NEWS

Tycoon charged over NSF claims

Telecoms and lottery tycoon Socrates Kokkalis was charged yesterday with fraud, forgery and money laundering following a suit tabled with Greek authorities by Russia’s National Sports Foundation (NSF). Athens prosecutor Giorgos Provataris brought the criminal charges against the 64-year-old businessman following a preliminary investigation into the NSF complaints – which Kokkalis has dismissed as «part of an organized attack» against him «by organized business and publishing interests.» The NSF claims that Kokkalis was behind European Games, a company that received $15 million in 1994 to set up a Russian lottery network that never materialized. The businessman – who also owns the Olympiakos soccer club – denies any link with the firm. Last Thursday, he sued the NSF for slander and attempting to mislead court officials. Kokkalis is under investigation for alleged espionage, fraud, corruption and money laundering.