Five years jail, fine for embezzling EUR 87m
28 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Ghent Court sentenced on Monday a man and woman to five years jail for the embezzlement of EUR 87.5 million from the bank Crédit Lyonnais between 1982 and 1997.
28 February 2006
BRUSSELS — Ghent Court sentenced on Monday a man and woman to five years jail for the embezzlement of EUR 87.5 million from the bank Crédit Lyonnais between 1982 and 1997.
The court also ordered the two defendants, Daisy Ragole and Laurent Demey, to pay a fine of EUR 99,157.41, news agency Belga reported.
Ragole, a former Crédit Lyonnais employee, and her ex-husband were given the maximum sentence.
The court also ordered the sequestration of the embezzled and laundered money. Both defendants were also stripped of their civil rights for five years.
The judge ruled that the reasonable term of limitations had not been exceeded for Ragole and Demey, but ruled otherwise for the other suspects.
Eleven co-defendants — employees and business partners of Demey — therefore escaped any fine and received suspended sentences instead.
Ragole, 58, and Demey, 57, embezzled EUR 87.5 million from a branch of the bank Crédit Lyonnais (now known as Deutsche Bank) in Ghent over 15 years.
Demey used the money to buy two castles in Merelbeke and Waasmunster, an orange tree plantation in Costa Rica, hotels in Switzerland, villas in Marbella (Spain), an airline in Sri Lanka and Ferraris.
He invested millions of old Belgian francs in a golf club and in the then First Division soccer club SV Waregem.
However, all of his investments ended badly. For her part, Ragole invested only EUR 125,000 of the embezzled money in art.
Ragole — like Demey — has served just nine months in pre-trial detention, but her lawyer, Vic Van Aelst, wants to keep her out of prison.
However, an appeal is not the most likely option and Van Aelst might apply for electronic supervision to be imposed on his client. An appeal for clemency might also be lodged with judicial authorities.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news