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Greece’s Interrupted Folli Follie Jewelers Fraud Trial Sets Restart

September 17, 2023

ATHENS – A year and a half after it was postponed because lawyers said they couldn’t be present, the trial of the family owners of the bankrupt Folli Follie jewelry and accessory company charged with fraud will begin again.

The main defendants are the firm’s founder Dimitris Koutsolioutsos and his son Georgios, who – with other defendants – are charged with falsifying balance sheets and financial offenses and forming a criminal organization.

The others on trial are former shareholders and executives in a case due to resume Sept. 27 as they face charges that alleged fraud involved some 413 million ($440.5 million) from the company.

The case began in 2015 and has been going on for some years, which isn’t unusual in Greece where trials are frequently disrupted by lawyers claiming other commitments and defendants not required to be present.

After years of investigations it wasn’t referred to the courts until 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic that saw limited hours of activity with all the defendants who had been detained being released.

The statute of limitations to prosecute is fast expiring on a number of the accusations brought against Koutsolioutsos and his son after an accounting investigation found that supervisory authorities and the stock market allowed a scam, including embezzlement, to go on from 2000-17.

The court’s President Maria Andreopoulou, took the unprecedented decision in December, 2022 to stop the proceedings after complaining it was being “held hostage” in a legal snafu causing a problem.

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