Complaint due to careless investigation by the Prosecutor´s Office

We don´t want to accept the closing of the criminal investigations by the Austrian Prosecutor´s Office Against Economic Crime and Corruption (WKStA) into suspicions of systematic fraud and pyramid scheme on April 2016 and have therefore involved the Senior Public Prosecutor’s Office (OSTA) and presented a comprehensive disciplinary complaint.

 The public prosecutor brought the draft of a criminal case to the Senior Public Prosecutor’s Office after a four years’ investigation in 2015 that had then to be deferred due to “serious formal and substantive shortcomings”. The public prosecutor didn´t comply with the following formal criteria: The Senior Prosecutor´s Office reprimand refers to the fact that after the content list, the heading “Justification” should have been inserted. It also criticises that the prosecutor should have limited himself to the “facts relevant to the charges under consideration” and supported his justification “in an illustrative, intelligible form”. “Reference is made to the remaining uncorrected grammar and typing mistakes, as well as to the coloured highlighting in the public prosecutor’s deferred draft”, reads a communication from OSTA to WKStA.

Despite the request for improvement that was received on July 9, 2015, the public prosecutor failed to act, as we and the Viennese lawyer Dr. Fromhold criticize. All this didn´t happen although the WKStA could have made the necessary corrections very easily.

After two months, no improved case was sent back. The Vienna Regional Criminal Court stopped therefore the criminal investigation against Friedl and Lyoness Europe AG for systematic fraud and pyramid scheme by a decision of November 18, 2015.

The Senior Prosecutor´s Office Vienna is currently investigating the disciplinary complaint. “The disciplinary complaint has been received and is currently being examined”, said the First Senior Prosecutor Michael Klackl to the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

Lawyer Josef Fromhold makes serious accusations against the responsible prosecutor too. He states that the prosecutor´s performance was amateurish. He also told APA: “I asked him why he hadn´t heard the damaged parties. He just laughed and said: ‘I´ve got evidence enough’”. The prosecutor only heard witnesses for the defence, Fromhold declared. He is sure, that the inadequacies of the criminal investigation are a recurring theme through the entire criminal file. He also points out, by way of example, that the investigators hadn´t managed to seize 89,000 EUR from one of Friedl´s accounts, adding that the corresponding decision had been repealed by the Higher Regional Court (OLG) Vienna due to defects in the statement of reasons required and that after some twists and turns the investigator had refrained from presenting a new application for seizure. In its decision, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court pointed out some shortcomings too. The court wrote that the Prosecutor´s Office against Economic Crime and Corruption (WKStA) didn´t “investigate fully the incrimination of systematic fraud”. It also stated that due to the fact that the suspects hadn´t pretended that there were chances of winning, “there is no condition for criminality due to fraud”.

We criticise also the fact that the prosecutor didn´t carry out or managed to justify without formal errors any seizures or an “urgently needed examination of the IT-system”, as the court defined it.

As it is stated in the complementary letter of the disciplinary complaint dated August 1, 2016: “Naturally, when investigations are carried out in such a way, no relevant results can be obtained to appraise the facts of the proceedings, but the suspect can continue expanding his system undisturbed. They helped the system to generate even more (non-recoverable) income.

It was always clear to us: Lyoness members were deceived. They were promised profits and a career if they kept buying at Lyoness partner companies… we will not stop until all damaged members have recovered the invested money.

See also the press articles:

Tiroler Tageszeitung


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