Mafia-like criminal network around the Orbán family

A month ago The Wall Street Journal reported that OLAF, the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office, after a two-year investigation of 35 projects undertaken by Elios Innovatív Zrt. to modernize municipal street lighting in Hungary, found “serious irregularities” and recommended to the Hungarian authorities that they take legal action against the persons involved. Unfortunately for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the principal owner of the company in question was his own son-in-law, István Tiborcz.

The company’s fraudulent activities were substantial. According to OLAF’s calculations, Tiborcz and his accomplices pocketed more than €40 ($49.8) million in EU funds through illegal business practices. Although the report was submitted to the Hungarian authorities, who apparently passed it on to the prosecutor’s office, the Orbán government was loath to make the report public even though, in the past, it had been more than eager to release such documents if they involved fraud cases before 2010.

I have written so many times about this case that I won’t bore regular readers with its details. Suffice it to say that by 2014, when OLAF began its investigation, it was obvious that the fabulous rise of Tiborcz’s company was due to his relationship with the prime minister’s family. By then one could also hypothesize that Tiborcz’s decision to switch from electrical and energy supplies to the installation of LED lighting was inspired by his future father-in-law, who was fully aware that the government had put aside 9 billion forints in EU funds for the purpose.

At the outset there were two problems: Elios needed money and it needed at least one city to entrust its project to Elios as proof of the company’s soundness. With the help of Viktor Orbán both problems were solved in short order. A telephone call to his friend Lajos Simicska, who had handled Fidesz’s finances ever since 1990 and who in the interim had become an extremely wealthy man, was enough to get the necessary capital. Simicska infused much-needed capital into the business of Orbán’s future son-in-law through buying the majority of the shares in the company. The second problem was also easily solved. János Lázár, mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and by 2010 head of Fidesz’s parliamentary delegation, was more than happy to help Tiborcz out. By October 2011 Hódmezővásárhely was touted as the first city in the whole of Europe to use LED technology exclusively. Mission accomplished. Two years later Tiborcz and his partner bought out Simicska, and by the end of 2011 Lázár’s city was called “the European Los Angeles.”

But it seems that all of the advantages his ties to the Orbán family offered weren’t enough for the 24-year-old Tiborcz. He was also dishonest. What we didn’t know until now was how corrupt he, his associates, and the government authorities who dealt with him were.

Well, today we know. Or, more precisely, now we are beginning to learn the details of a mafia-like corruption ring engulfing Viktor Orbán and his family.

24.hu managed to get hold of a copy of the OLAF report that the Orbán government is so eager to hide. We know from a recent OLAF report, which was made public, that these reports are extremely long and detailed. This particular investigation covered 35 business transactions, so I assume it is a lengthy document. The journalists who gained access to the OLAF report had only a few hours to study it, so I’m sure there will be plenty more information trickling in as time goes on.

Momentum’s “gift” to the Prosecutor’s Office: “Accomplice, Accomplice” / Source: Magyar Nemzet / Photo: Balázs Székelyhidi

So, let’s start with what we now know. According to 24.hu, Tiborcz and Co. “misappropriated public funds” in a “criminal association” and “on a commercial scale.” There was a network of people involved in the wholesale fraud Elios’s business partners and their helpers committed. All 35 cases involved the “misuse of public funds,” and in 17 cases OLAF discovered organized criminal activity. There were all sorts of fraudulent activities involved, but perhaps the easiest to understand is that the same person on the same computer wrote up the competitors’ so-called “indicative offers” and in every case priced them exactly 5% and 7% higher than Elios’s bid. Later we learned that this person was one of the directors of Elios.

We already know some details of the fraud through the case of Szolnok’s contract with Elios. That case indicates that even government authorities who handle the European Union’s “environmental and energy efficiency operational program” (KEOP) helped Tiborcz win the contract by changing the parameters of the requirements on a Friday with a deadline on Monday to fit Elios’s specifications. The scheme worked the following way. Ivette Mancz, the Elios director in charge of public lighting, was also involved in writing the specifications for the job ordered by the municipalities. And once Elios finished the work, an “independent auditor,” INS Kft., inspected the finished work. The signature on the so-called independent audit, however, was Mancz’s. The scheme was foolproof: Mancz set the terms, Mancz’s firm did the work, and Mancz was also associated with the company that checked the results.

