MTV News: Court orders assets freeze for Vastaamo’s ex-CEO

Until spring 2019 Vastaamo was owned by Ville Tapio and his parents. Now the parent company of an investment firm that bought a majority stake in Vastaamo has started legal proceedings.

File picture inside Vastamo Tampere office / Credit: Vastamo

MTV News reports that Helsinki District Court has ordered the temporary seizure of assets belonging to Ville Tapio, the former CEO of Vastaamo therapy centres, and his family, to the tune of almost €10 million.

The company was owned by Tapio, his mother Nina and father Perttu until spring 2019, when an investment company called Intera Partners bought a majority stake.

Last week Vastaamo revealed that a huge data breach in November 2018 had potentially put tens of thousands of confidential and sensitive mental health records into the hands of hackers – who have since started demanding ransom payments from Vastaamo’s patients.

An internal investigation uncovered another breach of data in March 2019 – just before Intera Partners bought their share of the company – which Tapio was apparently aware of, but did not inform the board or owners about.

“As CEO, I take responsibility for what happened” Tapio wrote on his Facebook page. Vastaamo’s board fired Tapio with immediate effect on Monday.

A company called PTK Midco Oy applied to have the Tapio family assets frozen. They’re the parent company of Intera Partners, and have started legal proceedings against Ville Tapio in connection with the spring 2019 acquisition.

In court papers, PTK Midco Oy says they believe there’s a risk the Tapio family “will conceal, destroy or dispose of their property or otherwise act in a way that jepardizes the claimant’s claim” according to MTV News.

The Finnish government is due to discuss the Vastaamo case, and whether it’s possible for people who had their records leaked to change their ID numbers, at a session on Wednesday evening.

File picture showing detail on police uniform / Credit: News Now Finland

Police investigation continues

Finland’s National Bureau of Investigations NBI meanwhile continues its investigation into the case – looking primarily at the hacking, rather than any illegalities at Vastaamo itself.

“This hacking operation is exceptional by Finnish standards because of the sensitive nature of the information disseminated online” NBI Detective Chief Inspector Marko Leponen said on Tuesday.

“We currently have several avenues of investigation, and we will make every effort to solve the case” he adds.

Police are investigating crimes of aggravated computer break-in, aggravated extortion, and aggravated dissemination of information violating personal privacy, but say those may change as the investigation goes on.