Court jails 75-year-old for two years in latest property fraud case

A 75-year-old man has been jailed for two years by a court in Haarlem for his role in a massive property development fraud.

Nico Vijmsa was found guilty of embezzling millions of euros over a period of several years through fraudulent transactions, money laundering and forging invoices. The public prosecution department had called for a five-year jail term.
The scandal – nicknamed the Klimop or Ivy case – centred on the sale and development of property by the Philips pension fund and developer Bouwfonds and represents the ‘biggest case’ in the history of the Fiod-ECD economic crime investigation department.
Vijsma told RTL news he had already spent time in jail. ‘It was amusing,’ he said. ‘It was amusing because all those people who work there go to jail every day. Can you imagine… eight hours in the crypts with all that shouting and bleating from crooks like me.’
The court said it had given Vijsma a lower jail term than demanded because of his age and the fact that last year he had been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. He has since made a complete recovery.
Main suspect
Visma is the uncle of main suspect Jan van Vlijmen who was jailed for four years at the beginning of this year.
The scandal came to light in 2007 when it emerged pension fund bosses had been taking bribes in return for passing on confidential information and had bought and sold property at below the market rates. The fraud had been under way since at least 1995.
A number of the biggest players reached out-of-court settlements and will avoid a trial.
Earlier stories
Nine jailed for up to four years for property fraud and construction
Main suspect in property fraud case reaches out of court deal

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