Folli Follie Audit Shows Scam, Greek Supervisors, SYRIZA Involved

December 28, 2020

ATHENS – An accounting investigation of the bankrupt Folli Follie Greek jewelry and accessory maker Folli Folli found that supervisory authorities and the stock market allowed a scam, including embezzlement, to go on for years.

The company’s owners, the Koutsolioutsos family, conducted a fraud scheme from 2000-17, according to an audit from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said media reports, while agency officials looked the other way despite evidence of wrongdoing.

The audit, said Kathimerini, “also revealed the staggering and unprecedented negligence of supervisory authorities,” including not making a move after the scandal was busted open on May 3, 2018 by the American fund Quintessential Capital Management (QCM).

The Hellenic Capital Market Commission under then-Chairman Charalampos Gotsis, charged with protecting the stock market, nevertheless let the company keep selling shares for 21 days before suspending its trading butl let the family rule the business.

During the 16-month period until the start of the PwC investigation, data could have been destroyed, altered, falsified or concealed, the paper said, but not enough to prevent disclosure of alleged crimes, including stealing money from the company.

An email included in the report said the owners and Gotsis then discussed how to hide the breach and give instructions to give the impression the Capital Market Commission was doing its job to deflect criticism.

It got worse. The indication was that Gotsis was backing a bankrupt company accused of mismanagement and defrauding shareholders that had been exposed and that Folli Follie’s founder and President Dimitris Koutsolioutsos, and his son George still influenced favorable rulings from the commission for 18 months more.

The PwC report also suggested that ministers of the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA who were named in the report but not by Kathimerini, conspired to protect the Koutsolioutsos family although no motive was given for it.

The former ministers filed a criminal complaint against Folli Follie Security Director Nikolaos Sakkos over the email which insinuated political interference to protect the company from regulatory oversight, the paper added, the audit showing the management inflated its sales, profits and equity through virtual purchases and sales from/to both affiliated companies and completely nonexistent ones.

The report suggested the SYRIZA officials teamed to insulate the company’s owners from charges, allegedly with the support of then premier Alexis Tsipras and his government.

The email between Sakkos and George Koutsolioutsos includes a reference to Tsipras, stating that, “The instruction from above is to assist the (Folli Follie) Group. This is the position of Maximos Mansion [the PM’s office]. The prime minister was also informed.” There’s been no response from Tsipras.

The three ex-ministers, who denied wrongdoing, said their complaint to  Supreme Court prosecutor Vasiliki Pliota targeted Sakkos and anyone else who may be found responsible for defamation and insult.

“We filed a lawsuit to allow truth to shine. To prove that there is an effort to slander us and hurt SYRIZA, an effort that in my estimation is being made … by the New Democracy government in cooperation with interests either dark or visible,” said Flambouraris.


ATHENS – After vowing to keep out refugees and migrants – and denying reports of pushing them back – Greece's New Democracy government is going to extend a fence along the northern border with Turkey by the Evros River.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.