The fraud cost the Pathé group more than 19 million euros

Illustration of a Pathé cinema. here, Place de Clichy, in Paris. – A. Gelebart / SIPA

"Pathé seems to have been the target of a group of professional scammers who, thanks to a refined communication, managed to win the trust of some employees" of the group subsidiary.
The Netherlands, said a court in Amsterdam. The reason? The French group of
the cinema was the target of a fraud of more than 19 million euros in March by people posing as leaders in the group's subsidiary in the Netherlands.

"The fraudster was able to convince employees to transfer a considerable sum of money several times, for a total of over 19,200,000 euros," the judge added in a October 31 ruling made public on Friday. The court of Amsterdam issued a decision in the context of a proceeding opened by the former financial director of Pathe Netherlands, Edwin Slutter, against the French group. He protested against the terms of his dismissal after he discovered the fraud that had been targeted.

Transfers for a presumed acquisition

In the e-mails sent in March by a false e-mail address, scammers have asked Edwin Slutter and Dutch director Pathé Dertje Meijer to make money transfers to finance a presumed acquisition. Dubai.

The scammers pretended to be the management of the Pathé group and specified that the money would be repaid after the transaction. The two Dutch directors made several transfers of money for a total amount of 19.2 million euros. The fraud was detected on 28 March, when part of the amount was to be borrowed from a fund managed by the group's headquarters in France.

Accused of "neglecting the signals"

Edwin Slutter was thanked with immediate effect on April 26, a few days after Dertje Meijer. Both were accused of "reprehensible behavior" by the leaders and shareholders of the group to "neglect the signals" that should have alerted them in the exchange of e-mails with the scammers, the court said. The court ordered the payment of Edwin Slutter's salary until December 1, 2018.

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