These revelations were naturally welcomed by all the opposition parties, whose politicians had already decided that the Tiborcz case is “the atomic bomb” they have been waiting for. Considering that the prosecutor’s office is solidly in Fidesz hands, I wouldn’t be too optimistic. Nonetheless, these disclosures shook even some Fidesz politicians. For example, in the city of Zalaegerszeg, whose city lighting was handled by Elios, two opposition members of the city council requested a copy of the OLAF report and, behold, 6 of the 12 Fidesz members supported the opposition. But it took only a few hours for the mayor to declare that, sorry, it was a mistake. The Fidesz members simply pushed the wrong button. As for the major opposition parties, they are up in arms. They seem to be concentrating on Chief Prosecutor Polt, who “will have to end up in jail.” Jobbik went so far as to demand Orbán’s resignation.

The Orbán propaganda media’s response will most likely follow the reasoning that Magyar Idők proposed in an article which appeared on January 20. It tried to shift the blame onto Lajos Simicska, who for a short time was the majority shareholder of Elios. Origo today published another piece along the same line. We can expect dozens of such articles in the next few days. In the meantime, investigative journalists will have a heyday exploring and exposing Elios’s fraudulent business affairs.

February 7, 2018
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Live long and prosper
Guest
Live long and prosper

Holy smoke, this is BIG!

Observer
Guest

Big are the MET gas affair 120-180 bil, Questor 100+ billion, residency bonds 120-180 bil in PROFITS. Of course in the Tiborcz case he’s not sharing with anyone, so on the recepient end it is BIG.

dos929
Guest
…and this is only a small part of the corrupt practices of the Orban-family and the Fidesz in general; just the tip of the iceberg. What is more tragic for the country that based on the method of the “scheme was foolproof: Mancz set the terms, Mancz’s firm did the work, and Mancz was also associated with the company that checked the results…” the Hungarian election process is similar. The Fidesz set the terms, the Fidesz count the votes, and the Fidesz also check the results. Thus, the outcome of the elections is a forgone conclusion, as the ‘government’ will declare any result that suits Orban as long as it ensures the continuation of their mafia regime. As to the OLAF… It is a toothless tiger, just as most, if not all, the other EU institutions. Why did they wait so many years with their investigation(s), why don’t they make it public so that every EU citizen can easily access it, why didn’t they investigate ALL and EVERY instances of fraud tied to the regime that effectively financed by the EU and are poking in their eyes??? Why? And why again… If the EU has so much money to throw… Read more »
bimbi
Guest

@dos929 1:25 a.m.

“Why? Why?? Why???”, you ask? Its “suzerainty” baby. We love the concept here in Magyarorszag – ask Five-a-Side Szijjarto. He’ll tell you. It means…
…we can do anything we want to with YOUR money. You may not be aware of it but the root of the word is Hungarian: “SZŰZ” means “Don’t mess with me!”

bimbi
Guest

Its official! Viktor Orbán is leader of the PPE party in Europe:

the POWER AND PERSONAL ENRICHMENT party

Ferenc
Guest

Peter Juhasz (Egyutt) travelled with “OV” to Kecskemet to check the lighting works executed by the (former) company of OV’s (current) son in law. And put the resulting “discussion” up on his facebook (sound Hungarian only, but picture understandable for everybody!)
https://www.facebook.com/Juhi.JuhaszPeter/videos/1850662481672893/
PS: such “cardboard actions” I suggested about a year ago here in the comments…

Member

Brilliant job by Peter Juhasz, and with an incomparably smaller budget than Stephen Colbert or CNN…

tappanch
Guest

The distribution of MPs after the April election.
Optimist [pessimist] scenario by Republicon.

party: party list+ individual district mandates.

Fidesz: 44 [41] + 86 [105] = 130 [146]
Jobbik: 20 [20] + 0 [ 0] = 20 [ 20]
MSZP-PB: 13 [14] + 12 [ 1] = 25 [ 15]
DK: 9 [10] + 7 [ 0] = 16 [ 10]
LMP: 7 [ 8] + 1 [ 0] = 8 [ 8]

Total: 93 + 106 = 199

https://24.hu/belfold/2018/02/08/okos-ellenzeki-egyuttmukodes-nelkul-sima-fidesz-ketharmad-lesz/

In the “optimist” scenario, the opposition wins all but one district in Budapest, and one district each in Szeged, Pecs and Szigetszentmiklós.

In the “pessimist” scenario, the opposition wins only District 13 of Budapest, nothing else.

Guest

Every country gets the government it deserves – my wife said today after reading on index and 444 about all those bunko paraszt …
Seems that some people like to be treated like dirt while the mafiosi and their sugar babies show off their Audi SUVs and Maseratis!

