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Former owner and head of Romanian advertising agency gets jail time for embezzlement and money laundering


Romanian businessman Marcel Straut, former head of Bigger Group advertising agency, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by a Bucharest court, for committing several crimes, including embezzlement, complicity to embezzlement and money laundering.

However, the court’s decision is not final and can be appealed within 10 days.

The Romanian businessman, who was also the main shareholder in the advertising agency group, will have to pay trial costs of RON 12,000 (or some EUR 2,600). The court also decided to confiscate EUR 1.8 million from Straut, who is not allowed to leave the country either.

In May 2012, the National Anticorruption Directorate DNA ordered the prosecution of Marcel-Petre Straut, legal representative of Bigger Group, who was charged with repeated money laundering, deception, two offenses of embezzlement and complicity to embezzlement.

According to DNA’s statement, between September 2008 and March 2009, Marcel Straut, as legal representative of the advertising agency, has taken a total of EUR 1.8 million from some companies’ accounts – members of Bigger Group, and used the money in his own interest.

Straut closed down the group of advertising agencies  almost over night in 2009, leaving debts to several suppliers behind.

Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com