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Belgium’s court begins biggest ever-Corporate Fraud case

April 20, 2012

Belgium is to witness its biggest corruption trial as the two business champions viz. Jo Lernout and Pol Hauspie will be arraigned for defrauding investors up to $300 million in the country’s biggest ever corporate crime trial. Founders of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products (LHSP), Jo Lernout and Pol Hauspie, the main accuse of defrauding investors in the firm, will be scanned with 19 others for falsifying accounts and stock price manipulation from 1997 to 2000. The company was founded in 1987 and steadily it’s worth grew up to $10 billions. Company’s growths and their dealings have earned praise from then prime minister, country’s crown Prince and even from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The company did well from its inception, but the suspicion arouses, when its market value ruined to the ground within a six months. The company’s shares, was listed with the Nasdaq and Easdaq, security exchange. In 1999, its share was just under $20. However, in the new millennium company’s shares rose on the normal pace, but in the month of March Company’s shares mounts exceptionally high to $70, and within a six month shares destroyed to below $10. In this mishmash, some 50,000 investors, including public bodies, lost millions of hard-earned dollars, which were calculated between $250 to $300 million. The defendants deny the charges. On highly soared company’s shares, company’s prosecutor defends that the company inflated its sales figures over the four-year period in which the stock price soared. Its accounts seemed to show that sales to South Korea in particular had rocketed. The trial for the biggest ever Belgium fraud case, in which 21 accused will be questioned is being held in a conference centre in the Flemish city of Ghent as courtroom could not accommodate the infuriated investors. If defendants found guilty, they could face incarceration up to five years. Image: BBC Via: dailytimes