Member

Wolf, my impression is that your wife and you have a clear sight. 😀

Jean P
Guest

I object to the idea that poor, uneducated and ignorant people, the majority of Hungarians, deserve to be brainwashed and robbed by the government. Labeling them bunko paraszt is adding insult to injury.

Observer
Guest

Jean P
There are bums everywhere, from Norway to Sicily, but it’s a matter of ratio. To the “poor, uneducated and ignorant” in Hungary you can add the deeply complexed and somewhat maliscious nature of many better educated ones, it is in the national psyche.

Member

I am with you on this one.

People blame their troubles on communism, Gyurcsany, Soros, the Jewish conspiracy to destroy Hungary, the Muslim conspiracy to destroy Europe.

In my view, people who cannot grasp basic principles of the retail and hospitality industries – 28 years after communism collapsed – are largely responsible for the cesspool in which they swim.

Observer
Guest

Alex
Love it. Yesterday’s example of customer “service” here: I gave away a 10+ yo Nokia with buttons, value 3-5 k Ft. The recepient wanted to decode it – the provider requested company papers (was my co’s one) and power of attorney, which was rejected because didn’t have his ID no on it.
Yes, beyond the short term it’s the people and the Hungarians are firmly in the looser group in Europe.

Member

“I object to the idea that poor, uneducated and ignorant people, the majority of Hungarians, deserve to be brainwashed and robbed by the government. ”

They are so “uneducated” and “ignorant” that they don’t see the state of their hospitals, their schools? The fact that anyone with a brain under the age of 30 is working abroad? The stadiums?
The big cars the Fidesz scum overlords are driving in their villages and towns whilst they scrape by on a day to day basis?

Calling this kind of “citizen” “Bunko paraszt” is being kind. Cowardly zombies would be my choice of epithet

Guest

Thanks, D7 and thanks Albrecht too!
I’ve said it before – my wife hasn’t been “under my influence”, she had that kind of thinking already when we met 11 years ago.
If she had been different we wouldn’t have become a loving pair.
So again, what’s wrong with that large number of Hungarians who “adore Orbán” as Melanie wrote here once?
I have no idea.

Marty
Guest
You guys just cannot get it that in any autocracy, not just this one, the incumbent always wins the most votes. Which meas that all nations who suffer under autocrats are idiots. Check Russia, Egypt, Turkey, what have you. You still both start from the misguided assumption that if only the voters knew what they interest was they would go and vote some opposition party and smartly defeat Orban. But this is exactly the trick: voting is not just an isolated action on election day but part of a near-decade long autocratic political discourse managed by a 1.000 different methods from which there’s no escape for an ordinary voter. The entire system is carefully constructed so that voters by election time just internalized e.g. that the opposition politicians are “weak”, “not too smart”, “corrupt”, “endanger our future” (which is in line with the average voter’s knowledge that no sane ordinary person would want to enter politics). By election time voters have internalized that the only “real option” is that of the autocrat – however reviled. The ruling party is always set to to win with the most votes, same as in Angola as in Hungary. This is how any autocracy… Read more »
Guest

I’m still waiting for an explanation on why the typical Hungarian who should know what’s going on (he sees it every day …) doesn’t react – but claims all his misery on the immigrants, the Jews, the Gypsies, the EU, the Liberals – and the Piresz!
And applauds the mafiosi for their shiny new cars, their Rolexes and Gucci bags, their sugar babies and their accounts off shore …
And Marty calls this “internalising”?
I call it stupidity …

Marty
Guest

wolfi, what you mention is the exact same in Russia, Angola etc. There are many hated figured, bogeymen there also. In Russia it’s the US, Soros, gays, Central-Asian immigrants, in Hungary it’s the liberals, Soros, gipsies etc. Any autocratic political system provides fodder for ordinary people to hate some minorities. The system is corrupt in all the autocracies and yet voters go and vote in most numbers for the incumbent.

Guest

Marty, come on!
You’re just repeating yourself!
They hate people they don’t know anything about, have never seen a Jew or an immigrant – this is really typical bunko!
And they see their Fidesz mafiosi neighbours and know how they are stealing from them – but still adore them?
That’s even more bunko!

Guest

Jean, then give me a hint!
How should my wife call her compatriots who just stand by watching the machinations?
And many of them will vote again for Fidesz …

PS:
Just saved the latest love letter my wife got from the big O from the trash – it contains “Soros” at least five times …

Member

Kind of hard to be compassionate when every gesture of good will gets spat back in the giver’s face.

