Lithuanian agencies probe purchases of two South Florida residences

A prime minister's widow and her son are suspected of hiding ownership of a house and a condo in Broward

Miami /
Jun.June 04, 2017 10:15 AM

Two government agencies in Lithuania are investigating the widow of a former prime minister of the country to determine if she and her family hid ownership of a house and a condo in South Florida.

Two Lithuanian government agencies, the Tax Inspectorate and the Financial Crime Investigation Service, are investigating to determine if Kristina Brazauskienė and her son bought a house in Coconut Creek and a condo in Hallandale Beach and, if so, where they got the money to pay for them.

Brazauskienė and her son Ernestas Butrimas deny that they bought the Broward County residences. Her husband, Algirdas Brazauskas, died in 2010 at age 77 after serving as prime minister of Lithuania from 2001 to 2006. Brazauskas also was the first president of Lithuania after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, serving from 1993 to 1998.

In March, the Lithuanian arm of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reported that a company owned by Brazauskienė and her son paid $220,000 in 2010 for a house at 7433 Northwest 51 Way in Coconut Creek.

Florida property records show that their company, called UAB Draugystės Viešbutis, sold the Coconut Creek house last year for $420,000. But in financial statements filed with a business registry in Lithuania in 2010 and 2011, the company disclosed no major expenditures on new assets.

Florida property records also show that her son and his father, Antanas Butrimas, who is Brazauskienė’s ex-husband, bought a Hallandale Beach condo in 2008 for $380,000. The condo is located at the Duo condominium at 1755 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard.

After publication of articles about the Florida properties in March, Lithuania’s Tax Inspectorate confirmed that it started to investigate the purchase of the Coconut Creek house and the Hallandale Beach condo.

Lithuania’s Financial Crime Investigation Service last month was pursuing a criminal investigation of Brazauskienė, her son and their company to determine if they are guilty of false accounting and tax fraud. [Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project]Mike Seemuth


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