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ZRVP Obtains Favorable Decision for Video-chat Firm in Tax Evasion Case File

Publication: ZRVP

The investigation, started in 2014, was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office attached to The High Court of Cassation and Justice and concerned the activity of several hundreds of persons for an important player in the video-chat industry from Romania, accused of having committed the crimes of tax evasion and money laundering. The team of lawyers who represented the owner of the video-chat studios was formed of Doru Cosmin Ursu – managing associate, George Avram – senior associate and Ionuț Chisăr – senior associate.

The criminal law team of ZRVP obtained, at the beginning of 2022, a decision for the closing of the case in which the client, the owner of several video-chat studios from Romania, had been accused of tax evasion and money laundering, the conclusion of the investigations being that the criminal deed did not exist. ZRVP’s lawyers also showed that, in the case of the activity performed by the video-chat models, the specificity of the activity did not require the conclusion of employment agreements between them and the studios, the legal solution identified consisting in the conclusion of copyright assignment agreements.

“The new technologies and the spread of internet on a large scale have accelerated the development of new types of businesses and especially new means by which natural persons can conduct an income-earning activity, subject to taxation, at a much faster pace as compared to the adequate regulation of such activities”, declared Doru Cosmin Ursu, managing associate ZRVP.

“In such a context, seeking advice to specialized lawyers, even since the start of the business, can make the difference between a case-closing solution, like the one at hand, and a conviction one. Our defenses at the prosecution stage have been confirmed including by the Ministry of Labor”, added George Avram, senior associate ZRVP.

The difficulties of the taxation of the typical video-chat activity are triggered by the inexistence of a NACE code for this activity, for which reason it was necessary to identify a legal solution meant to allow both the provision of the service by the video-chat models to the benefit of the studios and the declaration and taxation of the incomes obtained by the provision of these services. This legal solution has consisted in the conclusion of copyright assignment agreements.

“After a series of collaborations with other law firms, we have retained ZRVP. I thank them for their professionalism and support. When I lost hope, considering that there was no justice in Romania, ZRVP restored my confidence, helping me to structure my defense arguments and obtain the closing of the case file”, added Markus Ardelean, the owner of the studios under the authorities’ investigation.

The area of criminal law continues to be one of the stars of business law. The team currently handles more than 140 criminal case files, with a value of the claims for damages exceeding 1 billion Euro and represent both large corporates and individuals of Romanian or foreign citizenship. The client portfolio includes public institutions, the cases being pursued by the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice (PICCJ), the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) or the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).

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