I’m with Wolfi on “bunko paraszt.”

Jean P
Guest

“Jean, then give me a hint!”

Compassion.

Guest

Compassion with the guy who treats his wife like (expletive deleted), goes on in the kocsma about immigrants, Gypsies and Jews, laughs about the stupid foreigners who pay double prices and then whines about no toilet paper in the hospital?
And drinks to his mayor and other political representatives because they are oh so clever …

PS:
Totally forgot about the Pirez! 🙂

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘….people like to be treated like dirt while the mafiosi and their sugar babies show off their Audi SUVs and Maseratis’

Now that’s Tony Soprano livin’..If you want to jump ‘class’ quick Magyarorszag is the place. Upward mobility at its best. 😎

tappanch
Guest

2010: Orban denied that Fidesz would change the Constitution after the elections.
2011: Orban abolished the constitution, effective 2012.01.01

2018.02.08: Orban denied today that Fidesz would do away with most local governments after the election.
2019: ???

https://444.hu/2018/02/08/orban-viktor-kezdunk-jol-kinezni

Observer
Guest

I wonder how many, if any, outside the faithful flock would take this “gypsy horse trader’s word” on anything. Lying is like breathing for Orban, he and minions have lied on EVERY significant issue: from no coalition with FKGP to Grippen to pension funs to Paks.
Even with good knowledge of history I can’t recollect such a liar in Europe, neither in quantity nor in brazenness. (I’m discounting the totalitarian states’ ideological propaganda which is a different category).

Istvan
Guest

Eva thanks for posting the link to the Magyar Idők article on Lajos Simicska involvement in funding related to the Tiborcz case. Why it is true that the intent of that article was blame shifting it none the less exposes the extent of the Fidesz money machine that of course doesn’t stop with Simicska, but rather with Orban himself. Sometimes I think that the liberal left opposition in Hungary in their desperation to remove the foot of Orban from their necks plays up to Simicska and ignores the obvious pig he is for the utility of having his media empire in opposition to Orban.

There is absolutely nothing in the Tiborcz case on the bigger level that has not already been discussed by Balint Magyar in his Mafia State analysis. It is a continuation of the normal in Hungary effectively eliciting the mass response of -és akkor mi van? Or maybe – mi újdonság?

wrfree
Guest

Re: Balint Magyar and his Mafia State analysis…

The work which exposed the ‘secret’ activities of these Magyar mafiosi. Everybody knows but can’t seem to do anything about the activities of that almost ‘untouchable’ society which does their dirty laundry out in the open. Wash day seems to be everyday.

As it took one concerned and brave writer to do an expose on the state of ‘the family’ the country so far hasn’t seen the ‘rats’ making a jump from the corrupted ship yet. Perhaps if they start ‘singin’ the country will step to a new tune.

But for that to happen somebody would probably have to identify with someone of the likes of a ‘Henry Hill’. That ‘Goodfella’ rat jumped. He just got stuck in things that got out of control. The reminder? ‘Loose lips can sink ships’.

bimbi
Guest

So what are the prospects for pursuit of the Orban/Tiborcz case? What will the “capo della cosca” do now? What about referring the case to the Hungarian state prosecutor for further ‘investigation’ (9 months or so) and then just letting the thing die quietly after that? The EU (never mind OLAF) has no prosecutorial authority in Hungary (love that suzerainty!), so what they gonna do, huh? No doubt then OLAF can levy a large fine against the Hungarian State (taxpayers) and Tiborcz and his Sugar Daddy are home clear… Anyone disagree?

wrfree
Guest

To say it’s a tough situation there nowadays is an understatement and worse. Perhaps a ‘John Peter Zenger” in film could have a go with say ‘Jo Sracok(loose translation!). ‘Crimetime’ as entertainment perhaps to get things going. Art imitating the realities.

Thing is he just might wind up in court. And the ‘kangaroos’ run it. A conundrum as the ‘dons’ hang out there too.

Member

Simicska is every bit the geci he called Orban. They are both sewage bottom slimes. But how does Orban imagine that he will deflect the blame for the illicit support of his own son-in-law onto Simicska? Does he dare risk provoking Simicska to reveal more of the same?

