High-profile Cases in Hungary:
Here are four cases that show the slow pace of corruption prosecutions in
K&H Bank, Attila Kulcsar: the former broker embezzled about $50 million and, according to testimony, routinely paid off political functionaries, often $100,000 or more, especially those in the ruling left-wing party. He remains in home confinement awaiting trial after his indictment this year after five years of investigation. Half a dozen political figures were mentioned as beneficiaries of Kulcsar’s dealings but they remain uncharged.
– Case broke in 2003, indictments issued in 2008. Case continues in court.
Postabank case, Gabor Princz: Princz and 6 former leaders of the now-defunct Postabank were charged with embezzlement of about $200 million. The bank issued substantial credit to faltering companies owned by politically connected figures, invested in other companies, never expecting the money to be repaid, and maintained a VIP list of celebrities and dignitaries who were granted credit for a fraction of the market rate. Princz and the others remain free and have appealed the last round of sentences, all fines that are fractions of the sum embezzled. None were sentenced to jail.
– Case started in 1997, still ongoing at the Supreme Court.
Energol case: In the largest known oil scam of the 1990s, 18 defendants evaded taxes worth about $12 million while doing business with illegal oil products. In an investigation that spanned 11 years, 6 people were sentenced earlier this year, all to terms of 2 years or less. None is in jail yet; their cases are awaiting appeal. The case has many of the same defendants as another high-profile organized crime case now underway, but the two cases were not examined together.
– Case started in 1996, concluded in 2007.
Csaba Schlecht: In 1995, Schlecht, an entrepreneur, sold 14 companies, along with their debt of $2 million in unpaid taxes, to a Turkish guest worker in
--Case broke in 1999. Police announced on September 11, 2001, that they had abandoned the investigation, saying it was “unlikely to yield any conclusive results.”
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