A shocking case was reported by the Budapest Prosecutor’s Office on Monday: a car dealership employee was charged with selling 24 vehicles and embezzling the more than 223 million forints (EUR 550,000) he made from the sales, causing a huge loss to his employer.
In most cases, the cars were transferred to bona fide buyers, but the 27-year-old defendant did not pay the amount to his employer, but spent it on himself. He used the money to buy cars, high-value technical goods, and clothes.
Furthermore, he gambled the money away in casinos and online sports betting sites.
In one of the most egregious cases, the man accepted the HUF 8 million (EUR 20,000) purchase price of a car and promised to report back to the buyer in a week. However, he spent the money on himself and never handed over the car to the new owner.
According to media reports, the incidents occurred at Wallis, a largely known automobile company, and the cars concerned were BMWs. During this time frame,
a total of 25 cars could have been mishandled at one of the Wallis dealership premises in Budapest where the company’s used car dealership is located.
At the beginning of 2020, during an inventory, it turned out that there should have been 24 additional cars as compared to the standing stocks in the parking lot, which is surrounded by a fence, equipped with a barrier, a camera, and a guard booth, but there was no sign of them. When the cars were found with their new owners, they were seized by the police and impounded.
The owners said that they officially paid the price for the cars and got them transferred to their names, so the cars are theirs. They stated that if there was an abuse, it was a matter for Wallis, they had nothing to do with it. However, the company claimed that their employee sold the cars by forging documents and without the money being transferred to Wallis. On this basis, the company can claim ownership of the high-value vehicles.
Eventually, after the investigation stage had been concluded, every owner except for one got his car back from the police.
The events raised serious questions about the oversight at Wallis Motors, and in addition to that, several of the effected buyers said that when they paid the price for the cars, it happened at Wallis, although they did not get official papers. One of those involved even brought the vehicle back for repairs. The preliminary investigation found that the employee acted alone.
The 27-year-old defendant is accused of pocketing hundreds of millions between April 2019 and January 2020. The prosecutor’s office of the Budapest 9th District brought charges of commercial embezzlement before the Pest Central District Court, and proposed that the court hands down a custodial sentence. The accused might also have to pay the criminal costs exceeding HUF 7.5 million.
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