The Liège Court of Appeal issued its conclusions on Tuesday morning concerning the tax fraud case set up at the casino in Namur.
This court takes note of the exceeding of the reasonable period of time and sanctions those responsible for suspended prison sentences. Confiscations are maintained and some of the instigators of this fraud must also be fined. It was in March 2004 that this case of tax fraud came to light and an investigation was opened. This investigation, which lasted several years, led to the indictment of several individuals. During the first trial, several sentences were handed down. The prosecution appealed against these decisions and the Liège Court of Appeal delivered its verdict on Tuesday.
The verdict of the Liège Court of Appeal
Last Tuesday, the Liège Court of Appeal delivered the verdict on a vast fraud case at the Namur casino. This second-degree court has admitted that the reasonable time has been exceeded. As a result, it sentences the accused to suspended prison sentences. However, the financial penalties are much heavier since the Court maintains the right of justice to confiscate the sums pocketed by the defendants. In addition, sentences to pay fines have also been handed down.
Henriette Khaïda, the widow of Jozef Khaïda, receives a suspended prison sentence of 3 years, a fine of 11,000 euros and a confiscation of around 11 million euros. As for the former director of the establishment Albert Ancion, the Court punishes him with a suspended sentence of 2 years, a fine of 11,000 euros and a confiscation of approximately 1.8 million. euros. The former wardens involved in this fraud case are also sentenced to suspended prison sentences of 6 to 8 months. They also have to pay fines. The Liege Court of Appeal also pronounced against some employees eight convictions by simple conviction.
A well-established fraud system
In 2004, the Namur casino faced a tax fraud case involving several managers of the gaming establishment. According to investigators, managers and employees of the casino as well as tax agents are part of a criminal association that set up this vast fraud. The case is brought before the court and the main accused is none other than Armand Khaïda. The latter was sentenced, at first instance, to 3 years suspended prison sentence and 3.5 million confiscations.
The former director of the Namur casino, Albert Ancion, and Jozef Khaïda’s widow, Henriette Khaïda, were also found guilty, but the prosecution ruled that their sentences are not proportional to the scale of the crimes committed. Tax officials involved in this case also received a sentence deemed light by the prosecution. As a result, the latter appealed against the court’s decisions. Hence this second trial at the Liège Court of Appeal which was held last Tuesday.