IRAKLIO, Crete – Hundreds of supporters who were scammed out of their money by a self-declared trillionaire who’s a fugitive showed up outside a courtroom here to back the man who stole from them and protest his trial on charges of doing that.
Artemis Sorras, his wife – also on the lam – and eight others aligned with him distributed false information about their money-making scheme to investors and incited them, prosecutors said.
Sorras’ lawyer though said the court President should step down, along with the prosecutor and said he would sue them for abuse of power as the bizarre tale continued to get weirder and as it appeared he had absconded with the money they gave him as members of his organization even though he said he had trillions.
Earlier this year, Greece’s Supreme Court has overturned a 2013 ruling by an Athens misdemeanor court stating that Sorras – now on the run after being convicted of being a scam artist and running a criminal organization – had the right to manage what turned out to be a fraudulent $600 billion fund and acquitted him of
Judges said the 2013 decision was not based on any substantiated evidence. The ruling bears no legal consequence on Sorras, though he will no longer be able to invoke the 2013 decision if he’s ever caught.
Sorras, who claimed to have enough money to pay off Greece’s entire public debt and that of its citizens, has been on the lam after being sentenced in March by a court in Patra, western Greece, to eight years in prison on charges of embezzlement.
He is the founder and leader of a nationalist political organization, Convention of Greeks, which has drawn thousands of followers who were asked to pay a fee even though he said he had more money than most of the billionaires on earth combined
Officials said his claims of having trillions of dollars was imaginary and designed to get money from people but he was allowed to keep scamming them until he vanished.
Sorras required followers to take an oath of allegiance to the ancient gods. Seven of his alleged associates were also charged with related offenses.
Sorras said he could personally pay off Greece’s more than 347 billion euros ($371 billion) debt and that of all Greeks but didn’t nor was there any indication of where the money was as no Greek bank had it.
Some followers reportedly told tax officials to have him pay their debts but there’s no reports he’s done that while pocketing their fees.
The government had finally looked into his his claims that he made $115 trillion from from inventing a fuel that would take spaceships to Mars and selling it to the U.S. government which has a Gross Domestic Product of $16.7 trillion.
His wife received the same sentence from a court but she took off with him. There were no reports on where the money he pocketed in fees from his followers went.
Critics chastised the courts and justice system for taking so long to go after a man they said was obviously a scam artist and got away with it.