The court stopped the prosecution of an 81-year-old man from Pilsen for laundering millions due to poor health


“He is burdened with such mental complications that prevent him from understanding the meaning and purpose of the criminal proceedings, or even the imposition of the sentence. Therefore, his criminal prosecution appears to be ineffective and inadmissible,” reads the court’s decision, which Novinky has seen.

Three years ago, the police accused the Prague resident of legalizing the proceeds of crime. He faced up to ten years in prison for this.

According to the file, Pražák’s company did not carry out any activity, yet tens of millions of crowns in foreign currencies flowed through its bank accounts.

The Czech court extradited the Ukrainian to France to be prosecuted for money laundering

The public prosecutor claims that Pražák and his acquaintance Miloslav Benda (67), who is serving a seven-year sentence for tax evasion in another case, opened bank accounts in the name of Sonitus.

“They used them to receive funds originating from criminal activity, which they then sent to foreign bank accounts in order to conceal their origin,” the indictment states.

The investigators came to the conclusion that in this way it was possible to hide the origin of almost 70 million crowns, which foreign fraudsters lured from gullible people.

They were lured by the offer of an attractive financial opportunity in the form of investments in the development of advanced artificial intelligence.

As Novinky found out, one of the largest American manufacturers of printing machines is among the victims. But university professors also flew in, who did not hesitate to pay thousands of dollars to be part of the promised business.

In the course of 2019 and 2020, the victims sent money according to the fraudsters’ instructions to the accounts of the company Sonitus, from where the accused were supposed to transfer it to as yet unidentified foreign accounts. Millions ended up in China, for example, where they were converted into bitcoins.

“Sonitus had no property or equipment. It was a company that was clearly set up to legalize funds that came from fraud in the USA and the Federal Republic of Germany, when the purpose of the transactions was to make it difficult or impossible to find out their origin,” public prosecutor Libor Řericha pointed out.

I trusted the people around me

According to the public prosecutor, their very attitude increases the high social harmfulness of the actions of the two accused.

“They continued their criminal activity even in situations where it must have been clear to them that the police were already after them. After she blocked their original accounts, they established new ones through which they continued to launder the dirty money,” added the prosecutor.

Pražák, who is a former gym teacher, has previously stated that he only feels guilty for creating the accounts.

“I believed it was a legitimate business. It was supposed to be an information trade. I didn’t understand it at all. I had no idea anything bad was going on. I had no suspicions. I trusted the people around me,” Pražák testified in court last year.

He admitted that he found it strange how large sums were going through the accounts. “He paid for his gullibility and flew in. In essence, he played the role of a white horse,” added Pražák’s lawyer.

According to an extract from the commercial register, Sonitus was bought as an inactive company by Pražák in 2016. The company is currently in liquidation. It is possible to find out from public data that the police secured approximately 750,000 crowns in one of the accounts.

“Money laundering” can save hundreds of billions

The article is in Czech


Tags: court stopped prosecution #81yearold man Pilsen laundering millions due poor health


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