ECONOMY

Thirteen sent to trial in Folli-Follie fraud case

thirteen-sent-to-trial-in-folli-follie-fraud-case

A panel of lower court judges has decided to send 13 defendants in the Folli-Follie case to trial before a three-member Athens criminal appeals court.

The accused include Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, founder of the jewelrymaking company, his wife Katerina, and his son, George (the father and son were ousted from the company’s board in December 2019).

The others are company executives, including from its Asian subsidiary.

The accused will face trial for setting up a criminal organization, engaging in forgery, with a total benefit, and corresponding loss, to others, of more than 120,000 euros (which raises the charges to a felony), repeated acts of fraud against individuals and legal entities, repeated acts of market manipulation, and money laundering from criminal activities.

Dimitris Koutsolioutsos is additionally accused of insider trading.

The judicial panel decided not to send another 16 suspects to trial, while two more have died since the corruption at the company came to light.

The panel’s report says that the total loss to individuals and corporations from the actions of the accused is estimated at slightly over €413 million, but could be even higher.

The accused have allegedly been forging bank documents in an attempt to show the company was financially robust.

One bank account, which they represented as having a balance of €70 million had only €60.

They also falsely showed inflated sales in China through phantom companies.

The falsified statements of those companies were sent to Greece, where Dimitris and George Koutsolioutsos asked for them to be consolidated with the balance sheets of the other subsidiaries, in Europe and North America, and the parent company, in Greece, deceiving investors and stock markets and manipulating the share price. In this way, they also secured large bank loans.

The judges also decided to extend the period of remand of Dimitris and George Koutsolioutsos by six months.