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Society

Facing Criminal Charges, Folli Follie Executives Still Control Board

February 10, 2020

ATHENS – The New Democracy government is reportedly planning to suspend the voting rights of top executives of the troubled Greek jewelry and accessory making Folli Follie who are trying to remove board members who want to settle with creditors during long-running bankruptcy procedures.

The measure is aimed at main stakeholder Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, the main stakeholder in jewelry company Folli Follie, on a recommendation by Capital Market Commission head Vassiliki Lazarakou.

There’s been no explanation why he hasn’t already been prosecuted and as he’s been seeking to to install a board and manager of his preference while accused of tampering with the listed company’s financial data.

Unidentified sources at the Finance Ministry, which oversees the Capital Market Commission, told Kathimerini there’s dismay they have to legislate for a second time in three months in a case they said stains the reputation of the Greek securities market.

The same sources said that after a November 2019 measure imposing a temporary management on Folli Follie, the market watchdog stopped short of ejecting more or all board members, apparently without explanation.

Koutsolioutsos, accused of market manipulation, forgery, and forming a criminal organization, made his move two months after the country’s Capital Market Commission demanded the resignation of his son, former CEO Georgios Koutsolioutsos.

Before the government said it would step in, sources who weren’t identified told Kathimerini the plan to replace board members would be presented to the board at an upcoming emergency meeting of Folli Follie shareholders and then to the commission overseeing the markets in Greece.

Based on a lengthy investigation by prosecutor Yiannis Dragatsis, the actions concern members of the Koutsolioutsos family, the founders of the Folli Follie group, but also the firm’s executives between 2009into early 2018.

Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, his son Tzortzis and another four individuals are charged with running, forming and joining a criminal organization, including the head finance chief, and an employee of a subsidiary in Asia, as well as the company’s Greek financial director.

Six people, of which three are foreign nationals, stand accused of criminal forgery and Dimitris and Tzortzis Koutsolioutsos of morally instigating forgery, while 13 people face charges for manipulating stocks, including three members of the Koutsolioutsos family and the rest of the company’s board in 2016-2017.

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