Former head of Greece’s securities regulator charged over Folli Follie case

Former head of Greece’s securities regulator charged over Folli Follie case

Charalambos Gotsis, the former chairman of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, was charged with breach of duty by a prosecutor on Friday in connection with the 2018 embezzlement scandal embroiling Greek jeweller Folli Follie.

The Hellenic Capital Market Commission, under Gotsis, allowed the company’s shares to be traded for 21 days before deciding on their suspension to protect shareholders, despite the revelation of the Folli Follie scandal on May 3, 2018, by the American fund Quintessential Capital Management (QCM).

Prosecutor Spyros Pappas, who is handling the case, also referred to trial ex-chief executive Tzortzis Koutsolioutsos, son of company founder Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, and security director Nikolaos Sakos for moral instigation in the offense.

An audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers published in December 2020 showed that the company’s major shareholders, the Koutsolioutsos family, reaped the benefits of a well-orchestrated fraud scheme that lasted for at least 17 years, under the nose of the supervisory authorities, generating hundreds of millions of euros in profits.

In one of the emails included in an audit report between the Folli Follie executives, the former chairman of the Commission was said to have given instructions for the actions that need to be taken in order to give the impression to the public that the Capital Market Commission was doing its job.

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