Polish court says shadow bank founders guilty of fraud
PR dla Zagranicy
The two former owners of a Polish shadow bank were on Monday found guilty of fraud over a pyramid scheme that rocked the country under its previous government.
Judge Lidia Jedynak prepares to read the verdict at a district court in the northern Polish city of Gdańsk on Monday. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa
The two accused businesspeople, a married couple identified only as Marcin P. and Katarzyna P., were both found guilty of defrauding investors in their roles as the founders and co-owners of the Amber Gold shadow banking institution, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Neither of the accused appeared in the courtroom in the northern city of Gdańsk where a judge on Monday began reading out a lengthy verdict after a more than three-year-long trial.
It may take months before the district court in Gdańsk finishes delivering the full verdict in the case and announces the sentences, the IAR news agency reported, citing prosecutors.
Prosecutors are pushing for 25 years in prison for each of the accused, while the defence lawyer has requested an acquittal, the IAR news agency reported.
The Amber Gold pyramid scheme saw thousands of Poles cheated out of their savings from 2009 to 2012, at a time when Poland’s previous centrist government was in power.
Amber Gold had promised customers high returns on investments in gold, but the firm folded in August 2012.
According to investigators, some 19,000 customers were swindled out of a combined PLN 851 million (EUR 200 million) at the time.
In a separate probe into the Amber Gold pyramid scheme scandal, a special Polish parliamentary commission last week submitted a final report on its two-and-a-half-year-long inquiry into the investment scam.
The presentation of the report followed hearings of Amber Gold employees, law enforcers, tax and financial supervision officials as well as former government officials including ex-Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who now holds a top EU role as president of the European Council.
Source: IAR, PAP