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Published: 3 september 2012 10:48

Court suspends Lithuanian Football Federation president suspected of embezzlement

Julius Kvedaras ir LFF taurė
V.Knyzelio/LFF.lt nuotr. / Julius Kvedaras

A Kaunas court has suspended Lithuanian Football Federation President Julius Kvedaras from the post for six months amid a financial fraud investigation carried out by the law-enforcement.

"On 30 August, a prosecutor filed an appeal to a pre-trial judge, and the supervision measure was revised to suspension from office for six months in an effort to carry out a faster and impartial investigation and prevent interferences with the probe," Jomilė Juškaitė-Vizbarienė, spokeswoman for the court, told BNS on Monday.

Embezzlement suspicions have been brought against Kvedaras, Vaida Kibirkštytė, spokeswoman for Kaunas Prosecutor's Office, told BNS.

According to her, the investigation was opened on 27 October last year, and the suspicions against Kvedaras were brought on 3 August this year. He is currently the only suspect.

"The suspicions are that he possibly stole from the federation's account. His income was lower than the property he has declared," the spokeswoman added.

Lietuvos Rytas daily reported on Monday that Kvedaras, who has long been linked with the criminal underworld, was suspected of embezzling the money earmarked by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to Lithuania.

According to the report, charges should shortly be brought against Dalia Žigelienė, chief financial officer of the Lithuanian Football Federation and Kvedaras' girlfriend, as well as a few members of the LFF executive committee and businessmen.

Criminal charges against Kvedaras were brought in the end of last year. The Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate found that the LFF president was spending nearly 500,000 litas (EUR 145,000) per year but was unable to validate the amount.

Kvedaras bought apartments in the seaside resort Palanga, drove de luxe automobiles costing hundreds of thousands of litas each and purchased an expensive motorcycle Harley-Davidson.

The materials collected by tax inspectors was forwarded to the Financial Crimes Investigation Service, which opened a probe.

During an interrogation, Kvedaras specified a few people he had borrowed large amounts of money from. The information proved wrong. The authorities also received data about possible UEFA money plundering schemes.

Kvedaras was elected LFF president in March.

BNS
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