The Lijanovićs Accused of White Collar Crimes

The members of the Lijanović family and their associates are charged with tax evasion, forgery, money laundering and the destruction of books and records.

The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has filed an indictment against Jerko Ivanković Lijanović, his brothers Slavo and Jozo and father Stipe today. They are charged with pursuing organized and financial crimes.

Jerko Lijanović, the former minister of agriculture in the Federation of BiH (FBiH) government and the vice-president of the People’s Party Work for Betterment, and his co-defendants, are charged with tax evasion, destruction of books and records and money laundering.

Apart from the the Ivanković Lijanović family, the indictment also includes charges against another seven persons and firms, including the former FBiH minister of trade and party member Milorad Bahilj.

They are accused of damaging the BiH budget for 13.5 million KM and the state hopes to recover the proceeds of crime.

According to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, the accused were members of an organized criminal group between 2007 and 2012. After Lijanovići LLC’s bank accounts were blocked due to unpaid taxes, the members of the Lijanovići family and their associates incorporated new firms that operated in the same premises with the same employees. Taxes and other debts were left with Lijanovići LLC and other defunct firms, while new firms claimed ownership of raw materials, equipment and products onto new firms and continued doing business, while dumping taxes to blocked companies.

Some of these firms are: a Mostar-based “Mi-Mo”and Široki Brijeg-based “Farmer”, “Farmko” and “Optima”. In the similar manner, the Lijanovićis later founded firms “ZD.I. Product” and “Alpen-Mit”.

Subsidizing Minister Lijanović’s Business
During Jerko Ivanković Lijanović’ four-year term, the FBiH Ministry of Agriculture has allocated 2.8 million KM to persons and firms connected to the minister’s family. No agency has called it a conflict of interest or called for a sanction.

The Ivanković Lijanović family business has been put under investigation since 2013 when the Indirect Taxation Authority filed a criminal complaint with the BiH Prosecutor’s Office.

The BiH Prosecutor’s Office announced that it would request a restraint order against the defendants.

Last September, the members of Ivanković Lijanović family were arrested and released after arraignment. Meanwhile, the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office of Tuzla Canton ordered detention for Jerko Ivanković Lijanović who was indicted for illegalities in the distribution of agricultural grants.