Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Pyramid scheme bosses get 11.5 years in jail

SLOVAKIA'S Special court passed sentence yesterday on Vladimír Fruni, František Matik, and Marián Šebeščák, the managers of the bankrupt pyramid schemes BMG Invest and Horizont, for cheating tens of thousands of clients out of their deposits.

BMG and Horizont promised up to 40 percent annual returns on depositors' investments. Earlier deposits were paid off with new deposits attracted by massive advertising campaigns. The pyramid schemes eventually collapsed in 2002 causing damages of around Sk14.4 billion to 123,204 clients.

Fruni and Matik both received 11.5-year sentences, although the latter is currently hiding from justice abroad. Šebeščák, who cooperated with the court, received a milder sentence of only seven years.

On leaving the courtroom, Fruni said the case was part of the "Hitler-like agenda of a cleric-fascist state", according to the Hospodárske Noviny daily. In addition to the jail term, the court also ordered the forfeiture of Fruni's property.

Fruni and Šebeščák have been behind bars for nearly five years since the investigation of the mega-fraud began.

The ruling can still be appealed at the Supreme Court.

Top stories

Bratislava growing high Photo

High-rise buildings sprouting up in Bratislava

Visualisation of the future skyline of Bratislava

People of Pezinok fighting against landfill again

Dispute over controversial Pezinok waste dump, which started 18 years ago, continues.

The controversial landfill site in Pezinok

Crisis ends in Danko’s defeat

Education minister steps down following Fico’s call, Danko not ruling out he might leave politics.

Former education minister Peter Plavčan and PM Robert Fico on July 24.

First Slovak woman crossed the English Channel

Before her, only six Slovak men had managed to complete the difficult swim.