A group of people who put tens of thousands of euros into bankrupt investment fund Easy Life are taking the financial regulator AFM, the central bank and public prosecution department to court for negligence, Nos television reports on Monday.
The 275 investors claim the authorities knew the investment fund was fraudulent but failed to stop its activities. Easy Life went bankrupt in September 2008 when its directors were arrested.
According to some estimates, some 500 people put €42.5m into the fund, but only around €9m was ever invested in US life insurance policies.
‘Despite their knowledge of the fraud it took 2.5 years before the public prosecution department intervened,’ lawyer Rob Silvertand told Nos. ‘If these three organisations had used their powers and warned people, a lot of heartache could have been prevented.’
The AFM first came in for criticism over its handling of the affair when Easy Life was being wound up. The receivers said at the time the AFM had been warned by investors in 2005 that there were problems, and knew in May 2006 that deposits were not being invested.
The bank, AFM and public prosecution department have denied all responsibility.