Million euro fraud with private pensions. Bank says pension deposits not affected

Two bank employees among suspects.

One of the largest private pension funds in Romania is at the center of a criminal investigation, in which the damage is huge: over four million euros. The suspects are employees of the fund, which allegedly facilitated more than 700 illegal transfers in the last three years.

On Thursday, the Capital’s police and prosecutors execute 48 house search warrants, 80 arrest warrants and 32 document collection orders at addresses in Bucharest and Ilfov, Teleorman, Constanţa, Tulcea, Olt, Prahova, Dâmboviţa, Sibiu counties , Braşov, Vâlcea, Vrancea and Gorj, in a criminal case of embezzlement.

“At the beginning of May 2022, the administrators of a private pension fund, associated with a banking unit, notified the lack of supporting documents for debiting deposit accounts, amounting to approximately 22 million lei,” informs the General Directorate of Bucharest Municipality Police (DGPMB).

Thus, more than 700 withdrawals from customer accounts would have been made. The investigation concerns embezzlement offenses (726 material acts), complicity in embezzlement, intellectual forgery, use of forgery and false statements, facts of which 15 individuals are suspected, including two employees of the banking unit and several legal entities. According to the quoted source, in the period 2019-2022, two persons employed within the bank, with the support of relatives and seven legal entities, allegedly appropriated and used in personal interest the amount of 23.5 million lei from the private fund pension accounts.

Hotnews says the targeted bank is BRD. According to some judicial sources, among those targeted would be the general director of BRD Pensii Private Alina Andreescu, suspended in May by the Financial Supervision Authority (ASF).

Back then, the general manager and members of the management of BRD Societate de Administrare de Fonduri de Pensii Private were sanctioned with cumulative fines of over 270,000 lei on the grounds that they violated the rules of corporate governance and those regarding the accounting records of the administrator, the Supervisory Authority announced Financial Services (ASF). In addition, their approvals for the positions held were withdrawn.

BRD: Deposits of pension participants have not been affected

In retort, BRD said that the deposits of participants in the Pillar 2 and 3 pension funds have not been affected by this case.

“As we communicated on May 13, 2022, some irregularities were discovered regarding a series of accounting records related to the general expenditure accounts of BRD Society for the Administration of Private Pension Funds (SAFPP). SAFPP immediately took all necessary remedial measures, including the filing of a criminal complaint and the removal of the Director-General. All competent authorities, as well as statutory shareholders and auditors, have been duly notified.

The company’s shareholders covered the amount that is the subject of the ongoing investigations, and SAFPP’s activity is normally carried out. 

We specify that the holdings of the participants in the Pillar 2 and 3 pension funds, administered by SAFPP, as well as their assets, which are kept at a depository bank and are separated by law from the administrator’s own funds, have not been and are not affected in any way by this situation. 

We also mention that SAFPP and BRD Groupe Societe Generale are two different legal entities and no employee of BRD Groupe Societe Generale was involved in this situation,” the bank said in a press release.

bankingBRDcriminal investigationdamageembezzlementfraudprivate pension fund
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