Sunday, April 20, 2008

Comarch CEO charged over soccer contract fraud

Janusz Filipiak, the chief executive of mid-sized Polish IT firm Comarch COMH.WA, has been charged with contract fraud in relation to a soccer club he owns, the prosecutor's spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Filipiak, the president and 49 percent owner of Krakow's first-division club Cracovia, has been charged with abetting the back-dating of a former soccer player's employment contract and breaking employment law, together with three other officials at the soccer club, the spokeswoman said.

Polish football is wrestling with a series of corruption scandals; irregularities have been found at 29 football clubs and charges pressed against more than 120 officials.

"Janusz Filipiak was detained, questioned, and released after paying 100,000 zlotys ($46,270) bail," said Boguslawa Marcinkowska, the spokeswoman for the regional prosecutor's office in Krakow.

"There are two charges. The first is abetting in forging a document, in this case back-dating a contract. And the second is infringing workers' rights," said Marcinkowska, without elaborating.

Filipiak and his wife hold nearly 68 percent of Comarch.

"The charges which have been brought against Comarch's chief executive have no connection to the company and will not affect the business going forward," Comarch said in a statement.

The company's shares closed down 3.25 percent at 110 zlotys on Friday.