From Forbes to Europol: Charges Against Ivica Todorić Reign High

Lauren Simmonds

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The list of charges against Ivica Todorić are as incredible as they are damning, but will this just be another situation without any real end?

As tportal/Zoran Korda writes on the 8th of November, 2018, just ten days after the British decided to finally extradite Ivica Todorić to Croatia to face trial for his alleged crimes within the giant Agrokor Group, he arrived in the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

After spending the night in Remetinec prison following a regular Croatia Airlines flight to Franjo Tudjman Airport from London Heathrow, the former owner of Agrokor should now go before the investigative judge of the Zagreb County Court, faced with allegations of malversations that damaged his former company for a massive 1.6 billion kuna.

Let’s take a look back at just what the charges against Ivica Todorić are.

During the first investigation which launched back in October last year, Todorić, along with his sons Ante and Ivan and another dozen former senior Agrokor managers and auditors, are suspected of multiple criminal acts in doing business, including the forgery of documents.

The main point of the investigation was focused on deception involving financial statements over the last ten years. The initial suspicion was based on the results of a PwC audit, which found that by concealing the real costs and debts, and by overestimating the company’s gains, Todorić unlawfully paid the dividend.

This came to a total of 720 million kuna, which was apparently paid to Todorić, more specifically his Dutch company Adria Group Holding BV, for quite a number of years.

Todorić is also suspected of misusing Agrokor’s money for the launch of an initial public shares offer (IPO), for collecting fresh capital and listing Agrokor on the London Stock Exchange. The audit found that a sum of about two billion kuna intended for this purpose was mostly used to cover his personal expenses.

The former owner of Agrokor is also charged for withdrawing money from Agrokor to finance his personal financial operations. He is therefore suspected of having embezzled around 650 million kuna in complex financial transactions for the purchase of Agrokor’s shares by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

A loan of 192 million kuna, approved by Agrokor, was used for interest payments for PIK (payment in kind) bonds, issued back in 2014 for Mercator’s takeover. Todorić was formally obliged to return this borrowed money from the future dividends of Agrokor. However, the money was never returned, and the loans didn’t present themselves in the balance, but were instead classified as cash.

There is also a suspicion of him having organised the undercover financing of the company through a monopoly business in order to attempt to properly conceal the actual debt situation. In this way, the overall figure was falsely cut by as much as 1.5 billion kuna.

A second investigation was launched in December last year, and that relates to illegal loans which the private investment fund Nexus Private Equity gave to Agrokor back in 2016, through the Nexus company.

In the ongoing legal proceedings so far, the prosecution has examined 16 out of 17 witnesses and can’t actually get to the last of them all because the individual in question lives in the Netherlands and is a citizen of that country.

Still to come is the very extensive financial and auditing expertise carried out by the KPMG audit firm, which should be completed by the end of the year.

While it has been reported that Todorić is set to remain in custody for now, owing to an apparent ”flight risk”, the belief still remains that Todoric will likely await his actual trial in freedom, as there is no longer any danger of him or others influencing any witnesses.

Want to keep up with the charges against Ivica Todorić now he’s back in Croatia? Stay up to date here.


Click here for the original article by Zoran Korda for tportal


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