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How “half of Balaton” ended up in Luxembourg
Atlatszo.hu investigated the fate of the leftover assets of a failed tourism investment project formerly dubbed to own “half of Lake Balaton”, the lake being a popular tourist destination in Hungary. SCD Group – an overall name for the web of companies backed by the same investors – began hoarding property around the lake in the 2000s, which included buying several companies from the state and local municipalities. After the secretive businessmen behind SCD Group succesfully lobbied for an act raising the value of its lakeside real estates, the group simply fell apart. Atlatszo.hu found proxies now owning much of the former SCD property working questionably close with the liquidator of several such companies, who in turn seems to be appointed through undue court process. We also found that one particular company, owning several lakeside holiday resorts has been brought before court by the Hungarian state, the former owner of many of those resorts. Our investigation found that those resorts might easily fall out of reach of legal action, as in the last few years dozens of spinoff companies with valuable lakeside properties on their books have been offloaded by the parent company, either going into liquidation or sold to a Luxembourg-based company of unknown beneficiaries.