identified and unlawful actions by members of the Board were not proven either.
“In 2015, M. Marcinkevičius initiated a large-scale discrediting campaign against persons and companies related to the VP Group, because M. Marcinkevičius did not receive unreasonably high amounts of funds for the shares of companies related to the VP Group he possesses. In order to discredit, as much as possible, companies and persons related to the VP Group, M. Marcinkevičius used, as a means of pressure, a wide variety of legal, taxation and public relations measures as well as involved not only his partners and employees of companies, but also state officials of many countries into the processes requiring a lot of time also both financial and human resources. Today, it can be stated that all the episodes of this attack turn out to be futile – in two years, neither courts nor the prosecutor’s office and the tax authorities have identified anything to confirm M. Marcinkevičius’ defamatory accusations. This has also been proved by the last claim dismissed by the Vilnius County Court,” says D. Dominienė, the partnerships manager at N. Numavičius’ family office UAB Talka LT.

According to D. Dominienė, even though M. Marcinkevičius’ offensive has been countered and neutralised, his evil-minded and harmful activities have strongly damaged the image of companies and persons working therein.
“Major damage has been made to the companies’ business as well as the reputation of companies and related persons, therefore, M. Marcinkevičius will still be liable for the damage incurred – two court cases have been initiated against M. Marcinkevičius regarding defamation with tax evasion by the remaining shareholders of the Group, and these cases are currently under examination. Using sophisticated legal arguments and knowing that state authorities must respond to the accusations made, M. Marcinkevičius seeks to involve as many countries as possible, and state officials working therein – judges, prosecutors, tax inspectors and other investigators, because he is interested not in the final result – what these institutions are going to state, but in the process itself, which may be made public, and in the formulation of new accusations. What is most painful, all these fantasies of M. Marcinkevičius must be checked, free-of-charge, by state institutions financed from the money of taxpayers of Lithuania and other countries,” says D. Dominienė.

According to D. Dominienė, the enormous and aggressive defamation campaign developed by M. Marcinkevičius has not helped him to achieve his purposes, namely, having his shares purchased for the price which is several times higher than that agreed with other shareholders.

“Regardless of the strategy and pressure which have not justified themselves, we do not expect that lost court cases and terminated or futile investigations will no longer be used by M. Marcinkevičius in his fight for a higher price of shares. In the near future, we expect a new stage of the war to begin, with a wave of newly fabricated defamation and pressure as well as attempts to involve into this war not only many institutions, but also politicians. What remains is to regret that the losses of this war are to be covered not only by us, but also by tax payers,” says D. Dominienė.

Proceedings brought by M. Marcinkevičius which have been neutralised:

LEKSITA, UAB
A civil claim / Regarding the damage caused to the company and the shareholder by decisions of the members of the Board
Proceedings were brought at the Vilnius County Court by filing a claim in excess of EUR 40 million against director and members of the Board of LEKSITA, UAB, Violeta Tvarijonienė, Meri Navickė and Andrius Keršys, regarding the alleged damage caused to LEKSITA by their unlawful actions as its subsidiary Megafin S.a r.l. granted a loan in the amount of EUR 80 million to Carson S.a r.l.
The case was examined in the court of first instance and, on 23 May 2017, a judgement was taken to dismiss the claim, because the damage was not identified and unlawful actions by members of the Board were not proven.

KLARUS GROUP HOLDINGS OÜ 
A civil claim / Regarding the damage caused to the company and the shareholder by decisions of the members of the Board
Proceedings were brought at the Harju County Court of Estonia by lodging a claim in the amount of EUR 9.6 million against Nerijus Numavičius and members of the Board of Klarus Group Holdings OÜ , Ingrida Mikėnaitė and Margus Lentsius, regarding the alleged damage caused to the minority shareholder (to Mindaugas Marcinkevičius’ holding) by their unlawful actions as Klarus Group Holdings OÜ’s subsidiary Klarus Funds OÜ sold the shares of FRANMAX, UAB for the price which was allegedly too low and not in conformity with the market conditions.
The case was examined in the court of first instance and, on 28 April 2017, a judgement was taken to dismiss the claim, because the damage was not identified and unlawful actions by Nerijus Numavičius and members of the Board were not proven.

