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Lithuania's Snoras seeks EUR 335.2 mln in damages from Switzerland's Julius Baer

BC, Vilnius, 20.01.2020.Print version
Lithuania's bankrupt bank Snoras has turned to Swiss courts, seeking 335.2 mln euros in damages from the Swiss bank Julius Baer, suspected of having failed to prevent embezzlement of Snoras assets informed LETA/BNS.

In November, the Snoras bankruptcy administrator filed a lawsuit with a court in Geneva and it was accepted on Jan 7, with Julius Baer required to provide answers by the set deadline, Snoras bankruptcy administrator Gintaras Adomonis told.


In his words, Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas, the former shareholders of Snoras, are suspected of having used Julius Baer and other foreign banks to embezzle Snoras assets.

In 2009, major assets, including shares and cash funds, were transferred from Snoras to a Julius Baer bank account opened in the Lithuanian bank's name. The assets were later used as collateral for Julius Baer loans issued to offshore companies linked to Antonov and Baranauskas, Adomonis said.

"All this time, Julius Baer employees would periodically confirm to Snoras and the bank's auditors that the assets held by Julius Baer were not collateral, despite it not being the truth. Based on such information, Snoras continued including the Julius Baer assets into their accounts," Adomonis told.

When the offshore companies linked to Antonov and Baranauskas failed to repay the loans and a moratorium was introduced for Snoras, Julius Baer used the collateral to cover the loans.

"Because of such actions, Snoras lost assets worth around 290 mln euros, and Julius Baer helped its shareholders embezzle the assets under this scheme. In December, 2018, an appeal court in Switzerland found Julius Baer employee Alexander Shesterikov guilty of document forgery," Adomnonis said.

Snoras initially tried to seek damages from Julius Baer in Lithuania but the Supreme Court ruled in October, 2018 that Lithuanian court could not hear the case, therefore, the decision was made to turn to a Swiss court.

Snoras activity was suspended in November, 2011, and Baranauskas and Antonov are hiding in Russia, charged with embezzlement. They will stand trial in Lithuania in absentia.

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