ECONOMY

Prosecutors accuse state sell-off fund of embezzlement

prosecutors-accuse-state-sell-off-fund-of-embezzlement

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday filed charges against the previous administration of the state privatization fund (TAIPED), accusing its members of embezzlement in relation to the payment from the sell-off of gaming company OPAP.

According to a prosecutors’ investigation, the former TAIPED board members did not hand over to the state interest worth 480,000 euros from the October 2013 sale of the 33 percent stake in OPAP to Emma Delta made in the few days it was in TAIPED’s accounts.

In fact, all previous TAIPED administrations would keep the interest made on payments from state asset sales after the revenues had sat in the bank for a few days.

TAIPED’s founding law notes that revenues from privatizations must be paid to the Greek state within 10 days. TAIPED usually delivered those revenues toward the end of that 10-day period, holding on to the interest gained in that small period of time.

Now the prosecutors are accusing TAIPED of embezzlement, saying that because the interest retained exceeded 100,000 euros it constitutes a crime. However, TAIPED officials counter that all board decisions were made according to the legislation, which provides for the fund to keep interest revenues.