Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Court sentences managers of non-banking institutions

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

My five-year-old daughter will almost certainly encounter a Weinstein too

It’s not that I thought sexually harassing women was okay, it’s more that I accepted that was just part of how things worked. Unfortunate, yes, but also standard.

Harvey Weinstein

Socialism elections were parody of free vote

After the revolution in 1989 the number of people participating in elections fell from 99 percent to around 60 percent.

Elections during socialism regime.

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between November 17 and November 26, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Lúčnica

Top 3 stories from Last Week in Slovakia Video

Chinese could produce e-cars in Slovakia - PM Robert Fico does not see election defeat - Poliačik leaves the strongest opposition party

PM Robert Fico