Afinsa and Forum Filatelico.
Ten More Accused in Multi-Million Euro Afinsa & Forum Filatelico Stamp Scam
Ten more people have been indicted for the stamp fraud case that affected hundreds of thousands of small investors throughout Spain including expatriates.
The alleged 3.5 billion euro investment fraud was carried out by executives of two stamp dealing companies Afinsa and Forum Filatelico.
Nine executives from both companies have already been accused in connection with the case, which affected the savings of almost 350,000 small investors.
Afinsa is accused of overvaluing stamps. which were then sold on to investors.
Both companies are now said to be bankrupt.
Those charged are accused of fraud, criminal insolvency, money laundering, tax evasion and embezzlement.
The two companies were said to have operated a classic pyramid-style fraud in which investors were promised returns of up to 10 percent on investments in rare stamps.
But in fact, the companies could never make the promised returns so depended on a constantly rising number of investors. Small investors were over-charged for stamps which were over-valued. The investors never saw the stamps.
The court papers said between 2000 and 2002, Afinsa bought stamps for EUR 57.8 million and sold them for EUR 723.5 million. This represented a mark-up or overvaluation of 1,000 percent.
3rd February 2007
Typically Spanish Friday 10th November 2006
''The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor is reported to be considering making more arrests of executives in the Afinsa stamp trading company. The authorities intervened in the company which is accused of a financial shortfall of more than 4.4 billion , six months ago.''
Spanish Stamps Fraud: Forum Filatelico and Afinsa, Bienes Tangibles
The UK European Consumer Centre has been made aware by its sister organisation in Spain of a possible massive fraud carried out by the companies FORUM FILATELICO and AFINSA, BIENES TANGIBLES, SA. The following information is an update on the situation and information for consumers who may have claims against the companies.
Both companies, FORUM FILATELICO and AFINSA, SA, have been formally charged with crimes in Spain.
Within Spain an on-line information system has been set up to disseminate relevant information on Judges Warrants and judiciary notifications to affected consumers. In addition there is an agreement to provide information and judiciary assistance to consumers at no charge. The Spanish ECC is acting as the liaison point in order to access these services.
Current advice to consumers in relation to the two companies
- The Spanish judiciary is advising consumers with contracts with either of the two companies to stop paying any installments
- Both companies have been declared bankrupt but the value of any assets is as yet unknown
- The companies are not indemnified by any private or public fund
- DO NOT SIGN any documents that the firm or a third person on its behalf may ask you to sign. Under no circumstances should you cancel the contract with the firms at the present time.
Making a claim against the companies
If you are a customer of either AFINSA or of FORUM FILATELICO, please:-
- Collect all relevant documentation in relation to your contact with the above companies e.g. receipts of installments paid, copies of letters or e-mail correspondence as well as any other proof of your business relation to the firms.
- Print out and complete the attached form with details of your claim.
- This form, together with the two photocopies of relevant documents can be sent to either the UK ECC or directly to the Spanish ECC.
UK ECC Contact details
PO Box 3308
Spanish ECC Contact details
EUROPEAN CONSUMER CENTRE IN SPAIN
c/ Principe de Vergara, 54
Claim forms received will then be forwarded to the relevant authorities in Spain
Possibility of joining a class action
We are informed that it may also be possible for consumers affected to join a class action against the company. There are a number of Consumer Association’s promoting class actions. These organisations operate at a national level in Spain and have, we understand, agreed to promote class action free of charge for consumers. We have no additional information about this aspect and if you wish to pursue this possibility you will need to contact the agencies independently.