Four men have been convicted for orchestrating a carousel-type VAT fraud scheme in Monaco during the 2000s, resulting in a 107 million euro loss to the Principality State.

After a 15-year investigation and a two-day trial in February, the Monegasque justice system found the defendants guilty of using Monegasque companies to facilitate fraudulent transactions. The fraud involved the use of import-export companies in Monaco and other European entities, often empty shells, to create fictitious transactions in electronic components.

The complex scheme also involved money transfers through accounts in Hong Kong, adding a layer of opacity that hindered investigators. Two main fraudulent systems were identified: one around the companies ‘Miroil/Jea-Fra’ and a larger one involving ‘Tekworld’.

The court sentenced Willy J. to six months in prison, suspended, viewing him as an executor rather than the mastermind. Michel N., Clément F., and Khanh Long C. received 18-month suspended sentences. The judges noted that Michel N. played a significant role in setting up the financial circuits, while Clément F. seized an opportunity rather than being a habitual offender. Of the four men, Clément F. was the only with a clean record, while the others had previously been convicted for carousel related offences.

All defendants were placed under a five-year probationary period with an obligation to compensate the victims. The court ordered Khanh Long C. to pay over 758,000 euros to the Monegasque State, while Michel N. must reimburse over 2 million euros. Clément F. and Willy J. were jointly ordered to pay 104.6 million euros to Jean-Paul Samba, the trustee of SAM TekWorld’s liquidation.

The defendants’ lawyers have appealed the decision made.