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Heads of financial company affecting 2,648 depositors jailed

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, August 2
Three leading figures of the Sakartvelo financial company, who were accused of misspending especially large amount of depositors’ money, have been sent to prison for 7-10 years.

Tbilisi City Court has delivered a verdict through which the head of the financial company, Merab Peradze, was sent to prison for 10 years, the company director Tamaz Lobzhanidze for 8 years, and another senior figure of the company, identified only as T.M, for seven years.

The Court confirmed that between 2013 and 2016 the people misspent tens of millions of people’s money.

Through their illegal activities and unreasonable operations 2,648 people lost their money, Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office reported.

The total amount of the money is 76 million GEL.

The depositors are demanding help from the Government of Georgia and hold daily rallies in front of the Government of Georgia administration building in Tbilisi.

In December last year, Tbilisi City Court sent Lobzhanidze and Peradze to pre-trial detention.

Peradze, the company manager, said it was Georgia’s National Bank which had created problems for the company after which the company could no longer pay interest rates to its depositors.

He added there were "political interests” behind this. However, he did not specify exactly what he meant.

The fact that the people put their money in the company was due to a more than 30% annual interest rate they received for their deposits.

The company leadership says if they stay in prison for too long, they will never be able to return the money.

Moreover, the managers’ property is not enough for returning the invested money to depositors, as their current properties have been mortgaged.