Real estate scandal in court – prospective real estate buyers fight for their down payments in Geneva – News
An extraordinarily large real estate scandal will be negotiated this week before the Geneva judiciary. These are the answers to the most important questions.
Um what is it?
A total of five defendants have to answer in court. Two of them are real estate entrepreneurs, three are managers of a former construction company. YOU when & answer for a real estate scandal in which numerous defendants have lost their down payments. The two real estate entrepreneurs are accused of, among other things, commercial fraud, disloyal management and falsification of documents. They are said to have collected down payments for apartments in the communities of Onex, Soral, Chêne-Bourg or Satigny. Most of the interested parties never got an apartment and their money never got back. Most of them pay in the amount of 50,000 francs. The two real estate entrepreneurs are said to have received up to CHF 27 million unjustified, as can be seen in the indictment. The three contractors worked together with the two real estate contractors in the now bankrupt company. They are responsible for embezzlement, unfaithful management and mismanagement, among other things.
Is it an isolated case or are there fundamental problems in the Geneva real estate industry?
There have recently been several minor scandals in the Geneva real estate industry. For example, the French-speaking Swiss television RTS revealed in April that some agencies charge money if a prospective customer visits an apartment in Geneva. Another case showed that numerous Sans-Papiers are staying in small apartments for sublet – at completely exorbitant prices. One should certainly not put the Geneva real estate industry under general suspicion. The example negotiated in the process of the three real estate entrepreneurs would stand for exceptionally serious misconduct, if the allegations are confirmed. However, Geneva is one of those Swiss regions where the lack of vacant apartments is greatest. The tense situation on the housing market seems to mean that some prospective buyers are quickly ready to do anything to obtain an apartment. This is apparently being exploited by individual actors in the real estate sector.
What makes this process exceptional?
The process is on a scale that has never been seen before in the Geneva judiciary. No fewer than 188 private plaintiffs are involved in the proceedings. A total of almost 30 lawyers represent the plaintiffs and the defense. Because of its huge size, the trial will not take place in the Palais de Justice in Geneva, but in the Palladium event hall. The indictment is 100 pages long and the trial takes three weeks.
At the beginning of the process, the real estate entrepreneurs tried to blame everyone else: the construction company for hiding their poor financial situation, the bank for managing the accounts, or even the public prosecutor’s office because they blocked funds and private plaintiffs could not be paid off as a result . However, the court rejected the defense requests at the beginning of the trial. After the next three weeks of litigation, the court WILL decide when and who is to blame. The verdict is expected to be pronounced on October 25th.