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Rzeszow. 372 people lost over PLN 20 million on the financial pyramid. 10 people were charged in the case

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They were supposed to collect money from volunteers for unspecified investments and promise profits, acting in the so-called scheme. financial pyramid. In this way, 372 people lost a total of over PLN 20 million. 10 people were charged.

Prosecutor Krzysztof Ciechanowski, spokesman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Rzeszów, which conducted the investigation and prepared the indictment, announced on Wednesday (March 22) that the person responsible, directing the entire organized crime group and making decisions within it, was a 39-year-old resident of Rzeszów, Piotr M.

Apart from him, the residents of Rzeszów are also accused in this case: 33-year-old Mariana M., 39-year-old Marek M.; inhabitants of the province Lesser Poland: 54-year-old Robert F., 51-year-old Jaromir P.; inhabitants of the province Silesian: 52-year-old Bogdan F., 39-year-old Elżbieta G-K.; inhabitants of the province Mazowieckie: 33-year-old Norbert S. and 36-year-old Paweł S. and a resident of the province Podkarpackie, 36-year-old Stanisław K.

READ ALSO: Over 200 people fell for the financial pyramid. They didn’t even know what they were “investing” in

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They promised “above average profits”, they were to invest money

According to the accusation, the group operated from January 2014 to February 28, 2019 in Rzeszów and other towns in the country. Prosecutor Ciechanowski informed that the defendants acting as part of an organized crime group were involved in the procedure of leading 372 people to unfavorable disposal of property in the total amount of over PLN 20 million. They did this using an elaborate group structure of various fictitious companies that in reality are not were conducting business activities or only pretended to conduct such activity.

They were supposed to collect money from the victims for unspecified investments, such as the sale of real estate at a high profit, and promise them above-average profits. The amounts collected from investors ranged from PLN 500 to even PLN 200,000. zloty.

– The practice consisted in misleading these people as to the intention to invest and the specific allocation of funds for unspecified investment purposes. However, they had no intention of fulfilling the concluded obligations to return the capital paid by these persons along with above-average profits within the deadlines specified in the contracts, thus causing the erroneous belief that the funds transferred on the basis of concluded contracts are generated from a number of profitable business ventures – spokesman for the prosecutor’s office explained.

As the spokesman adds, when one of the victims insisted and was determined to pay him the money due, the defendants delayed for a long time, and in the meantime they obtained money from subsequent “new investors”, from which they made the requested payments to the “old investors”.

READ ALSO: May have misled customers. Cryptocurrency exchange under the scrutiny of UOKiK

The process was characterized by the so-called money laundering

In addition, the money, apart from partial payments to investors as profits or return of capital, was also transferred to bank accounts of various other business entities represented or controlled by Piotr M. and, to a large extent, by Mariana M.

They were then passed on to based on loan agreements, pre-paid card top-ups, which were to be transferred to investors in order to collect profits from investments through them, as well as collected in banks in cash or collected from ATMs in the country – mentioned prosecutor Ciechanowski.

At the same time, he noted that this mechanism was intended to conceal the origin of the money, reveal it and secure it, and thus had the characteristics of the so-called money laundering.

– All the defendants were accused of making such a practice a permanent source of income – emphasized the prosecutor.

The main defendant, Piotr M., will be charged with the crime of leading and participating in an organized criminal group, fraud in relation to property of great value, money laundering and making a permanent source of income from committing a crime.

Piotr M. admitted to the alleged acts, “expressed regret and remorse” and voluntarily subjected him to punishment

Initially, Piotr M. did not admit to the alleged acts and made extensive explanations, indicating, among other things, that he did not intend to deceive anyone, because he really wanted to carry out planned various types of business projects that failed for various reasons.

– As a consequence, however, in the course of the investigation, Piotr M. admitted to committing the alleged acts, expressed regret and remorse for the situation and his conduct, and submitted a request to voluntarily submit to the penalty agreed with the prosecutor at the stage of the preparatory proceedings – the prosecutor informed Ciechanowski.

He will spend nine years in prison. He is also supposed to return the money to the victims

The agreed penalty for Piotr M. is nine years and six months in prison, a fine of PLN 270,000. zloty. In addition, the defendant undertook to repair the damage in full for the benefit of the aggrieved parties in the total amount of over PLN 20 million.

According to the agreed penalty, Piotr M. is also prohibited from conducting business activity with an insurance profile and related to trading in financial instruments, and from holding positions and performing functions in capital companies for a period of eight years.

Some of the accused pleaded not guilty

The accused Marek M. also admitted to the alleged acts, who also expressed regret and remorse for his conduct. He also surrendered himself voluntarily. The agreed sentence against him was one and a half years in prison, 30,000 zlotys. fines and a ban on holding positions and performing functions in capital companies for a period of two years.

Among the remaining defendants, only Mariana M. did not specify whether or not she admitted to the acts she was accused of and provided extensive explanations.

The other defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Some of them submitted explanations in which they denied participating in an organized criminal group and led a number of people to an unfavorable disposal of property. They indicated that they were not aware that the funds collected by them were not invested at all, as Piotr M.

Piotr M. has already been punished for penal and fiscal offences

Piotr M. has been in custody since February 27, 2019. On the other hand, various types of preventive measures of a libertarian nature are applied to the remaining defendants.

In addition, in the course of the investigation, the property of the suspects was secured against future penalties, punitive measures and compensation measures for a total amount of approximately PLN 3.5 million.

The accused Piotr M. has already been punished for penal and fiscal offences. Jaromir P. and Paweł S. were also punished, while the other defendants had not been punished so far. They are punishable by up to 15 years in prison for the alleged acts.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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