Athens, 09 April 2015
D. Galaktopoulos “We denounce Information Society SA
for extortion, fraud and abuse of power”
“Our clients are held hostage for the last two years”
“We are obliged to fight back. We as a company and our clients are held hostage for the last two years by the administration of Information Society SA.
We denounce extortion, fraud and abuse of power by a group of people who systematically, on various pretexts and excuses, and with direct pressure insisted on having personal benefits so as for our client companies to get the money rightfully belonging to them.
These are the words of Dimitris Galaktopoulos, representative of the company European Infosystems who made the complaints by filing a lawsuit against those responsible for the management of the Information Society SA, and wrote a letter to the Deputy Minister of the Interior – Administrative Reconstruction, George Katrougκalos.
A press conference has been scheduled this Friday at a hotel in central Athens (17/4) on the scandal of Information Society SA.
Mr. Dimitris Galaktopoulos continued:
“The company where I work is a consultant for the implementation of state aid projects to approximately 600 businesses within the actions on digi-lodge, digi-content and digi-retail. We represent them in their communication with the competent bodies and agencies for the implementation and completion of their investment plans.
By November 2012, approximately 150 of our clients successfully implemented corresponding investment projects and disbursed their respective grants from Information Society SA. However, in May 2013, in violation of the rules of procedure of Information Society SA and of every concept of law and good governance, the company’s Board using as an excuse the complaints from strangers! decided to denounce to Economic Crimes Enforcement Agency (SDOE) those beneficiary companies that have worked … with us! using irregularities as a pretext.
Information Society SA made the complaint without even addressing any question to the companies concerned in order to enable them to provide some clarification on this matter.”
“Fraud and scandal have names and concern the Board of Information Society SA and especially Mr. Antonis Ioannidis (former chairman) and Mr. George Tsakogiannis (present CEO). On behalf of all businesses we ask exemplary punishment and immediate expulsion from the Board of any person concerned and of course the intervention of the authorities responsible for issuing Certificates of Completion and payment of our clients.”
AND STILL MORE
from our correspondent
In response to Mr. Tsakogiannis’s reply to my complaint, I would like to clarify the following to avoid impressions:
Currently businesses represented by the company where I work are victims of discrimination with a view to blackmailing them financially.
Mr. Tsakogiannis in his letter-reply to my complaint regarding the financial blackmail is using as an excuse the fact that the Board of Information Society SA is delaying the payments to our clients due to controls of the Economic Crimes Enforcement Agency (SDOE) to these businesses, while he is aware of the fact that SDOE investigates a sample of all the businesses that have participated in the actions of the State aid after the complaints of the Board of Information SA and not only those that have collaborated with us.
The last Board, however, unlawfully and in breach of the principle of equal treatment, with its resolution pays all other companies except those that have worked with us without any real justification.
Mr. Tsakogiannis and the Board have in their possession since 26/6/2014 a document-response ref.no. 33077/Α.ΠΛ.4801, by Mr. Dimitris Sousounis, Head of the Paying Authority, to a question by Mr. Antonis Ioannidis, former chairman of Information Society SA, who deliberately concealed it for two months and which is attached to my complaint which expressly states that:
“the initiation of the control procedure along with the information and data search by the competent authority does not imply per se putting the payment process on hold. Only in cases where the competent control authority has informed you about even a suspicion of irregularity errors or fraud, it can lead to putting the payment process on hold.
In all other cases the Information Society SA as Intermediary granting aid body must operate in accordance with the rules adopted and make payments to beneficiaries in accordance with the terms and procedures provided by applicable law.”
Furthermore, Mr. Tsakogiannis, as stated in the email on 9/10/2014 at 11:36 a.m. with subject “The suspension of payments for the actions on digi-retail, digi-lodge etc.”, which was sent to the Minister and Deputy Minister of Administrative Reform at that time, visited the Head of Division of SDOE and the assistant financial prosecutor which as he mentions informed him that:
“SDOE examines trade documents which could indicate fraud but so far no such evidence has been found
SDOE’s investigation can last for too long with unknown outcomes
Irrespective of the outcome of the investigation, the purpose of the Information Society SA is the respectful compliance with the ‘relevant regulatory framework’ (i.e., where applicable, the Ministerial Decision on each activity and the Regulation of Information Society SA).”
And he concludes:
“Further to this, as well as the recommendations which I requested and received from our legal consultants and the competent State Aid Action Unit, I feel safe to propose to the Board of Information Society SA the removal of horizontal decisions of suspensions of payments and adherence to a strict framework control in all cases, and particularly in those where there is even the slightest suspicion of irregularity.”
In other words, the competent authorities, simply by his own admission, informed him that they have found no evidence supporting the unnecessary complaint of the Board, they do not know when and how they will close the investigation conducted and that Information Society SA should implement the existing legislation, consisting of ministerial decrees and relevant guides regarding the implementation of actions, i.e. to pay the money illegally deducted from the recipients of the actions by infringing essentially ministerial decrees and rules of procedure of Information Society SA.
In the light of the above, the Board of the company during its meeting no. 486/13.11.2014, which Mr. Tsakogiannis shared after a whole month with his notice on 12/12/2014, decided inter alia the following:
“Payment of the expenditure incurred and information of the beneficiaries regarding the method of disbursing payments based on the existing framework during the year they incurred (Code of Books and Records, and other relevant circulars). The proposals included in the report of the Information Society SA, ref. no. 6689/30.5.2013, and promoted by the political leadership to further control in the competent authorities, temporarily will not only be included in the list of payment approval, but will be submitted to a separate list of the relevant recommendation of the CEO to be examined case-by-case”.
Then Mr. Tsakogiannis after having guaranteed the control of the payment flow, hired Mr. Dimitris Lioulias as his consultant and external partner of Information Society SA to negotiate the conditions and the percentage that the board members wanted to receive from the payment of each project to our client, which are listed in the email sent to me on 15/12/2014 with the subject “gia amesso kleisimo eisigisi tin pempti (for immediate closure recommendation on Thursday)” and was published by http://www.tvxs.gr
In order to guarantee that the percentages which we would have accepted will be reimbursed they determined that these projects will be examined ‘case-by-case’, and the recommendations for the payments will come in parts. The term ‘case-by-case’ means that they would approve the projects’ payments after they received their percentage and they would then proceed to the next approval.
Regarding my delay to report the fact immediately to the police, I have not done so because I did not have all the data to support the involvement of the board members.
I would also like to note that Information Society SA systematically refuses to provide documents even after prosecutor’s orders. Documents such as the minutes of the Board that should be available on demand since they concern a company of the Greek government are deliberately concealed.
It is also important that all of the above are known to the political leadership of the Ministry of Administrative Reform, which was conspicuous by its absence and certainly responsible for the placement and retention of these people on the Board of this company.
All the information I managed to gather is in the hands of the public prosecutor of Athens and is part of the complaint report that I have placed before him.
more next week of this saga.
In view of the current situation in Greece this may well be vital .