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Former FNsteel execs face aggravated white collar crimes charges in court

One of Finland's biggest white-collar criminal cases in recent decades began at Southwest Finland District Court on Tuesday. Three former executives from metals firm FNsteel - a Finn and two Dutch nationals - face charges of aggravated fraud and aggravated misconduct of a debtor, stemming from the alleged hiding of tens of millions of euros in funds and property months before the company filed for bankruptcy. All three of the former executives deny the charges.

FNsteelin tehdas Kemiönsaarella.
File photo of the FNsteel plant in Dalsbruk, Kimitoön. Image: Yle

The court trial of three former executives at the metals firm FNsteel, which operated two steel plants in southern Finland, began at Southwest Finland District Court in Turku on Tuesday.

The three defendants were former executives at FNsteel, which operated steel plants in Dalsburk, Kimitoön and in Koverhar, near the southern harbour city of Hanko until 2012.

The company filed for bankruptcy in Finland in June of that year, leading to the combined loss of nearly 400 jobs at the two plants. Until they were shuttered, the facilities produced wire rod and PC strand for industrial use.

The aggravated misconduct of a debtor charges are related to authorities' suspicions that millions of euros worth of property had been transferred several months before the company filed for bankruptcy - so that they would be out of reach of the firm's debtors.

Suspected fraud, misconduct

The aggravated fraud charges are related to funds amounting to an alleged 15 million euros.

All of the defendants deny the charges made against them.

The plaintiffs in the case are Nordea Bank, Finnish state-owned financing company Finnvera and FNsteel's bankruptcy estate.

Authorities began a probe of the case in the spring of 2015, and during the preliminary investigation two Finns and two Dutch nationals were originally under suspicion, but charges against one of the Finnish suspects were not filed.

The final day of the trial is scheduled for October 26.

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