IN SHORT

Investigation into fraud of decade concluded

THE ANTI-Corruption office concluded its investigation into the collapse of unlicensed deposit companies Horizont Slovakia and BMG Invest, Interior Minister Vladimír Palko announced April 15, the SITA news agency wrote.

Four representatives of these companies will be prosecuted in the case, including Vladimír Fruni and Marián Šebeščák.

"If the court finds them guilty they could be sentenced from five to 12 years in prison," said Palko.

Since starting their operation in the mid-1990s the two companies signed more than 856,000 contracts with clients and their deposits reached Sk62.8 billion (€1.7 billion).

The companies mostly used new received deposits to settle mature principals, interests or shares in profit. They paid out over Sk53 billion (€1.3 billion) to clients but after the companies went bankrupt in 2002 almost 170,000 clients lost aly and the police calculated the damages to Sk14.5 billion (€370,000).

The companies attracted clients by promising unrealistically high yields of up to 58 percent of the deposited sums.

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