Apart from the years-long fraud schemes perpetuated by the Koutsolioutsos family, the major shareholders of the troubled Folli Follie jewelry company, the audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers has also revealed the staggering and unprecedented negligence of supervisory authorities.
More specifically, authorities delayed taking action after the revelation of the Folli Follie scandal on May 3, 2018, by the American fund Quintessential Capital Management (QCM).
For 21 days, the Hellenic Capital Market Commission under Charalampos Gotsis allowed the company’s shares to be traded before deciding on their suspension. At the time, the commission and Gotsis had come under fire over its delayed response. Even worse, it allowed the Koutsolioutsos family and its associates to have real control over the company.
During the 16-month period until the start of the PwC investigation, data could have been destroyed, altered, falsified or concealed.
What’s more, in one of the emails included in the 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.
However, the alleged support of Folli Follie by the then management of the HCMC appears to be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the influence the president and founder of Folli Follie, Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, and his son George continued to yield until last December, about 18 months after the publication of the QCM findings.
The PwC report also caused political turmoil this week as it suggested that ministers of the SYRIZA government at the time, as well as MPs, had colluded to offer cover to the Koutsolioutsos family.