Viktor Uspaskich

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Viktor Uspaskich

Viktor Uspaskich (Russian: Виктор Викторович Успасских Lithuanian: Viktoras Uspaskichas) (born 24 July 1959 in Urdoma, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is a Russian born Lithuanian entrepreneur, professional welder and politician.

Early life[edit]

He arrived in Lithuanian SSR in 1985 and worked as a welder in the gas industry. He left shortly after for Finland, before returning in 1987, divorcing his Belarussian wife with two children (Julia, Eduard) and marrying Jolanta Blažytė. He formed his own company Efektas in 1990, and took citizenship of the newly formed Republic of Lithuania in 1991.

With power he quickly gained tremendous success in his business empire that now includes the importation of natural gas from Gazprom, in addition to flourishing enterprises in the food production and animal fodder industries.

Political career[edit]

Between 1997 and 2003 was chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Employers, and in 2000 was selected as a non-party member of the Naujoji sąjunga (New Union) social liberal party in the Seimas (parliament). His own political ambitions led him to form the Darbo Partija (Labour Party) in 2003. The DP scored highly during the 2004 European Parliamentary Elections, gaining 30.2% of the popular vote and returning 5 MEPs. That same year, he became Minister of Economic Affairs in Lithuania's coalition government.

Financial scandal[edit]

In the end of May 2006 his political party Darbo Partija (Labour Party) was suspected of income violations by the financial police. Victor Uspaskich went to his homeland Urdoma (Russia) to his brother's funeral and came back in late 2007. He is believed to have been hiding from the law enforcement and interpol. Lithuania had issued an arrest warrant for Uspaskich, who was in Russia, as he was suspected of tax fraud.[1] In July 2013, Uspaskich was sentenced to 4 years in prison for tax fraud. [2] He has not served the prison sentence claiming his legal immunity as member of the Lithuanian Parliament and, since the May 2014 elections, member of the European Parliament [3][4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BBC (2006-08-30). "Lithuania seeks minister's arrest". BBC News. Retrieved August 31, 2006. 
  2. ^ Uspaskich sentenced to four years in prison http://live.balticbusinessnews.com/?PublicationId=b724791a-a770-4128-b448-2abf1a1357b7
  3. ^ Prosecutor General asks Seimas to revoke immunity of Uspaskich and Ačas http://en.delfi.lt/57293/prosecutor-general-asks-seimas-to-revoke-immunity-of-uspaskich-and-acas-201357293/
  4. ^ Naujai išrinktiems europarlamentarams įteikti pažymėjimai http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/naujai-isrinktiems-europarlamentarams-iteikti-pazymejimai.d?id=64978937

External links[edit]