Note: This case was overturned on appeal, which you can read here.
Justice has finally caught up with the two directors of JP Construction, John Olsen and Peer Pedersen, three years after the company shut down its operations owing hundreds of thousands of euros to clients in Monaco and along the Riviera who had entrusted building projects and large deposits to the Monaco-registered operation.
The exact amount of losses incurred by customers may never be known, since the two men had encouraged clients to pay in cash to avoid VAT.
The two men fled the Principality in 2014, as clients began to file complaints with the authorities. A police investigation found that €800,000 had been transferred out of the company account and into the personal account of Mr Olsen, while €250,000 had been paid to Mr Pedersen’s private account.
Many of the vehicles used by the company were registered in Monaco, helping to give a false sense of security to clients, the court was told. Trucks registered to JP Construction were later used by the firm’s Polish workforce on other projects. Mr Olsen was sentenced to one year in jail and Mr Pedersen six months.
One victim, who was in court at the time of sentencing, told Monaco Life: “All civil parties have been declared admissible to the case, but unfortunately the court declared their request for damages not grounded.”
Only the bankrupted company, through the liquidator, will be allowed to recover the amounts due from Mr Olsen and Pedersen. Therefore, creditors of the company might recover the receivables if the liquidator finds a way to sell or recover assets.
Mr Olsen can appeal within two weeks from the sentence hearing.