Amsterdam accuses cafe boss of fraud
2 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM − Amsterdam Municipal Council accused millionaire entertainment entrepreneur Sjoerd Kooistra on Friday of profiting from illegal activities by buying cafes and restaurants that are later declared bankrupt.
2 July 2004
AMSTERDAM − Amsterdam Municipal Council accused millionaire entertainment entrepreneur Sjoerd Kooistra on Friday of profiting from illegal activities by buying cafes and restaurants that are later declared bankrupt.
The Council alleges that Kooistra tampers with accounts of the businesses in question and it has handed a dossier on Kooistra over to justice officials, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
The investigation was launched after complaints lodged by staff of businesses that Kooistra allegedly allowed to be declared bankrupt. Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen claimed that the accused regularly misled the Council when applying for permits.
Kooistra owns about 80 cafes across the Netherlands in Amsterdam, Groningen and Nijmegen. Several of the cafes have been declared bankrupt in rapid succession, but never remain closed for a long time.
Well-known cafes that went bankrupt in Amsterdam are the Oesterbar on the Rembrandtplein and Heinekenhoek on the Leidseplein, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.
Kooistra − who is said to be worth EUR 100 million − has denied the allegations and said leaseholders of the bankrupted businesses are responsible for the repayment of massive debts.
It is alleged that Kooistra profits financially from the bankruptcies and that he personally directs the scam. Amsterdam Council also claims that Kooistra is closely involved in the exploitation of cafes that he leases — at least on paper — to third parties.
Kooistra keeps himself at a distance from the bankruptcies, the Council claims. City officials have asked fiscal investigation service FIOD and the social security service UWV to launch an investigation into the entrepreneur's business activities.
Furthermore, the Council has indicated that in future it intends to turn down permit applications for new businesses that Kooistra might file for the purposes of fraud. All existing approved application requests will be reassessed.
Assen Court ruled in March this year that Kooistra was financially responsible for the bankruptcy of another person, who leased a premises, the interior and brewery contract.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news