Guntars Vitols of Parex Bank threatened whistleblower

In late 2005, John Christmas learned that the Latvian State Revenue Service (VID) would look at the Parex Bank fraud information.  This was great news, because the Latvian Prosecutors Office, Latvian financial regulator, Latvian central bank, Latvian Ministry of the Economy, and other government agencies refused to investigate.

Christmas knew that a senior person in the VID was the mother-in-law of the former President of Parex Asset Management, Guntars Vitols.  Vitols spoke often about how much he hated the liars at Parex, and therefore it seemed possible that he wanted revenge.

Christmas asked Vitols to tell what he knew about tax evasion (paying employee bonuses in unreported envelopes stuffed with American hundred-dollar bills) to the VID.  Christmas suggested going to the American FBI if the Latvian government did nothing.

Vitols apparently went to Parex and warned them that Christmas might go to the FBI instead of telling what he knew to VID.

Christmas received the warning from Jekaterina Ecina immediately afterward.  Parex had sent thugs to look for Christmas.

Fortunately, Christmas was outside of Latvia and therefore safe.  He reported the threats to the Latvian government with only one result:  Vitols contacted Christmas and said that Christmas should expect a phone call from a prosecutor who will explain that Christmas must renounce the whistleblowing or else get prosecuted.

A prosecutor did not call, however Vitols himself called back.  This time, Christmas was ready with a recording device.  Vitols tried to convince Christmas to sign a false confession that the whistleblowing was not true, threatening arrest by Interpol and prosecution in Latvia otherwise.

In the transcripts and recordings below, Vitols (acting as an intermediary for Parex Oligarch Viktor Krasovitsky and the Latvian Prosecutors Office) communicates this illegal threat to Christmas.

It is possible to confirm from the recordings that Vitols himself was witness to at least two of the material frauds at Parex.  He was witness to tax evasion (bonuses paid in envelopes).  And, he was witness to the unreported issuance of stock options (he said “stock agreement” once and “stock option” later).

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