THE FORMER owner of two unlicensed deposit companies, Vladimír Fruni, was released from prison on July 27, two years before his 11 and a half-year sentence was to end, the TASR newswire reported. Fruni was a principal in BMG Invest and Horizont Slovakia, two companies that defrauded depositors in a Slovak version of a Ponzi scheme.
Fruni, who recently was serving his prison time in a hospital, was released on parole and his activities and movements will be monitored by the police for the next five years, Roman Tarabus, spokesman for the Trenčín Regional Court, told TASR.
Fruni became one of the owners of the unlicensed deposit companies in 1997 along with partner Marián Šebeščák. The companies began soliciting deposits from Slovaks and offered extremely high interest rates – up to 50 percent of the deposited money per year. The companies went bankrupt in 2002, leaving about 170,000 depositors with worthless accounts, TASR reported.
Fruni was arrested by Croatian police and extradited to Slovakia in 2002 and held in custody awaiting trial. In 2007 he was sentenced to prison by a senate of Slovakia’s now-abolished Special Court. His lawyer, Milan Kuzma, tried to persuade the courts to release Fruni in 2010, saying his client had fulfilled the requirements for release on parole. The Trenčín Regional Court rejected that petition.
8. Aug 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff