Yesterday, 14.07, Ventspils Court declared 35 million worth Winergy deal with an Estonian company Firepower fictitious. The court in its ruling pointed out that the real intention of the persons involved was not the establishment of legal relationship but deception of other persons. The goal of the parties was to avoid performance of their obligations towards Norvik Banka.
An action in this case was filed by Norvik Banka – the bank requested the court to declare void the generator delivery deal closed by Winergy and Firepower. Moreover, the bank also requested the court to cancel all the pledges and mortgages secured in the favour of Firepower. At present, Firepower’s mortgage is also secured in relation to the wind farm owned by Winergy. The bank’s claim has been upheld in full.
“It is worthy of note that the fictitious creditor Firepower in Tallinn, Estonia, is registered at the same address as the Wind One company (Tartu mnt 7-7, Tallinn). Wind One, in its turn, serves as a Winergy investment company and indirectly belongs to the fictitious investor Indrek Kuivallik who is trying to blackmail the Republic of Latvia with an investment dispute. It has been documentarily proved that Firepower itself belongs to Andrus Peterson – the same person who founded Winergy and later attracted the “investor” Indrek Kuivallik. All these facts together cast quite a disreputable shadow on the so-called Winergy investment dispute. Justice goes on prevailing, however, there is still a lot of ground to cover till Norvik Banka and its clients’ interests are respected in full,” the bank’s president Oliver Bramwell explained.
The deal declared fictitious by Ventspils Court has been first mentioned in the Winergy’s developed plan of legal protection proceedings (LPP) to exclude the necessity to get the plan approved by Winergy’s major creditor Norvik Banka. Although the purchase agreement between Winergy and Firepower provided for the delivery of 13 generators worth 35 million, the only collateral Winergy furnished as a pledge for execution of this deal was a Renault car.
Fictitious nature of this deal and bad faith of the persons involved have been previously acknowledged also by both Riga City Latgale District Court when considering the first Winergy LPP case, and the Senate of the Supreme Courts and Riga City Vidzeme District Court – when reconsidering the second Winergy LPP case. Ventspils Court has been the first court which upon receipt of the bank’s claim statement examined this deal on the merits, having given a hearing to representatives of all parties and examined the evidence provided. Ventspils Court has given 10 days for Winergy and Firepower to abide by the court's ruling voluntarily. If the ruling is not appealed, it will take legal effect.
This is one of a number of the proceedings under which Norvik Banka has tried long and hard to restore justice and secure protection of own interests. The dispute related to the fictitious creditor was one of the most essential ones. Along with the protection of own interests, the bank under these proceedings fought against the administrators of the insolvency proceedings who have been assisting to this fictitious creditor in his ability to attain his unlawful goals since 2013.
Justice prevails – the certificate of the sworn auditor Māris Biernis is suspended
In two publications, AS Norvik Banka highlighted frauds committed by Māris Biernis, the auditor of Winergy and the related companies. The yearly report he had audited previously contained a reference to a report of the future year, not existing at that time. On the basis of such an opinion, the administrator and the court took rather questionable and fuzzy decisions.
In its letter to the Association of Sworn Auditors of Latvia (ASAL), AS Norvik Banka requested inspection of the Māris Biernis’ actions. We have just received the response that the ASAL has suspended the sworn auditor Māris Biernis’ license for a year.
The decision of the ASAL Ethics Committee indicates that “On the basis of the ASAL Statutes, Provisions of the Ethics Committee and clause 11 of the Provisions for Launching, Considering Disciplinary Cases and Applying Penalties, and considering the grave nature, the quantity, the financial importance of offences and misleading of third parties committed by the sworn auditor’s Māris Biernis,” the Ethics Committee has decided to suspend the certificate of the sworn auditor Māris Biernis for a year.