Companies, small and large, are affected … The scam of the “false president” or “false CEO” has been multiplying for several years, allowing crooks to often raise large sums of money. What does it consist of?
Last month, the company Sefri-Cime had more than 33 million euros stolen through this maneuver, reports The Parisian. The thugs used the usual process for their scam, allowing them to learn more about how they manage to deceive their victims.
It all starts with a call or email to someone in the company with a senior position in the accounting department, giving them access to company funds. The crook passes himself off as the president of the firm and immediately begins to demand extreme confidentiality in their exchanges. On the pretext of a major financial transaction (IPO, in this case, but sometimes a large order for products or investment), he then orders, sometimes through the intervention of bogus intermediaries (lawyers, jurists, etc.) to proceed with a or several transfers to bank accounts abroad.
Con artists most often installed in Israel
These accounts, still domiciled in Hungary, Croatia or Greece, depending on the source of our colleagues, are only used for a transit step. The sums are indeed very quickly sent to tax havens. Therefore, the money is laundered.
Scammed businesses can lose huge amounts of money. In addition to the 33 million of the Parisian real estate developer Sefri-Cime, the Nordiste Vallourec lost 23 million in 2013, and the Marnais CDER of Châlons 15 million last year. Other, smaller companies are being relieved of tens of thousands of euros.
Professional crooks are most often established in Israel. The precursor of the scam of the president, Gilbert Chikli, was tried in 2015 and sentenced to eleven years in prison for embezzling millions of euros, in particular posing as Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.