Ex-insolvency administrator sentenced to prison in Latvia

Riga City Vidzeme Suburb Court has sentenced former insolvency administrator Danute Kuļkova to three years and five months in prison for embezzlement of EUR 300 000, as confirmed by the Courts Administration of Latvia.
According to the prosecution, on 19 May 2014 the ex-insolvency administrator organised a real estate auction. At this auction real estate was sold for EUR 58 320. The insolvency administrator was supposed to transfer the money acquired from the auction to a bank to cover a claim. However, instead the accused embezzled the money after covering auction fees.
The State Police asked the prosecutor to commence Kuļkova’s criminal prosecution for embezzlement of EUR 300 000. State Police, not mentioning the suspect’s name, reported in a statement to the press that the investigation was done by the Economic Crimes Enforcement Office. According to information from investigators, during administration of some company’s insolvency procedure, this person had illegally taken money indented for the creditor from the company’s account and had it transferred to their personal account.
The investigation revealed that the administered company’s finances, which served as auction security deposit paid by the secured creditor, was taken from the company’s account more than 100 times.
This resulted in the embezzlement of more than EUR 300 000. After receiving a request from the creditor to return the money, the administrator provided numerous excuses why returning the money was not possible at any time. None of those excuses had no legal basis.
TV3 programme Nekā personīga previously reported of two cases in which Kuļkova may have been involved. At the end of 2010 Vidzeme Suburb Court appointed her as an insolvency administrator in some private person’s insolvency case. The person in question reached bankruptcy because they could not pay for an apartment purchased in the «fat years».
The case was fairly simple – sell the apartment in Zolitude and return the money to the bank. But the administrator slowed the process. The apartment was sold for EUR 58 000 only in 2014. But the bank never received the money and it disappeared. The involvement of the Insolvency Administration did not help either, because Kuļkova did not follow its orders, the programme reported.
Administrator Kuļkova transferred the money received from selling the debtor’s property to her credit card account with the note administrative costs. She then went to an ATM in a supermarket and drew thousands of euros.
Five months after the Insolvency Administration became aware of her violations, Kuļkova was approved as the administrator to TM Metal Baltic. The company’s turnover in 2013 was nearly EUR 9 million.
TM Metal Baltic insolvency administrator Sintija Karstā explained to Nekā personīga that during the insolvency procedure with TM Metal Baltic the previous administrator Kuļkova did not respond to requests for information regarding the company’s organisational, personnel, accountancy and property-related documents. At the same time, Karstā also found that Kuļkova has sold a car owned by TM Metal Baltic and may have embezzled the funds acquired from this transaction and may have also arbitrarily taken the company’s owned computer equipment.