Deleted Documents, Dodgy Emails And Rampant Fraud: Inside What AEK Athens Owner Dimitris Melissanidis Stands Accused Of | AfroNaija



 
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Deleted documents, dodgy emails and rampant fraud: Inside what AEK Athens owner Dimitris Melissanidis stands accused of

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Deleted documents, dodgy emails and rampant fraud: Inside what AEK Athens owner Dimitris Melissanidis stands accused of

A trial for AEK Athens owner Dimitris Melissanidis around fraud amounting to 200 million pounds has begun in a court in Luxembourg this week.

Melissanidis stands accused of using stolen funds from one of his other businesses, Aegean Marine Petroleum network inc, to help prop up his football club, among other ventures without disclosure, leaving the company in bankruptcy come 2018.

The background

The owner of Greek Super League club AEK Athens is well-known businessman Dimitris Melissanidis, with his current stay at the helm of the club his second, following a period in charge in the 1990s.

He is also the owner, and founder, of other companies. Specific to this case, he founded Aegean Oil, a fuel company, in 1999.

Aegean Oil, however, found itself out of business in the latter part of 2018 as a result of accounting fraud, which saw around 200 million euros struck from their asset sheet, plunging the company significantly enough into the red that they were forced to file for bankruptcy.

It is claimed that this money was stolen from the company by Melissanidis, and then over 10 million euros worth was pumped into football club AEK Athens, to pay for player transfers and general upkeep, between 2015 and 2018.

And now, the court is hearing the case.

The case

The complaints are being heard in a business court in Luxembourg, with shareholders targetting Melissanidis with their fury.

Now, as per Tradewinds, the full scope of the case has been laid bare.

According to the above source, it is alleged that Aegean Oil paid millions to a third-party company, also owned by Melissanidis, during the construction of a terminal in the UAE, with the funds subsequently being funnelled into football club AEK Athens, among other “personal ventures”.

The report continues:

“Citing emails, invoices and auditor reports, the former Aegean Marine shareholders said those funds were used to pay players and coaches at AEK, as well as cover yachting expenses and to make other payments to Melissanidis owned or controlled companies”

The story gets more complex too, with alleged file deletion suggesting that everything was perhaps not entirely above board in the transactions:

They said that once investigators from EY began looking into the potential fraud, Aegean Marine began running “military-grade” deletion software to wipe 53.4 gigabytes, or over 245,000 documents, from the company’s computers. The former shareholders said Melissanidis was involved in directing the scheme, as the company’s server was located in the same building as one of his privately-held companies, Aegean Oil.

Both Melissanidis and the other defendants strongly deny such claims, and argue that he did not have control over all the companies involved. With a criminal past, however, it is unclear just how clean the AEK owner’s hands are, something that will only be decided by the courts.

Read more:

Daylight robbery – AEK Athens owner alleged to have pumped stolen money into Greek outfit

AEK Athens owner off the hook? 15 million settlement fee agreed over fraud allegations

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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