30 July, 2020
Following the decision of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court (Senate) of July 30 on refusal to initiate cassation proceedings, the decision of Riga Regional Court came into force, by which the accused official of SIA “Ceļojums Tev” was found guilty of defrauding 201 persons therefore defrauding more than EUR 200,000 from travellers. The sentence of deprivation of liberty for three years imposed on the accused shall enter into force by the decision of the Senate. It is ordered to recover the claimed damages from the accused in favour of the victims. The decision of the Senate is not subject to appeal.
Having examined the cassation complaint submitted by the accused's defence counsel, the Senate established that contrary to what is indicated therein, the appellate court has analysed the sentence imposed on the accused by the first instance court judgment, taking into account the general principles of sentencing provided in Section 46 of the Criminal Law and assessing compliance of the penalty with the purpose of the penalty provided for in Section 35 of the Criminal Law. In its decision, the court has examined the defence counsel's references to the sentences imposed on the persons accused in other criminal cases and found that differing factual and legal circumstances have been established in those cases, while in the present criminal case, the penalty for the accused is determined taking into account the circumstances of the case, namely the accused has committed a particularly serious crime against the property interests of 201 victims and caused damage to the victims in the amount of EUR 216,730.25, which distinguishes it from other crimes of the same type.
The circumstances of the case are as follows:
The indictment states that the accused, by abusing the trust, fraudulently obtained large amounts of foreign property. Namely, in the period from December 2012 to September 2013, the accused, using the fact that she is the actual manager of the economic activity of SIA “Ceļojums Tev” having the possibility to freely access the financial resources in the current accounts of SIA “Ceļojums Tev” in order to fraudulently obtain foreign money, knowing that SIA “Ceļojums Tev” as a travel agent does not have the right to organize complex tourism services, placed advertisements on the website of SIA “Ceļojums Tev” about organizing tourism trips to various countries at disproportionately low prices. Thus, the accused obtained funds for tourism trips, which were paid by deceived 201 clients of SIA “Ceļojums Tev”.
On June 10, 2019, having examined the case at first instance, Riga District Court found the accused guilty of the charges and sentenced her to three years' imprisonment. The Court ordered the recovery of EUR 216,730.25 in damages claimed from the accused in favour of the victims.
On May 18, 2020, having examined the case under appeal procedure, Riga Regional Court left the judgment of Riga District Court unchanged.
Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court
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