RELVIT LTD AND UAB VILNIAUS PREKYBA
Civil claims / Regarding transactions of the sale of shopping malls Akropolis
On 29-30 April 2015, Mindaugas Marcinkevičius addressed the courts of Malta and Lithuania asking them to stop the transaction of the sale of shopping malls Akropolis. In addition, he accused the former manager of the shopping centres Akropolis, a Maltese company Relvit Ltd., with not providing enough information to him about the planned transaction. The courts suspended the transaction, however, on 18 May 2016, the transaction was concluded, while on 20 June 2016 M. Marcinkevičius conclusively withdrew his claims against the company Relvit Ltd.

Other M. Marcinkevičius’ accusations against companies and shareholders related to Vilniaus Prekyba which have been neutralised:

A tax investigation in Estonia / Regarding the market conditions of the sale of shares of FRANMAX, UAB
M. Marcinkevičius spread defamation in the Estonian press saying that Franmax OÜ, registered and operating in Estonia, sold the shares of Franmax, UAB not at the market price and thus concealed from the state budget of Estonia dozens of millions of euros in taxes. The Tax and Customs Board of Estonia conducted an investigation of the said transactions and, on 9 March 2017, circulated a statement stating that the transactions of the sale of shares were in conformity with the market prices, no violations were established and the investigation was terminated.

Tax investigations in Lithuania / Regarding reorganisations conducted by Leksita, UAB and Maxima Grupė, UAB as well as the introduction of franchise in Franmax, UABIn the middle of 2015, M. Marcinkevičius accused companies and shareholders related to Vilniaus Prekyba of having unlawfully evaded more than EUR 208.5 million in taxes. According to M. Marcinkevičius, following the implementation of reorganisation of Leksita, Maxima Grupė and other companies of the Group as well as the introduction of franchise in the companies of Maxima, the following amounts of taxes were unlawfully not paid into the budget: EUR 67.2 million of personal income tax, EUR 84 million of VAT and EUR 60 million of corporate income tax.

As from 2015, the State Tax Inspectorate investigated the activities of the companies of the Group and M. Marcinkevičius’ accusations several times, however, to date, it has not established any possible cases of tax evasion, as accused by M. Marcinkevičius, i.e. the State Tax Inspectorate has not confirmed any of the accusations of M. Marcinkevičius and unpaid taxes arising from those stories. The STI conducts investigations and inspections of certain companies even now, and there is no doubt that it will do so in the future, because companies of the Group are among the largest tax payers in Lithuania. It is noteworthy that investigations and inspections currently performed by the STI in companies of the Group cover the time period starting at the beginning of 2012, while M. Marcinkevičius’ accusations are related only to the time period of 2008-2011.

Other processes initiated by M. Marcinkevičius

As from the beginning of 2015, M. Marcinkevičius has filed more than 20 complaints with various institutions of Lithuania – the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Financial Crime Investigation Service, the Ministry of Finance and the State Tax Inspectorate. The Prosecutor General’s Office and the Financial Crime Investigation Service started a pre-trial investigation, however, they terminated the investigation half a year later, on 19 August 2016. M. Marcinkevičius appealed against the termination of the investigation with the Prosecutor General’s Office, then he appealed against the resolution of the latter with the Vilnius City District Court, and subsequently he appealed against the judgement of the said court with the Vilnius County Court. On 17 February 2017, the Vilnius County Court dismissed the appeal of M. Marcinkevičius without the further right to appeal stating that reorganisation of companies was conducted appropriately and in compliance with the laws and that there were no objective data to confirm possible influence of the Head of the STI D. Bradauskas on the correctness of particular inspections conducted by the STI and the content of the provided conclusions.

On 21 December 2016, the Prosecutor General’s Office refused to renew the pre-trial investigation according to a new complaint of Mindaugas Marcinkevičius.

M. Marcinkevičius filed complaints not only with Lithuanian, but also with Estonian state institutions. At the beginning of 2016, M. Marcinkevičius also addressed the Prosecutor General’s Office of Estonia with accusations regarding alleged large-scope squandering of the property of Maxima Eesti. On 22 September 2016, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Estonia terminated the investigation and stated that during the restructuring of real estate in Estonia in 2011-2012 the then-General Manager of the company Maxima Eesti had acted within his competence, while the company managed by him had not incurred any damage.

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