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MALTATODAY 3 October 2021

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3 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 3 OCTOBER 2021 NEWS Enterprises for a Sustainable Maltese Economy Panelists are set to discuss ways in which Maltese enterprises, across sectors and industries are embracing the transition towards greener and more sustainable business models. This event will hone in on the present opportunities, specific challenges and key aspects such as sustainable financing with industry players and major stakeholders. 5 th October 2021 | 9:30am Join us live on Sostenibilità facebook page Maltese Cross bust: investor fund demands payment of €2.4 million MATTHEW AGIUS THE Investor Compensation Scheme has filed a court case against the managing director of the now defunct Maltese Cross Financial Services (MCFS), Jean Claude Bugeja, demanding a re- fund of the €2.4 million it paid out to investors affected by the company's collapse. In August 2014, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) suspended the compa- ny's licence pending an inves- tigation. The authority determined that Maltese Cross's financial position rendered it unable to meet its obligations, resulting from claims made by investors. Bugeja's authorisation to act as a director, compliance officer, money laundering officer and investment advisor was re- voked on the same day. Later that month, the MFSA issued another notice, add- ing that there was a "material shortfall" in assets caused by misuse and manipulation of the assets. As a result, it said, investments which should have been controlled by the com- pany on behalf of its clients "might have been lost." This shortfall was later con- firmed as being just over €6,475,000. The Investor Compensation Scheme accused Bugeja of hav- ing committed "several crimes, illegalities and mismanage- ment" in the running of the company, misappropriating monies through speculative investments that were not au- thorised by the clients or the MFSA, as well as falsification of documents, unauthorised transactions and totally false accounting. In September 2014, Bugeja was charged in court, accused of misappropriation and mon- ey laundering amongst other offences. A month later, the court declared that there was sufficient evidence for him to be indicted. The Investor Compensation Scheme had been subrogated into the rights of the investors and had paid them some €2.4 million in compensation. Only €33,275 were recovered from MCFS, leaving a balance of €2,380,852. It therefore asked the First Hall of the Civil Court to order Bugeja to reimburse it for this amount. The case will be heard by Mr Justice Neville Camilleri. Law- yer Paul Cachia filed the sworn application. Jean Claude Bugeja

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