Long prison sentences given for embezzlement by unlicensed non-banking companies

IN THE highly-publicised case of embezzlement by unlicensed non-banking companies Horizont Slovakia and BMG Invest, sentences were pronounced on October 21.  

Court, illustrative stock photoCourt, illustrative stock photo (Source: SITA )

Two of the financiers involved, Jozef Majský and Dávid Brtva each received nine years, and Patrik Pachinger got a seven-year prison sentence, in what may be the biggest case of such a fraud in modern Slovak history. Majský and Brtva also have to pay a fine of €5,000.

“Evidence confirmed the participation of defendants in the crimes stated,” the judge of the Specialised Court said, among other things, when giving the reasoning for the sentences. “The court opines that the evidence gathered reliably proved that the crime that is the subject of the charge happened, and that these crimes were committed by these defendants.”

The verdict is not yet effective however, as the defendants appealed it immediately, the TASR newswire wrote. Majský denied having even known the other defendants; while Pachinger also wants to continue further with the court proceeding, deeming the verdict an absurdity. Brtva contested the verdict, too, saying that would fight until the end, be it at the Supreme Court, or even higher.

In 2007, Majský was sentenced by the former Special Court to 12 years in prison, while his companions were sentenced to 10 and 11 years. The Supreme Court later cancelled the verdict and the trial continued at the Specialised Criminal Court – after it was re-opened in February 2009, at the seventh attempt. On February 4, 2002, the doors of the financial companies remained closed, with the pretence of an audit taking place. Until then, had they managed to collect €62.78 billion Slovak crowns (more than two billion euros) from about 170,000 people. In the bankruptcy proceeding, former Horizont Slovakia clients received back just 4.5 percent of their deposits – about €15.2 million.

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