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Investigation of the fraud of the decade ends

AN INVESTIGATOR has proposed that three suspects associated with the collapse of unlicensed deposit companies BMG Invest and Horizont Slovakia be charged, bringing to an end the investigation of what has been called Slovakia’s fraud of the decade.

The investigator proposed that three suspects - Jozef Majský, David Brtva, and Patrik Pachinger – be charged with the crime of establishing and supporting a criminal gang and fraud, the news wire SITA reported.

The investigation took 22 months and built a file of 7,500 pages, Interior Minister Vladimír Palko said on August 23.

If convicted, the suspects may face 12 years in prison.

Unlicensed deposit companies attracted clients by promising them unrealistically high gains from their investment.

Both companies, BMG Invest and Horizont Slovakia, had nearly 170,000 clients with whom the companies signed more than 240,000 contracts on loans or silent partnerships. Over five years, BMG Invest and Horizont Slovakia collected Sk16.8 billion (€419 million) from their clients.

The police have found that before Horizont Slovakia and BMG Invest were shut down in February 2002, all remaining client deposits were collected and gathered at the Horizont Slovakia headquarters in Košice, reaching a total of Sk50 million (€1.2 million).

Out of this sum, about Sk41 million (€1 million) was fraudulently transferred from the cash desk of the company on the basis of fictive sales contracts with the assistance of a representative of "an American investor" who allegedly should have taken over the companies.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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