The saga of the collapse of peer to peer lender Envestio keeps getting more interesting as a report published today points a finger at two politically connected individuals who may have been recipients of lost funds.
Earlier this week, CI reported on an article in SVT Nyheter, a leading Swedish media outlet that claimed Swedbank and SEB had been enabling questionable operations in Latvia that involved P2P lender Envestio.
SVT alleged that both banks were involved in Envestio’s activities stating:
“SVT has reviewed all 31 companies behind Envestio’s investment project. Plus another 12 companies that received money through Envestio’s accounts in SEB and Swedbank. Behind the projects we find companies in the Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia that do not seem to have any business. Four of the companies have previously been owned via companies in countries with limited transparency: Malta, British Virgin Islands, Panama and Cyprus. Here we find several notorious goalkeepers who have represented a large number of companies and who have previously been linked to suspected money laundering. In addition to the Swedish banks, Envestio had accounts in three financial institutions in Malta.” [translated]
Today, SVT is naming two prominent and politically connected individuals as allegedly benefiting from funds lost in the Envestio debacle.
To quote the report:
“SVT’s review shows that at least SEK 7 million (~ USD$ 742,000) of the investments ended up with the company SIA Tukums, which is controlled by two controversial influential entrepreneurs in Latvia. Both have strong links to Latvia’s highest political level. The company is partly owned through a holding company in Cyprus.” [translated]
SVT names Uldis Mierkalns, said to be the person who donates the 2nd most money to Latvian politicians, and Martin Tenbergs, a “former bodyguard to former President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.”
The same report quotes Mierkalns claiming the two have no relationship and, if so, it is negative due to money lost in a previous venture.
Envestio, alongside a second Latvian P2P lender Kuetzal, recently filed for bankruptcy leaving investors with little more than questions.