Head of “flat fraud gang” sentenced to 16 years in prison

Zuzana Znamenáková, the boss of a gang that fraudulently acquired flats from their owners, will spend 16 years in a high security prison, the Bratislava Regional Court ruled on Wednesday, May 12. Two other defendants, Karol Patasy and Zlatica Masarovičová, were sentenced to three years, with two years’ probation.

Zuzana Znamenáková, the boss of a gang that fraudulently acquired flats from their owners, will spend 16 years in a high security prison, the Bratislava Regional Court ruled on Wednesday, May 12. Two other defendants, Karol Patasy and Zlatica Masarovičová, were sentenced to three years, with two years’ probation.

Originally, the three were sentenced by the Bratislava II District Court in July 2012; Znamenáková got 18 years. All three appealed, claiming they were innocent, the SITA newswire wrote. Three other defendants pleaded guilty already before the first-instance court. The regional court stated that the crimes were committed in the way they were described by the district court, rejecting the testimonies and claims of the accused.

The gang for example stripped a woman on disabled benefits of her flat in the Nové Mesto borough of Bratislava, and a married couple from Petržalka. After having acquired the flats (mostly from old or disabled people), the gang then sold them on. Eluding the authorities for one year, Znamenáková was finally detained at the end of 2009 in Austria. According to the Nový Čas daily, the damage caused by the gang amounted to almost €200,000. Znamenáková is also facing prosecution in a separate case of fraud related to the house of Viliam Andrášik, who was found dead.

Sources: SITA, Nový Čas

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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