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Greek "Madoff" springing up like mushrooms

27 April 2010 / 08:04:37  GRReporter
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In recent weeks Greek judicial authorities have been examining a financial pyramid, which has drained over €3.15 million. The fraud is the creation of two Greek "investment advisers" who for two years have managed to woven into their net at least six unsuspecting victims. Everything began in early 2006, when the two crooks provided fake information to potential investors about an international financial fund with headquarters in the Bahamas and European headquarters in London. Participation in the fund allows the winners to invest in precious metals (mainly gold) and fuel, which should give them an annual return on invested of between 10% and 20%. The offer looks very tempting, compared with gains coming from investment on the Athens stock exchange, government bonds, investment banking and others. The minimum amount for participation in the high-risk transactions was € 50,000. 

According to the description given by victims, one of the two participants in the fraud has a good name in society with greater knowledge of finance and private investments. The other has a talent in the art to convince and he even lived as an economic analyst in various Greek publications. By spring 2007 everything was going fine without a problem. Every month investors received "official" letters of the state of their investments and detailed account of increase of the invested money. In the summer of that year unsuspecting rich men decided that it was time to gather profits from the big deal. The organizers of the pyramid issued checks for several hundred thousand Euros, which, after come out without any coverage. 

In autumn 2007 the six deceived started a private investigation and hired a lawyer to establish authenticity of the investment fund. The lawyer discovered that the company based in London does not exist and has never been recorded in the register of active enterprises in England, and bank statements were fake. After revealing the offense, which requires investigative group to the Securities Commission in Athens, there is a monetary fine. There are no other more serious penalties for the robbers or detention. At the first hearing of the case in district court last November, the offenders, accused of misappropriation of € 3,15 million, did not appear. 

In less than two months this is the second case, which disclosed a financial fraud on the American model Bernard Madoff. The first Greek Madoff dragged its victims with about €10 million, but even he is not prohibited from leaving the country. He manages to capture in his nets eight people who were in pursuit of quick profits.

Tags: Madoff fraud investment Greece
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