Alleged swindler jumps ship

  • 2000-12-14
  • Jorgen Johansson
RIGA - Latvian police are currently searching for a lawyer named Uldis Nagobads, who is suspected of swindling the Jesus Evangelical Lutheran congregation out of almost $220,000.

Valdis Nagobads, Riga City Council's welfare department director and Uldis Nagobads' father, says he doesn't know anything about his son's business with the Jesus Evangelical Lutheran congregation.

"I hope his business with them was legal," he said. "Still, I don't know anything about this money."

Fraud investigators refused to comment on the case when contacted by The Baltic Times.

Dzintra Subrovska, spokeswoman for the general prosecutors' office, said at first the police wanted to drop the investigation, arguing it was a civil law matter.

"The prosecutor told them the police were wrong and they should review it again," Subrovska said. "After some time the police decided to start an investigation."

The alleged swindle had been going on for quite some time according to a report by BNS. In late August last year, Uldis Nagobads signed an agreement with the congregation about management of the its estates in Riga.

The head of the congregation, Girts Skrabans, told BNS that having received power-of-attorney, Uldis Nagobads had started abusing the trust of congregation members and arbitrarily signed lease agreements with several companies in respect of the building owned by the congregation.

"He [Uldis Nagobads] opened an account at Hansabanka, indicated the address of the congregation's building and large amounts of money under the signed agreement were deposited in the account without the knowledge of the congregation," Skrabans said. "Later he withdrew the money in cash and disappeared.

So far nobody seem to know the whereabouts of Uldis Nagobads. The best clue to his whereabouts is his father's guesswork.

"The last time I saw him was in early November," Valdis Nagobads said. "He is in Russia now doing some business. I think he went to Moscow, but I don't know which city he is in now."