Principals face jail if convicted of illegal gambling, money laundering and tax evasion
InfoPowa readers casting their minds back to 2013 will recall the high-profile raids across the Netherlands by Dutch police and prosecutors which effectively shuttered the Dutch games developer Sheriff Gaming and its parent company Bubble NV.
The judicial and police action led to the arrest on charges of tax evasion, money laundering and illegal gambling of three men, former CEO Stijn Flapper, and alleged associates Maurice Gregoire and Michel Gregoire.
Authorities and raiding parties seized bank accounts and property across Europe, claiming that the assets were part of the alleged Euro 100 million generated by illegal activity involving the three accused, which included operating seven Costa Rica-based gambling sites.
Flapper and the Gregoires have denied any wrongdoing, and Flapper has launched a Euro 75 million lawsuit against the Dutch government for its actions against him, but that has not stopped the wheels of justice grinding on, and in September the three men found themselves in a Den Bosch court, with prosecutors calling for stiff jail penalties.
The prosecution appear to regard Flapper as the lead accused in the case, and the one who profited most from the alleged illegal activity, but all three have been targeted by the Dutch tax authorities with unpaid tax bills totalling Euro 13.6 million.
Prosecutors are asking for confiscation orders on certain properties in moves that involve not only the accused, but family members and others allegedly linked to the criminal activity. The evidence of an erstwhile Sheriff Gaming software engineer probably had something to do with this after he revealed that Sheriff games were designed to avoid large jackpot pay-outs, and that in some cases jackpots were awarded to family members or friends.
Local media reports indicate that in total around 18 people – including the three principle accused – are facing a variety of charges arising from their involvement in the Sheriff Gaming-Bubble debacle, including accounting and legal advisers.
The defence will begin presenting its case in the coming week in an attempt to neutralise the evidence thus far adduced by the prosecutors.