If there were any sense in the world, this would all be the harbinger of the imminent collapse of Orban’s gangster empire — but how can there be any sense in the world while Ueber-Geci Trump still squats on his oval throne?
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Aida
Guest

What a disgusting looking man. Out of condition pig eating peasant. May the Lord do him the justice he deserves.

bimbi
Guest

OT but… …Theresa May’s ‘former chief of staff Nick Timothy has jumped on the anti-Soros bandwagon, spreading rumours of a “secret plot to thwart Brexit”, and the EU’s Guy Verhofstadt has, quite rightly, called him out for it. Mr. Soros has announced that he has given £400,000 to fund publicity calling for a second referendum on Brexit – good for him!

Verhofstadt “went on to say the [Timothy] article would have delighted Hungary’s authoritarian prime minister Viktor Orban who, along with Vladimir Putin’s allies, has consistently peddled claims Mr Soros has meddled in sovereign European nations.”:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-george-soros-guy-verhofstadt-nick-timothy-theresa-may-russia-antisemitic-jewish-secret-plot-a8200756.html

Ferenc
Guest

“George Soros: The billionaire investor who became the favourite target of conspiracy theories and antisemitic hatred”
Nothing new, but good overview incl.OV’s “policies” at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/geore-soros-brexit-antisemitism-jew-conspiracy-theories-telegraph-story-plot-hungary-broke-bank-of-a8201651.html

Aida
Guest

Orban has been very successful in giving the clue that Goldstein alias Soros is the enemy of the people and of democracy. If the next UK election can replicate the Hungarian one the only question will be, do you want the international Jewish Marxist liberal Soros in place of the loveable English patriotic Mafia. The English version are as intent on robbing the nation as Orban. The English Mafia want to destroy the economy so they and their friends can buy it cheap. Macron has sense, will he succeed? Vivre la France. Vivre l’ Europe.

Guest

Has nobody else seen Viktor`s new letter where he mentions the name Soros at least five times?
And of course millions of people, Africa, Middle orient, … – all those devilish names/concepts that make real tiszta Magyar sh*t in their pants just from hearing/reading them …
My wife wouldn’t even open it and I’m too lazy to try to translate that cr*p!

PS:
Magyarország az elsö – where have I seen that concept before?

Observer
Guest

The “magyarorszàg az elsö” (Hungary’s first)is very thin ice to step on since in so many areas Hun is the last or thereabouts in Europe/EU, first as the worst!

wrfree
Guest

Re: ‘The English Mafia want to destroy the economy so they and their friends can buy it cheap’

Uh oh . Just making some arrangements to visit. I think we need a trust fund when I see some prices. The ‘vig’ must be high.😎

Aida
Guest

Yes, take a look and then return in another 3 years to witness the progressive devastation.

wrfree
Guest

I sure hope not.

A number of years ago going though Cornwall we could discern a certain side of ‘Englishness’ which seems to be indicative of those who opt for Brexit now. It was a sort of ‘separateness’ , a sort of disconnection making itself felt against with ‘London’ and all it stood for.

Some in the ‘West Country’ appeared as if they wanted to be away from it all. Looks as if those thoughts are now falling on Europe. Hope the UK doesn’t fall into the Magyarorszag habit of betting the wrong horses.

An ‘unmoored’ nation is a terrible thing to have in perhaps the action of ‘separation’. And they above all have to know since previous consequences of an event particularly one altered the management of country and empire and especially its human aspirations.

Aida
Guest

The regions which voted for leave are those where fewer people have education. One interpretation is they are very stupid. They are. Another is that they are disadvantaged because of lack of education, so they took against the EU. The problems they have generated will impact mostly on them. The Cornish receive huge grants from EU. Not any more. The UK government never did and will not now.

My worst fear is the birth of an aggressive form of English nationalism and the poorer they get, and they will, the more the Orbanist message will have it’s followers. Already the atmosphere is pretty nasty.

The self belief in English superiority is restricted to those who are mostly under powered. The high flyers are pro EU. They know the way forward is through cooperation.

Vivre la France, vivre l’Europe.

wrfree
Guest

Re: those who are ‘pro EU’

May they hold off the descending portcullis as some try to bring it down and widen the moat.

Britain is littered with the ruins of the ‘ancient times’. It is of rich heritage. A contemplated look at them perhaps might give pause as the country may hide from its responsibilities. The US too will need to be on its mettle.

We would have our work cut out as well when a POTUS’ way with words signifies that simply disagreement can only be interpreted as ‘treasonous’. Trumpism: another path on the road to Orbanist illiberalism hijacking God, the country and its people. Seems to be a hit for the big and small as we go along in the 21st. One size trying to fit all.