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Ex-director of Limassol theatre denies embezzling over €200,000

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Limassol court

The former director of Limassol’s Pattihio municipal theatre on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzling €234,550 from the theatre, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

The 61-year-old defendant faces three charges. He appeared before Limassol criminal court where he pleaded not guilty to theft by an official, fraud and money laundering.

The court set the next trial date for June 16. The defendant remains free on bail.

The case was reported to police on December 30 last year by Limassol mayor Nicos Nicolaides in his capacity as president of the theatre’s board after an audit from an independent firm found €234,550 was missing for the period 2017 to 2020.

In April last year, the theatre’s technical director had expressed some concerns about the company’s finances. The Cyprus News Agency said that following that, the 61-year-old had reportedly admitted he had taken €10,700 because he faced financial difficulties and personal issues. He assured he would reimburse the money, while a month later he resigned. The defendant returned €3,000 promising to pay back the remainder at a later stage.

The audit showed that the €234,550 concerned revenue from the entertainment tax, as well as money that should have been paid to producers of performances, for which the defendant was responsible.

 

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