The French film group has been the target of fraud by people pretending to be leaders.
The French film group Pathé has been the target of a fraud of more than 19 million euros in March by people pretending to be leaders at the group's subsidiary in the Netherlands, according to a Dutch court. "Pathé seems to have been the target of a group of professional scammers who, thanks to a refined communication, managed to win the trust of certain collaborators," said a court in Amsterdam.
Pretended acquisition in Dubai
"The fraudster managed to convince the employees to transfer several times a considerable amount of money, for a total of more than 19 200 000 euros," added the court in a judgment of 31 October made public Friday. The Amsterdam court handed down a decision in the context of proceedings opened by Pathe Netherlands' former chief financial officer, Edwin Slutter, against the French group. He protested against the terms of his dismissal after discovering the fraud he was targeted.
In e-mails sent out in the month of March from a false e-mail address, the fraudsters asked Edwin Slutter and Pathé Netherlands director Dertje Meijer to make money transfers to finance a so-called Dubai. The fraudsters pretended to be the direction of the group Pathé and specified that the money would be refunded after the transaction.
The two Dutch leaders have made several transfers of money, until the amount raised by the court is reached. The fraud was detected on March 28, when part of the amount had to be borrowed from a fund managed by the group's head office in France.
Edwin Slutter was thanked with immediate effect on April 26, a few days after Dertje Meijer. Both were accused of "reprehensible behavior" by the leaders and shareholders of the group for "neglecting signals" that should have alerted them in the exchange of emails with fraudsters, said the court. The court ordered the payment of the former CFO's salary until December 1, 2018.