Energa, Hellas Power embezzlement suspects offer to return 100 mln euros

Nineteen Energa and Hellas Power executives on Friday expressed their willingness to return more than 100 million euros which they are charged of embezzling from the Greek state, prompting the court hearing their trial to suspend the proceedings until February 5.

The sum of 103 million euros which is to be returned to the state is in company bank accounts and has been frozen since February 2012 by Greece’s anti-money laundering authority.

According to the case file, the two companies withheld 257 million euros from the Greek state through a special property tax levied through electricity bills. The companies allegedly collected the levies but subsequently failed to hand the money over to the stat

The move by the Energa and Hellas Power executives came just a few days after former Transport and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis offered to return 230,000 euros he received from Germany’s Siemens in return for a more lenient sentence in his bribery trial.

Like the Energa and Hellas Power executives, Mantelis asked to make use of a recent law that allows defendants to hand over money earned from corrupt activities so their sentences can be reduced.