BaltCap, a Baltic private equity fund manager, is seeking more than 16 million euros from Sarunas Stepukonis, a former partner with BaltCap Infrastructure Fund (BInF), and Olympic Casino Group Baltija and its Estonian shareholder OB Holding 1, the business daily Verslo Zinios reported on Thursday.
The Vilnius Regional Court has confirmed to the newspaper that three companies managed by the fund – Zvirgzdaiciu Energija, Nullus and Moelta – are asking the court to recognize their ownership rights to allegedly misappropriated financial assets worth 16.6 million euros and seeking to recover electronic money held in the defendants’ accounts.
On December 10, the court froze Stepukonis’ assets, including those held in the gambling companies, as an interim measure.
Simonas Gustainis, one of BaltCap’s four managing partners, told Verslo Zinios that the former partner had the trust of BaltCap and extensive authority, which could have allowed him to create a sophisticated system for bypassing safeguards and checks to organize the withdrawal of funds from companies under his management.
The amount of claims may change as BaltCap is still conducting a financial audit of the companies managed by the fund.
Lithuanian prosecutors last November opened a pre-trial investigation into the possible misappropriation of assets by Stepukonis, based on information from BaltCap, which announced in the same month that it had fired the BInF partner for financial mismanagement and turned to law enforcement.
The company then said in a statement that “the misconduct was revealed during a regular review by the Fund’s financial directors, and it has resulted in a financial loss”.
Gustainis, who took over the management of BInF, then said that the losses were limited to one individual, one fund and some of its portfolio companies, and did not affect other funds managed by BaltCap.
He said that the losses would be compensated and that external consultants had been brought in to carry out a thorough audit.
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