Ten accused in multi-million euro stamp fraud

2nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2007, MADRID — Ten more people have been indicted for the stamp fraud case which affected hundreds of thousands of small investors in Spain.

2 February 2007

MADRID — Ten more people have been indicted for the stamp fraud case which affected hundreds of thousands of small investors in Spain.

Judge Santiago Pedraz indicted the executives in connection with what has become known as the 'Afinsa case'.

This involved the alleged EUR 3.5 billion investment fraud carried out by executives of two stamp dealing companies Afinsa and Forum Filatelico.

Nine executives from both companies have already been accused in connection with the case which affected the savings of almost 350,000 small investors.

Afinsa is accused of overvaluing stamps which were then sold on to investors.

Both companies were said to be bankrupt.

They are accused of fraud, criminal insolvency, money laundering, tax evasion and embezzlement.

The two companies were said to have operated a classic pyramid-style fraud in which investors were promised returns of up to 10 percent on investments in rare stamps.

But in fact, the companies could never make the promised returns so depended on a constantly rising number of investors.

Small investors were charged too much for stamps which were over-valued. The investors never saw the stamps.

The court papers said between 2000 and 2002, Afinsa bought stamps for EUR 57.8 million and sold them for EUR 723.5m.

This represented a mark-up or overvaluation of 1,000 percent.

The ten new accused are Joaquín Abajo, Afinsa secretary general, Tomás Olalde, external executive and partner of the company's American partner company, Cuatrecasas, Antonio Giménez-Rico, organisation director, José Fernando Galindo del Río and Francisco Jiménez, corporate directors,  Fernando Burdiel, comercial director  Bernardo Valero, budgeting director,  Ramón Egurbide, European director for Escala, a related company and Esteban Pérez, corporate strategy director for Escala.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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