Targeted by a network of crooks, the Pathé group lost more than 19 million euros

Fraudsters pretended to be business executives in order to obtain cash payments from their Dutch subsidiary.

The Monde.fr with AFP
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• Updated

It will have been enough of a false electronic address. In March 2018, a group of crooks posing as leaders of Pathé relieved the French film group of the considerable sum of 19.2 million euros by persuading its Dutch subsidiary to transfer several times this amount on a external account. The reason given by the authors of this high-flying scam to justify these transfers was an alleged acquisition in Dubai, after which the money had to be repaid. The information was made public by a court in the Netherlands on Friday, 9 November.

"Neglected signals"

The network of crooks had won the trust of Pathé Netherlands' director, Dertje Meijer, and its chief financial officer, Edwin Slutter. It is precisely by rendering a decision in the context of proceedings initiated by Mr Slutter against the French group that the Dutch courts have revealed the content of this fraud. The latter contested the regularity of the conditions of his dismissal after the discovery of the fraud of which he had been the victim, on March 28, when part of the amount had to be borrowed from a fund managed by the headquarters of the group. La France.

Mr. Slutter was thanked with immediate effect on April 26, a few days after Mr.me Meijer. Both were accused of "Reprehensible behavior" by the leaders and shareholders of the group to have "Neglected signals" who should have alerted them to e-mails with fraudsters, the court said. Asked by Agence France-Presse, the group Pathé has not yet communicated on the case.

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